A Vacation from Myself- Memories of Hydra

The English word vacation comes from the Latin vacans, the present active participle of vaco, which can mean, depending on the context, to be free, to be at leisure, or to be empty. Since Hungarian straightforwardly uses the same word, ‘szabadság’ both for freedom and vacation, and in Romanian you will say ‘îmi iau liber’,…

So What’s the Deal with Spetses

Loukas the taxi driver was interested in my long term plans in Greece. Surely, I was going to the islands, not just staying in Athens. Yes, I was. Which island? Oh! But you MUST go to Spetses. This was the automatic reaction every time I revealed my dirty little plan to just stay on Hydra….

Our Lady of the Hot Mess- Brief Impressions of Athens

Having heard that my boyfriend was Turkish, Loukas, the Athenian taxi driver, looked straight into my eyes, took a deep breath under his mask, and imparted what he felt was a fundamental truth: Greeks and Turks are alike, and would get along just fine, if it wasn’t for meddling politicians. We need to look at…

Procrastinator’s Log 0621

I have always dreamed of being able to find my way around the Milky Way, but I am completely lost on planet Earth as well, where orientation is more grounded, so to speak. I can identify the Northern Star and the Ursa Maior, and that’s where my science stops. Nice one for a Trekkie, right….

To the Shire and Back with the Blue Wave Express- A Visit to Szigliget

The guesthouse owner looked incredulously at us as we dismounted from the minivan and it became clear that it wasn’t ours. We’d gotten the same slightly suspicious glances a few years back when we’d arrived in Giardini Naxos, Sicily, in the same carless state. Crazy, crazy folk. We’d approached Szigliget by train, on the slow,…

Lizard Kingdom on Eagle Hill: A Walk on Sas-hegy

Our first attempt at summiting Sas-hegy was, in the words of the great ancient philosopher Clarksonius, BC 4, a terrible disappointment. Sometime in spring it had come to our attention that this particular hill, lying in the cosy proximity of the BAH interchange and the MOM park shopping mall, had eluded our attention in the…

What We Do in the Lockdown

It’s been a year now of this liminal state, when walking in the bright sunshine of the deserted city feels like the odyssey of a vampire sneaking in the dark, alone with ghosts and shadows. The dark itself doesn’t even seem to exist anymore; we’re locked out of it by the night curfew. We’re locked…

Greek Cats and Pandemic Travel Musings

There’s no running from the truth. This post, as most of the Internet, was born from cat pictures. I nevertheless felt that the Zakynthian bestiary could not be topped. Perhaps I could go for a more serious topic. Like that moment when you extricate yourself from a ’50 pictures that prove cats are liquid’ collection…

Looking for Leonard-A Pilgrimage to Hydra

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is one of the most misunderstood and misused songs ever written. Just recently, it was played during a rally by Donald Trump’s campaign team. It has a special charm with purportedly religious people, because they misinterpret the hallelujah. Understandably, Cohen’s estate put out a few words making it clear that they had…