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Monday, November 18, 2013

…And I have decided I would rather start with what is first in my mind. That sure is Greece.

Classical Greek literature was my first connection with Greece. And as we often love to see places that we have read about a lot, I had always a desire to go to Greece. Later, while spending my long days of summer in my apartment in Switzerland, I saw some travel journals about Greek Islands on TV Channels. And my traveller’s foot itched a little.
Greece travel thus had these two different aspects in my mind. It is a place of rich history , myth and literature, the cradle of European civilization. But it is also a place worth visiting just because of its breathtaking natural beauty.
Yes, it was a long cherished desire, but I am usually not in a hurry to fulfill my “long cherished desires”. They are too many and sometimes quite costly. But the current EU visa rules and cheap flight options did the real magic. With a Swiss residence permit, we no more need to make separate visas for other EU countries. Easy Jet was really good. We had paid much more on many flights that provided less leg space and reliability in terms of schedule. In terms of leg space, the most crumpled flight of my life was the one from Copenhagen to Aarhus, which as far as I remember was on Scandinavian airlines. The worst reliability in terms of schedule is of course from American Airlines. Never did I board a flight from Chicago without the flight time and gate being changed. Once they cancelled our flight and did not care to give a rebooking until after two days, thus ruining our holidays.
But the most exciting aspect of our vacation in Greece was the cruise on Mediterranean Ocean. While living in Puerto Rico, we used to see many cruise ships coming to San Juan. We were really tempted to cruise the Caribbean. But my husband’s busy schedule didn’t let us fulfill this wish. I sent it to the long inventory of “long cherished desires”. After coming to Switzerland this year, we learnt about this cruise from some of the Indian families here. I started planning.
It was just the beginning of summer and we could book a cruise in the summer holidays. But I am usually reluctant to go to hot places in summer. The summer holidays being the top tourist season, the prices, heat and crowd are at their highest. I rather looked for a cruise in October. I was lucky to get a low price offer on a flight close to a cruise schedule in October. It also happened to be the beginning of Autumn break at my daughter’s school.

So finally, the plan was set. We would fly to Athens. From Piraeus port in Athens, we would take the cruise next day. It would take us to three Greek islands and Turkey. We would then return to Athens, spend two days and one night there and take the evening flight from Athens to Geneva.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Back to blogging and back in Switzerland

It has been quite some time now that I have posted in my blog. I started writing as a Freelance writer in Yahoo Contributor Network and later Yahoo Voices and some other sites also. But I feel tired of writing according to other people's requirements.
So I am back to blogging.
And what a lot of travelling I have done during this gap!
I have been to Chicago and New York and the Niagara Falls. I have lived in the cozy Midwestern city of Saint Louis, Missouri. I have also lived in Puerto Rico, the enchanting Island of the Caribbean. I have come back to Switzerland, travelled to Austria, and spent my dream vacation in Greece.

And here I am sitting in a very cloudy day on my couch recollecting small details of my travels.

I would never forget the crazy roads of Puerto Rico, the beautiful Atlantic ocean, the beach walks at the Isla Verde beach,Carolina, view of the walled city of San Juan from the top of San Cristobel Castle or the exotic pirate drinks that we drank in coconut shells while watching the beautiful sunset in Rincon.

My tomatoes in my backyard garden in Evansville
Then suddenly emerges before my eyes the image of the very quite backyard of my house in Evansville, Indiana. All my tomatoes have ripened and the plants are about to lie down.The Oak and Maple trees are shedding their leaves as it is late Autumn. The lonely bench between the two maple trees is waiting for my little daughter and me to sit down and finish our snacks of yoghurt and fruits...while we watch the squirrels collecting all the nuts that they can before winter comes.

And how can I ever forget the city that felt so much like the home I desire? Saint Louis was the perfect combination of all that I loved about US living.

But while I am saying this, I am in the place that I have loved most. The Swiss Riviera, the twin towns of Montreux and Vevey is the place I can call home (beside my original home) as I have spent most part of my last 10 years here. Although, life here has changed over the years and I have been disillusioned quite a few times when I returned here this year, I still love to live here.

And I have just returned from the golden Greece of my dreams. It was really a dream vacation in the Mediterranean.

So here I am, toying with all the images in my mind and trying to decide where to begin....