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Monday, July 8, 2013

Getting the Greek Blues

By Nicola Obermeier. From Germany 

Greece is well known as one of Europe’s most popular destinations during the summer times and attracts people from around the world to its beautiful places.

It's been said that the one that comes for the first time to Greece, will most probably return...
Some people are returning every year and some even have decided to stay forever. I am one of them.

Monastiraki, Athens

What makes it unique
What does make Greece so special, why do I and many others love the country, what is the difference compared to others?

When you go on summer vacation you're surely searching for positive things.
Such as happiness, relaxation, endless time and a beautiful and safe environment.

Greece stands for all that, and for much more: warm waters, waves, an endless horizon, the colors of white and blue, getting mixed with the blue and green of the sea.
The warm and mild climate, where you have at least six months warm weather. Soft nights with outside life not stopping at ten and the crickets singing their songs.
The sun burns your skin and you cool it down with a swim in the clear and deep blue waters of the Aegean or Ionian Sea.

Greece gives you the time to relax, to do some sightseeing and a lot of swimming and sunbathing. It lets you enjoy the “light” life. Yes, Greece has a light life. Apart of the big cities you will not find stress, the rhythm of life is much slower. And much more convenient.

Into the light
What is the magic about Greek light? The combination of islands dotted against the Aegean Sea, the neutral brownness of the landscape, especially in summer, and the sparkling white of the simple houses. It's magic, and it can't be found in any travelers guide: it must be seen to be believed.

The simple life
Many people told me, that it is different to live in Greece or to be on vacation. There is a point in it, but my vacations are starting every day after work. And, despite the crisis, Greece lets me enjoy my life, much more than where I come from.

I live for sure a more simple and often a harder life, but nevertheless it is a more happy and more intense one.

Simple and small things make it so adorable, a piece of fresh bread, some olives, a piece of feta cheese, a glass of wine – these things are making the excellent food -but still, they're simple.

A daily walk on the beach nearby, no matter the weather. Water is surrounding me, every day. Greece is sweet and intense, colorful and yes, I can say it became a good friend. When I would have to leave, I'll leave with melancholia and tears in my eyes, but full of nice and deep memories.

Greek summer memories
Do you remember when you were walking along the beach and how it felt to walk in the water, to have the sand between your toes...
When you were sitting at the beach and watching the waves braking on the sand and listening to the melody that they are singing, getting relaxed and happy...
When you were sitting in the cafe having a frappe and watching the sunset... Or at a lonely beach in the night with the moon and the stars above you... Magic!

Do you remember when you closed your eyes and took a deep breath, how was the smell?
In the countryside it was maybe the pure smell of pine trees, very intense and it gives you the feeling of being one with the nature. If you were out there, you also smelled herbs, like thyme, basil, dill and oregano. This mix of nature is a composition, activating the body and the senses.

When you have been to an island, you found the a tranquility of life – small white houses facing the evening light, beautiful old olive trees and the sweet smell of fig trees and many colorful flowers, the smell of fresh salt air; all combined to fuse a very Greek feeling with an atmosphere you'd only really experience here.

Enjoying the good stuff
When you go out for food to a tavern (try to avoid the fast food) you can choose between a lot of different and very delicious dishes.
If you are from abroad, the food is different and maybe new to you, but I am sure you will enjoy it, the variety is enormous and has all the colors of a painters palette.
The Greek cuisine waits for you with fresh vegetables and a variety of meats, like pork, lamb, goat, veal, beef, chicken and of course seafood. Olives, lemons, garlic and a wide variety of herbs are giving a distinct flavor.

Combined with that comes the unique Greek music, and it creates an athmosphere like nowhere else. Maybe you're sitting next to the sea, the tavern roof is covered with wild wine and you sit and watch the sun go down, some cats glancing around and some fishermen going out by boat. Doesn't it sound very romantic? These are moments you will keep forever, moments of happiness.

All these things together are making my life complete, and it will definitely make also you not want to leave anymore from this magic country.

Greece is inspiring and embraces you with its way of life, the people, its smells and its nature, its beauty and love.

It's time to explore the magic, it's time to come and visit Greece!

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