home thoughts from abroad

Home thoughts from abroad is a new series on Travel Words featuring a single photograph that reminds me of a country visited and showing something that uniquely identifies it as being ‘abroad’.

Coloured oils

We are not averse to taking coach trips whilst on holiday. For one thing it is less faff than trying to arrange a hire car and driving on the opposite side of the road to England. Let someone else take the strain of negotiating unfamiliar roads and language. And so it was that on a holiday to Kefalonia more than a decade ago, we took a trip over to Ithaca. As on most coach trips you are given some free time at some point during the day to explore. I use this time to photograph the things that catch my eye such as this enormous bottle of liquid amber on the top of the steps of a shop in the Kióni marina…

home thoughts from abroad

Home thoughts from abroad is a new series on Travel Words featuring a single photograph that reminds me of a country visited and showing something that uniquely identifies it as being ‘abroad’.

Kioni Village on Ithaca

A birthday treat from one island to another involved a ferry and a coach. Narrow roads curving around tight bends with no barriers. The mountain on one side, the sea on the other. Eyes closed. Stopping for coffee and a stroll beneath shady trees to keep cool. A fishy lunch down by the harbour with skinny feral cats weaving between your legs. Hot, tired and happy at the end of the day.

home thoughts from abroad

Home thoughts from abroad is a new series on Travel Words featuring a single photograph that reminds me of a country visited and showing something that uniquely identifies it as being ‘abroad’.

Studios to let

This photo takes me back to the Greek islands with their whitewashed buildings draped in bougainvillea and lemon trees in the large terracotta pots; blue skies and heat. The smell of sun-cream and cloudy ouzo; grilled sardines; octopus stew; crispy calamari.  Ice cold beers poured into ice-rimmed glasses taken from the freezer. Lying by the pool. Slow swimming to cool off. Gentle waves slapping lazily onto the shore. Eating in tavernas by the shore-line in the still warm cloak of darkness, candles flickering, bouzouki melodies in the night…

1971: Old men gathered around playing chess or draughts. Smiling brown faces greeting the arriving ferries from Piraeus. Dark moustaches. Equally dark eyes. Donkeys swaying up steeply cobbled streets. Dancing on a penny-sized dance floor to the Rolling Stones. Camping on the beach. Blue roofs of Santorini. Windmills of Mykonos. Athens and the Plaka district where I purchased leather-thonged sandals. Twice. Souvlaki – sliced lamb with onions and peppers wrapped in pitta bread with a yogurty sauce. The tang of Retsina and thick white yogurt sweetened with golden honey; dark and bitter Turkish coffee. Sticky baklava, licking fingers. Sand and salt in the hair. Spanish guitars around a camp fire. My youth…

home thoughts from abroad

Home thoughts from abroad is a new series on Travel Words featuring a single photograph that reminds me of a country visited and showing something that uniquely identifies it as being ‘abroad’.

Fishing off Drapano Bridge a 650m long stone bridge at the entrance of the capital

Argostoli is the capital of Kefalonia with a population of 14,000 inhabitants. Argostoli stands on the far end of the natural bay surrounded by mountains and verdant forests. Beautiful Venetian buildings used to adorn the town before they were destroyed along with the entire Argostoli and other villages of the island from the major earthquake of 1953.
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