Wednesday, October 25, 2017
I transcribed my journal entry last night from my trip to the Greek islands, in May 2000. I went with my friend Liz and we had a fabulous time visiting Mykonos, Naxos, Santorini and Crete, as well as Delphi on the Greek mainland. It was an amazing vacation, made all the more spectacular because I was at a pivotal time in my life -- I'd just accepted the new job that would take me from Florida to New York City. In fact, I had to call my boss from Mykonos to resign my old position!
Unfortunately, this was also the trip where, on our next-to-last day, a taxi driver drove away with my bag in the trunk of his car, never to be seen again. So I lost all my clothing, my camera, my pictures and my souvenirs. Fortunately, I had my passport, cash and plane ticket in a money belt on my body, and I flew home the next day completely empty-handed except for a bag containing three jars of Greek honey that I bought for some friends.
Liz later mailed me copies of all her photos, which is the only reason I remember anything at all. To date, losing that bag remains my most severe travel mishap!
Liz's photo above shows me on Santorini. I believe it was the day we hiked to the ruins of the ancient city of Fira, overlooking the Aegean Sea and the modern towns below. It must have been windy up there -- I'm holding onto my hat!
True to form, I did manage to save my favorite form of ephemera, my beer labels. (I think I had them tucked into our Lonely Planet guidebook when my bag went missing, and I was reading the book at the time, so they survived too.)
Anyway, when I got back to Florida I wrote a marathon journal entry, in which I recorded all the details of the trip -- the restaurants where we ate, the bars we visited, our night disco-ing with Norwegian visitors Roland and Kristina on Naxos, and our night disco-ing with Australians Troy and Andrew in Hania, Crete. Not to mention my night making out with adorable German florist Dirk on a dance floor in Mykonos. It was a crazy time!
We also hiked the Samaria Gorge in Crete, a 10-mile trek through pine forests and meadows studded with wild thyme. On Mykonos we wandered whitewashed streets draped with bougainvillea, and saw pink pelicans and canvas windmills. On Naxos, we visited a pottery studio and were lured by a deceptively friendly older couple into their home -- ultimately, it turned out, so they could sell us embroidery. (Liz bought a few items to be nice, as I recall.) On Crete we stayed in an old house built by the Venetians 800 years earlier -- at least, according to the landlady.
I'm so glad I managed to write down the details of that journey -- especially since the travel journal I kept during the trip went missing with the rest of my bag. (I took solace in the fact that my handwriting is so spidery, no Greek person was likely to be able to read about my escapade with Dirk.) It was great to relive those memories last night!