Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer in a Seaside Village in Greece

It's been very hot and humid in Greece this July. Summer in Greece is an experience that you tolerate... or...you wilt.
As the sun rises out of the sea, the village of Poulithra wakens.  The sound of the baker hawking baked goods from his truck is heard wafting over my balcony...
...as I take my cup of tsai apo tin vouno (wild mountain tea), read The International Herald Tribune, enjoy the regional sheep's milk yogurt with thyme honey and biscosti from the best bakery around.
The salty silky water beckons me to this secluded beach for a healing swim.
Then hunger beckons, which calls for a little horiataki salad, calamari and stuffed peppers and tomatoes by the seaside...
...with a good friend...
...under the shade of an olive tree...
...or umbrellas of the village taverna.
Then siesta time back at my room during the heat of midday...
...only to repeat this pattern in the evening at another beach...
...only to return to my room with a view of grandmother moon setting over the mountains and call it a night.
Kalinichta Poulithra.  Avrio will be another immersion course in relaxation.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Athens or London?

 Following your bliss isn't easy sometimes.  Sometimes it is downright difficult!

That's what I'm doing in London and Athens and further down into the villages of the Peloponnese...following a dream deferred that I didn't know I had until the dust of motherhood settled a little bit.

Forty plus years later, I've taken on the art of filmmaking in the digital age.
At my age, that ain't easy.  But it is said that the way to beat the onrush of old age dementia is to learn something new.

We're not talking crossword puzzles, (although they are an endless source of fun for my husband and me), but something new and difficult, to work your brain cell connections  in a way that forces growth of new neuro-pathways as in a foreign language or keeping up with the Kardashians...er...or in the wonders of micro technology...as in digital filmmaking.

So off to London I go to follow my favorite teacher Michael Rosenblum,  who teaches bootcamp courses in New York and London, on becoming a video journalist.  He believes that we all can report the news and journal about the world from wherever we may be, given we learn how to do it.

Much of what I spend time fumbling about with, is the techno stuff.  Drives me crazy. But I adore all the possibilities of telling a good story visually and audibly.  Makes my heart sing to bring to you some of the beauty I hear and see when I travel this lovely Mother Earth.  (Smell-a-vision must be just around the corner.)

Winston was right when he said it would be "blood, sweat and tears" shed for England.  I did all three while making this one-minute mini-doc, about a man I found 15 minutes before he went on stage to play his recorders, during a lunchtime concert at St. Pancras Church in central London.

The crush of the deadline met, the rush of the screening given two thumbs up by my favorite teacher and classmates, and the pleasure of meeting someone who was a stranger just minutes before and is now a very fond memory, is the cure for shyness that my inner doctor ordered.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  To push your limits just one step further than ever before, is living on the edge just a bit.  Enough for this goddess crone.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My sister from Travels with Persephone travelswithpersephone.blogspot.com 
awarded me a Versatile Blogger Honor - 
(I think that's what it is called)  

I'm suppose to rattle off seven random things about myself...so here goes...

1)    Looking through old photos on my old PC (which is why I have this old photo of me above taken somewhere in Peru)...in what else...a food market...look at my mona-lisa/cheshire-cat-smile...(and my very short haircut)...and you should be able to tell what makes me happy... shopping in produce markets all over the world...which gives me an idea to write a blog post with all the photos of me in markets...could be a big post though.

2)    I am a speaker and reader of several foreign languages, all mostly poorly, my English is getting worse and my  French is my best-est (and I now make up words), and one of my greatest faux pas was when I was 16 staying with a French family and they asked me if I had enough food.  I responded by saying, "Oui, je suis pleine", which means, "Yes, I am pregnant."  Most of the time now I am just confused and try everything...but I do understand menus very well.

3)    The schizo part of me is working on not having a total meltdown when the WiFi you were relying on doesn't work in that remote part of the world ...I know...very schizo of me.  Anyone have a solution?

4)    Did I ever tell you I am a flaming feminist environmentalist activist filmmaker educator traveler cultural addict?  Big time.

5)    Drumming with a group and dancing with the lights down low makes me happy happy.

6)    Bees, olive trees and roses and their elixers are my latest passions...

7)    I am a shaman (and YOU may be one too) ever on a spiritual path to balance the feminine and the masculine ways. Here I am (another very old photo) shopping in the shaman's market in one of my favorite cities in the world, Cusco, Peru.  Hanging in the doorway are some honkin' big dried llama fetuses, used in Despacho ceremonies.

Ciao bellos

Friday, March 2, 2012

Our Big COSTA Cruise

A couple of fall cruising seasons ago, my husband and I did something we've never done before...we went cruising...and we chose a cruise with COSTA Cruise lines, out of Genoa, Italy to the Western Mediterranean.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The idea of seeing Mediterranean ports from a ship felt appropriate, after all, these ports grew out of days of ocean travel.  The itinerary that I liked was the one that hit upon all the ancient highlights, starting from the port of departure where Christoph Colombo left Italia to sail the oceans blue, through the straits of Gibraltar and back.  We docked in Malaga, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisbon, Valencia and Barcelona.
These ships are big. How big you ask?  The COSTA Magica, which was our vessel for 10 days, holds 3500 passengers plus double that in crew to serve you.  And they serve you and serve you 24/7.  We also became students during the cruise, filling our wise old heads with more information than our elder bodies could absorb.  Sitting for hours, listening to even the most scintillating presenters, is difficult for seniors and juniors alike.  Throw in a few buffets between sessions...you get the picture.
Dining can be casual, buffet, snack bar, small fancy restaurant or big group dining with layers of seatings, in the main dining room, as seen in this photo above. You choose your menu and your table mates and order your beverages at each meal- all six of them!  It is a virtual floating feeding trough.
When in ports of call, your can choose from various optional day tours, which can be relatively short or up to 10 hours, based on length of stay in each port.  Arriving in Casablanca for instance, a long bus ride to the interior cities, such as Fez or Marrakesh, may take 4 hours each way on a bus with walking tours lasting a couple of hours at your destination.
Our draw to the cruise in the first place, was the added attraction of a fascinating Scientific American line-up of professors at the top in their fields of specialty, on topics of current scientific interest.  Here we are enjoying Dr. Jeannette Norden discuss Parkinson's disease of the human brain.
The very first gathering on board the COSTA Magica was an evacuation drill, complete with your personal flotation devices, found in the closet in your cabin.  You must read all the rules and regulations right after finding your cabin, and before you even unpack.  How to put on the vest, secure it, lights and whistles, and which stairway and deck position you dutifully go directly to, and stand in a line with your group... and listen up!  These will be your 158 fellow passengers in an emergency.
Here I am looking out over old Lisbon warehouses, as we find our berth in port for a long day. As I remember, there were a dozen stories on our ship with multiple elevators extending the heights, as well as 3 pools, 8 bars, a huge theater, several dance floors,  and a casino.  
As we were crossing the opening of the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, from Morocco to Portugal, we had rough water, and I clearly remember wondering if these floating cities ever flounder...how do they stay afloat?  But then, I know now that they can flounder at the helm of an idiot pilot.
Remember to say I love you... often... to your loved ones.  And buy travel insurance. 
Blessings to the families of the COSTA Concordia victims and survivors.