Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Musical Memories” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the A to Z Blog. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading! ♥
Here it is!
The LAST DAY of the 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge!
We made it!
KUDOS TO EVERYONE!!
The time: Winter 1964/65
The place: London, Canada
Ancient history and architecture have fascinated me since childhood. It was my dream from early on to visit places like Egypt, Italy and especially, Greece. The movie, ‘Zorba the Greek’ fuelled this desire even more and hooked me on bouzouki music. It was a dark film, but I was captivated by the ending. When your whole world comes crashing down, what else can you do but dance and laugh? This is what the Greeks call ‘Kefi’ and I wanted to experience it.
Irish author Oscar Wilde was equally fascinated by ancient history and the Greek scholars. While an undergraduate at Oxford in 1877, he travelled to Greece and was so deeply moved by the experience, he wrote a poem about it. Can’t you just picture it? I could!
We explored much of Europe while living in Germany from July 1965 to August 1969, but my mother, the travel planner, had no desire to visit Greece. ‘Too far, too hot, too rugged”, she said. Imagine my disappointment!
In 1990, for my husband’s 40th birthday, we went to visit his family in Italy, near Bari. I could only get away for a couple of weeks (this was during my stressful ‘corporate slave’ period), but we made the best of it and toured all over the south, plus Rome and Pompeii. At Brindisi, I spotted a sign:
FERRY TO GREECE →
In my head, I was screaming ‘turn right!’ but knew we didn’t have the time. ‘Do you think we’ll ever get to Greece?’ I asked plaintively. ‘Maybe next time’, said hubby. Would there even be a next time?
Flash forward to the late 2000s: Hubby and I were discussing plans for our 40th anniversary in 2013. ‘Let’s go back to Italy’, he suggested. I haven’t seen my sister in a long time’. (She lives in a Roman suburb.) Well, no offence, but visiting his relatives didn’t excite me all that much. Noticing my lack of enthusiasm, he uttered the magic words: ‘And this time, why don’t we include a trip to Greece?’
From there, it snowballed. Greece was number one on the bucket list. Why couldn’t we accomplish number two as well? I hadn’t been back to my German birthplace since 1972 and desperately wanted to see it again. In the end, we came up with a month-long odyssey. Using Rome as our home base, we would first fly to Germany for 4 days, come back and stay in Rome for 4 days, then jet off to Athens for two whole weeks in Greece. (!) After that, Puglia (Bari area) to visit hubby’s brother, as well as my dearest friend of more than 40 years, who had moved there.
Was I excited? Is the Pope Catholic?
Our Greece itinerary consisted of 3 days in Athens, a 4-day Classical Land Tour and a 5-day Islands Cruise, stopping at Ephesus in Turkey and concluding with two nights on the island of Santorini.
Somebody pinch me!
The trip surpassed all expectations and those memories will stay with me forever. I’ve been writing travelogues, which you can view HERE. It’s a slow process, with hundreds of photos to sort, resize and label, but I hope to finish one of these years. The one problem with achieving your biggest dreams is that life becomes somewhat anticlimactic thereafter. The only cure is to move others to the top of the list.
Have you realized a life-long dream?
If so, how did you feel afterwards?
If not, do you think it is still achievable?
Looking forward to your comments!
As this challenge comes to an end, I want to thank you all for taking the time to share, visit, follow and comment. The response was so overwhelming, I’ve once again had a hard time keeping up and apologize for the late replies. It’s been a pleasure reading your interesting, informative posts and also making new friends. I fully intend to keep up with many of you and look forward to future interactions.
P.S. See you on May 8th for the “REFLECTIONS” post!
A big round of applause to the team!
A to Z Team 
The Doglady’s Den #AtoZChallenge 2017 Youtube playlist: