Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Take the ferry from Zakynthos to Peloponnese. Just 45 minutes from there!

Visiting this ancient Olympian site (8th century) a second time is still breathtaking. Stepping back in time engulfed in stories of loss, victory, greatness
and tragedy.

 The Olympic Stadium!

Bases of Zane (Zeus) posted the names, fines and incidence of cheaters in the games! 

Rocket Salad!
Praying Mantis joins us.
 And then the rain began! It's a downpour, but we  make it through the Olympic site and head back to our green cafe (from 8 years ago...) just in time!

The sheets of rain came down!

Zakynthos town

Zakynthos town is a bit enchanting. The Chapel of Dionysios the patron saint of the island, a charming town square and chapel, a quaint bay and a bustling street filled with shops, restaurants, museums and bars (not to mention gelato and World Cup soccer on every corner--even baklava flavor!)

Above town, the island offers another gorgeous area--Bochali Hill--and our favorite restaurant, The House of Latas, that not only provides the BEST crepes ever, but a sparkling view of the city below and a double rainbow day! We meet Bill, who works there. Coming from Athens, he's there daily working hard for the summer. When he finds out we're from California and sighs and says, "Ah, my dream." Ironically, we are thinking the same thing about this island. Traveling helps remind us about the things we take for granted.

But one thing is certain. Zakynthos is really a dream.
The three-day storm ended and the double rainbow began!

 At Latas, one of our favorite taverns

Loucomades--Greek donuts slathered in honey, cinnamon, sugar and chocolate, vanilla and caramel! Obsession! Add 5 lbs right now. So wonderful to share with friends.

Varakola-- Greek singers--from one to five in a flash. Authentic music. Guitar, mandolin, and a hilarious old guy in a hat! Kisses on the hand as he serenades.

Spartakos: Where Debbie first fell in love with veggie Mousaka...and any beautiful Greek-god like men henceforward called Mr. Mousaka!

Cruising the streets of Zakynthos town on a rainy day. 
More stories made in a  town like their own. 
Laughing and looking at life with a fresh perspective. 
Traveling can do that for you. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Zakynthos interior: the village life

As our beautiful villa is on the east coast, we make many drives across the island and into the interior. Mountainous, rural, more olive orchards, old churches, crumbling buildings, hikes in the rain plus super narrow roads through town that seem to go nowhere (but thanks to Google Maps, they do!)

 The villages are tiny and charming and quiet. So many stone buildings left in rubble after the 1953 earthquake that destroyed 90% of the structures.We find a reconstructed church--build from 16th-century churches that tumbled in the earthquake. It seems now, that pigeons have come to roost.

How nature can shine joy or sadness, bring change to a place.

 Cemeteries are small. Graveside flowers, wine and olive oil in honor of the lost. 

 It's a mix of old and new and cats and cats and cats. In Giia, we get a fantastic view of the valley below to the east and a delicious lunch at "the best view on the island" tavern. Owner is a bit cranky--doesn't really want to deal with my attempts at ordering in Greek until he accidentally spills a burger on us...and with that, we're friends. He's excited that we're from California as he lived in New York for a while. He's come home to build this tavern with his father, yet he discusses the difficulties of running a business in Greece. Just one of many locals who give us the sad truth of this country's struggling economy and infrastructure.

He serves us a beautiful lunch- thick, sweet Greek wine (all made local...everywhere!) warm dolmades, local Zakynthos olive oil cheese, tiropitas (cheese pies) and a fantastic view below us. Grapes drip off vines off the patio and a swing allows us to find the rhythm of this place--high above the ocean, overlooking the green valley and churches on the middle of an island in the Ionian.

 Chapel in the Cave of St. Nicholas. Rain did not permit!

One of my Greek boyfriends.