A week in Skiathos, an island off the coast of Greece, was like a week on another planet. The sunshine was clear and bright, as if it had been focused into its brilliance through a huge lens or prism. So different from the hazy, diffused light of London.
The air smelled of sea salt and pine resin. Soft pine-needles cushioned my feet on the hard, red, rocky earth.
I spent a lot of time sitting on our small balcony staring at the horizon. The Mediterranean rippled slowly towards shore, like someone was smoothing the creases out of a silky, indigo tablecloth. In one moment it was velvety blue, then immediately after it shone cerulean like the sky.
In the distance floated hazy mountains with clouds slowly gathering at their summits. There would be torrential rain that night. Again, so different from London rain. It fell violently; the only thing slowing it down was terminal velocity.
On our first morning a pomegranate washed up on shore at my feet. That, I think, was a sign (of what? I don't know...)
How happy we were as we ate olives and tzatziki, baked aubergine (eggplant), and feta cheese. The local retsina (white wine) was fresh, crisp and light.
As we packed our bags, which were as full of beach sand as clothes, we resolved to take an early autumn trip to Greece every year.
"Greece then ... is a land so ancient that it is like wandering in the fields of the moon." Virginia Woolf