• hiawynoram

Falling in Love with Greece

Updated: Jul 26, 2019

After Sicily we went to Parga on the north west coast of Greece, south of Albania, a couple of hours on a boat to the island of Paxos and Anti Paxos. It was the last week of May and the weather was warm, the air clean and sweet, the sky a startling blue, while the sea and its white sand bed, lit by a radiant sun, was almost transparent. We found the rugged beauty of this part of Greece spellbinding and our love affair with Greece and the Greek people began.

Having said that, it was some distance off the coast of Anti Paxos which is a tiny island barely inhabited, where I nearly drowned. The boat we were on dropped anchor some way from it so that anyone who wanted to dive/jump off and swim in the crystal waters could do so. I couldn't wait. Misjudging my fitness and lung capacity I couldn't resist swimming to the beach which looked white and idyllic. Going was one thing but swimming back was another. I began to lose it, to simply not be able to do the strokes. I was sinking. I called out for help and luckily there was a small group of young people nearby. I can't remember their nationality but it wasn't English. One of the young men heeded my cries and came and supported me all the way back to the stern of the boat where I could climb back on board. The Greek overseer of the swimmers was not impressed - terrified probably that one of their passengers might have drowned. Having thanked my rescuer profusely, I sat down on one of the steps on the boat and got my breath back. When I returned to Steve, sitting in his dark glasses, staring out to sea wondering where I was, he was as unimpressed as the Greek had been. He tells the story to this day with a shudder and although I still swim in the sea wherever and whenever, I am a lot more cautious about getting out of my depth.


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