Many of us are unable to travel to our favourite place this year, for me, it was desperately wanting to go to Australia and be with my relatives, even more so to see my grandchildren, two of whom I have still yet to meet. There are many stories like mine and I am sure once you have spoken to a few there may even be situations far more complex than mine. The pandemic has made it almost impossible for some to travel. However, we all have are our memories and stories to tell.
An Australian Greek
In a post I was recently reading I learnt of a young girl who recalled her first visit to Zakynthos. She talks about the carefree Caretta Caretta, fun, walks, but most of all, adventure.
In her words
“I am very lucky because all my summers in Greece were very adventurous.”
My dad, or ‘Survivor Man’, as I called him when I was little, made sure he went to a different corner of our country every summer and I can say that in less than a decade I managed to get a good taste of the rare and unique beauty that I treasure.
Every now and then, when I am nostalgic, I ‘unlock’ the chest of the soul and pull out, one by one, the diamonds of my memories.
Swimming in the Voidomatis river, evening walks in Parga, parties in taverns in Zakynthos. Beautiful, carefree moments under the Mediterranean sun, full of music tied to the voices of the people creating an electric atmosphere that cannot compare with anywhere else in the world.
This is the Greece that we all have come to love, the Zakynthos that we hold close to our hearts. Our young girl then goes on to talk about one of her most memorable encounters. Of course it has to be in Zakynthos.
One of my greatest memories from summer in Greece was when I was about eleven years old. It was mid July and very hot. We would immediately go down to the beach as soon as we woke up.
I remember the ecstasy when I threw myself into the crystal clear water, you could see everything under there with your eyes wide open.
I remember the feeling of joy and calmness, just simply observing the small star fish at the bottom of the sea, the little colourful fish that with every chance of me trying to grab one, would change direction. It was like there was no tomorrow until suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something approaching me.
I turned my head and what I saw even now seems like a dream. A huge turtle was swimming towards me. At that time I was so nervous. Coming towards me, I thought it was in attack mode. It was huge, and its shell looked heartshaped, but its head was big and it seemed to have a huge jaw. It was much bigger than the cartoon imitations that adorned my little brother’s bed and the only thing that went through my mind was, it’s coming to eat me. After all, it is true that they do not teach you everything at school…
Honestly, I thought it would eat me. I looked at it, it looked back at me. And in the moment I shut my eyes tightly so as not to see my ‘end’. I waited a few moments, slightly opening one eye. Where did it go? I searched around… It was then that I realised it wasn’t even interested in me. It just calmly swam by in a carefree manner.
Carefree, a word that best descibes our Island. Wandering around in a carefree manner just like the Caretta Caretta.
These are the memories of Greece, and Zakynthos is a part of her. Memories of both, which I am sure that we all have kept within our mind and heart. However, it’s these memories, now more than ever, we need to take out and share.
What are your memories of Greece and Zakynthos?
Photos.. Zakynthos Informer archives
Main Feature photo:- Good Times photography.