You see I am 20 years younger than my brother and my sister is still 15 years older than me. So I spent most of my childhood alone with my parents, which made me feel very special. This also meant of course following them on every vacation they took. My dad loved to sail, as we all do in the family. In the summer time, my brother would take his girlfriend and charter dad’s boat from La Rochelle in France, its port of registry, all the way down to Athens, Greece. That was his summer vacation. Then mom dad and myself would pick up the boat in Athens and spend two months in the Cyclades, sailing all the way down to Rhodes and sometimes into Turkey. I didn’t like to go to Turkey at the time though. Soldiers with machine guns would come to the boat as soon as we docked to take my dad to fill out paperwork in their little cabins. Very scary for a kid my age.
One of the best things about these trips, was my dad’s fear of flying. I’ll explain: since flying to Athens was not an option, we would actually drive there from Bordeaux. We took our time driving down to Monaco, then Rome and Naples. We would catch the ferry in Brindisi heading for Patras, then drive down to Athens from there. Once or twice we visited Olympus which was really fun. Mind you, at the time (70s, early 80s) all of the sites were completely open and unmanned which meant you could access everything freely at any time day or night. Very special. We did the whole Greek thing every year from when I was 8 to when I turned 13 or 14. After that, my brother had to purchase a building to open his dentist practice and dad sold the boat to help him out…
My best memories of Greece are about the people. They are the most generous and kind people you can ever hope to meet. And the food… Oh my god, the food… Incredible seafood (that goes without saying), but also souvlaki and of course the famous Greek Salad. Truly the taste of my childhood!! Pure bliss…
Summer is finally here, so please try it out:
- Real, UNPASTEURIZED feta cheese
- Black olives (FROM GREECE!!!)
- Organic tomatoes (in season ONLY)
- Red onion
- Lemon and EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil
- Oregano (I use fresh, but dry oregano is perfectly fine). Sometimes I even put thyme…
I hope to visit Greece again someday. I left a piece of my heart there (I’m such a freaking poet aren’t I?)
Happy summer everyone!!!