How I fell in love with Greece*

It began with a map. A map of a country shaped like a sea creature with tentacles that spread south and east while its body clung to Europe as if the sea threatened to swallow it.

In our geography class we sketched in mountain ranges, wild peaks where eagles soared. We drew pitchers of wine, olive groves, baskets of grapes, a stringed instrument, an ancient vase, a young man dancing.

We coloured the sea turquoise and scattered it with islands, which our teacher told us were the summits of mountains half-drowned when a flood swept through the Gates of Hercules and filled the Mediterranean Basin.

It was a tragic country, beautiful in its brutality, ravaged but vibrant with life, and as my crayons skimmed over it, I yearned to know it for myself.

In blue ink, with my favourite pen, I wrote its name.

ELLAS.

*This love of Greece inspired me to write ‘Fragments of a Dream’ 

2 thoughts on “How I fell in love with Greece*

  1. This is so cool, how our dreams and inspirations start at a young age. I have a friend in Canada, who is also, Ruth, who loves Greece as well. She even lived there for a couple of years. She has written a book about Alexander the Great.

    1. Yes, it’s a country that attracts a lot of us, I think, for all sorts of reasons – its history, spectacular scenery, fascinating cultural mix of east and west – and of course, wonderful people.

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