I first travelled to Greece in 1984. It was the start of an enduring love of the country and it's way of life. In the 25 years since my first holiday on the island of Kos I have spent so many memorable holidays there that I feel as though it is my second home. In 1987 and 88 I spent two of my best summers ever on the little Saronic island of Spetses with my sister. I still laugh when I remember being deposited unwittingly at the tiny jetty in Kosta at 6am, dragging our huge suitcases noisily behind us. Then having to jump onto a beautiful little caique, worried that our wardrobes-on-wheels would drag us overboard as we leapt on, for the short journey across the mediterranean sea, to the island. I recall us gasping with wonder at the sight of the imposing grandeur of Hotel Poseidon, majestic beside the beautiful Dapia, a cosmpolitan cobbled harbour lined with glamorous boutiques. There are no cars on the island so we were taken to our, very basic, 18-30s hotel by horse and cart with our baggage wedged in around our feet. My first impressions of Greece were truly idyllic.
During those holidays I vowed that I would one day buy a little house in Greece and I spent many hours back in London looking through estate agents' photos dreaming, window shopping. Back then I had no way of raising enough money on my then first-job wage at a small publishing house in Kensington. So I returned, many magical times, to that pine clad, mystical little island - the setting for one of my most favourite books The Magus by John Fowles (who then lived on Spetses).
My sister and I had some adventures there... another story!! When my partner and I returned a few years later it's allure was still as powerful. Yet I haven't been back there for maybe ten years... I wonder if it has changed?