51 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2017, #MusicalMemories, Memoir, Music, Writing/Blogging

Musical Memories #AtoZChallenge 2017

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!

champage clinking glasses gif


ZORBA THE GREEK | #AtoZChallenge
Day 26, April 30

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.


Zorba the Greek, Oscar Wilde poem about Greece | #AtoZChallenge

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!


ZORBA THE GREEK | #AtoZChallenge Brindisi to Athens mapIn 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:


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?’


ZORBA THE GREEK | #AtoZChallenge trip to greece, Italy and Germany for 40th anniversaryFrom 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.

Best Regards,


thank you smiley

P.S. See you on May 8th for the “REFLECTIONS” post!

A big round of applause to the team!

A to Z Team [2017]
Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Alex J. Cavanaugh @ Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jeremy Hawkins @ Hollywood Nuts
Heather M. Gardner @ The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored Diary
John Holton @ The Sound of One Hand Typing
J Lenni Dorner @ Blog of J. Lenni Dorner

The Doglady’s Den #AtoZChallenge 2017 Youtube playlist:
(updated daily)

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Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube
Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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51 thoughts on “ZORBA THE GREEK | #AtoZCHALLENGE (Z) #MusicalMemories

  1. I remember Greece as it was yesterday, friend D … one day I will see the blue sea again, listen to the music, eat the food and see the beautiful/ handsome people again … and sit at my favourite spot in Naphlio … Love, cat.

  2. My dreams keep evolving, as do I. good AtoZ 🙂 enjoyed the wide array you introduced. I remember watching this movie, and yes, being amazed at the celebration of Life & being alive in the midst of ..well, nothing!

  3. I’ve never seen the movie, but did enjoy the clip. Such an amazing life of travel you’ve had! I loved everything about this post 😉

    1. Thanks for dropping in, diedre. 🙂 It’s true, I’ve been spoiled and the travel bug is ever present. If I could afford it, I’d rarely be home. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  4. My mother in law, who did so little traveling in her life, did manage to travel to Italy not once, but twice (both times with a tour group) while her husband was still alive. It was the highlight of her life. For me, I’ve wanted to visit Australia since I was a little girl. Since, later in life I developed a fear of flying (and wasn’t too crazy about flying before the fear shut me down), it will take a bit of effort on my part. But don’t all worthwhile things require effort?

    1. Italy, like Greece, is one of the most memorable places to visit, especially if you like history. 🙂 Australia is on my bucket list, too. A pity it’s so far away! Hope you get there, one day.

  5. Debbie,

    I like how you tied in a movie, new-to-me, with your “Z” post and dream vacation. I had a dream to see the lighthouses along the Maine coastline and on our 2004 vacation, we seized the chance to see everyone that crossed our path. It was a magical trip and one that will forever live in my mind.

    No worries with being overwhelmed and having trouble keeping up. I’m right there with you, girl! Congratulations for finishing the A2Z race with me. It was a lot of fun strolling down your memory lane through mewsic. Now, I’m gonna do a little catching up with you! 😉

    1. That movie cemented the idea of visiting Greece in my mind. 🙂 I’ve never been to Maine but can imagine what a great trip it must have been, Cathy. And fresh lobster! Thanks for your support all month. Catching up has been difficult for most of us.

  6. How wonderful and what a lovely way for your dream of visiting Greece to come true! I’d love to visit the country sometime. Enough friends have been tempting me with their gorgeous photos, especially Santorini.

    One of my dreams was to meet the Dalai Lama and that happened. I can’t even describe how exciting that feels! But of course I have more dreams… and a long list.

    Debbie, thank you for this absolutely fabulous trip through memory lane with you. Hugs!

    1. I hope you get to Greece, Vidya. It’s all amazing and Santorini is a real paradise. ♥

      I remember reading about your meeting with the Dalai Lama. How wonderful to have that dream come true. Those memories will stay with you, always. 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed the theme. Thanks for your support during the month! ((HUGS))

  7. Glad you got there in the end! I’ve always wanted to visit those fantastic ruins, hopefully one day. I even have some Greek ancestry, going way back. It was great fun reading your posts, enjoying the music and sharing in your memories – just sorry I didn’t get to more!

    1. I hope you get to Greece, Nick. It’s truly an amazing experience! 🙂 Thanks for your support during the challenge. Everybody slowed down as the month progressed and I regret missing many of your posts as well. Your characters are fascinating!

  8. What a fantastic trip – Italy and Greece are both on my bucket list – there’s a cruise that includes both that I plan to spend my inheritance (that won’t come for another decade!) on. I think it would be amazing to see. Loved doing the challenge with you again Deb and I’m so relieved to be back to my three posts a week schedule again for May!

    1. Italy and Greece are both amazing, Leanne. You have something great to look forward to! 🙂
      I enjoyed your challenge posts as well, but regret that I fell so far behind with visits later in the month. At this point, even doing one post a week seems like too much. LOL Thanks for your support.

  9. Another wonderful post, Debbie! I wanted to be there dancing on the beach with them. The energy is infectious. Hmm, now I’m craving souvlaki. Haha! Glad you realized your dream to go to Greece and you enjoyed your trip so much. That’s wonderful! I am looking forward to my trip to Ireland and Scotland this May. Travel is such a great thing and so special. Congratulations on completing another challenge. We made it! Yayyy!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Cathy. 😀 Travel is definitely special. Too bad it’s so damn expensive, otherwise, I’d hardly ever be home. Your trip sounds amazing! Have a wonderful time.

      Yes, we did it! Thanks for your support during the month.

    1. Kefi is a wonderful thing, Mary Lou. 😀 I’m glad you realized your lifelong dream as well. What a feeling, eh? Thanks for your support during the month. Cheers!

  10. That was an amazing end to a brilliant A-Z series. I enjoyed the music and your memoirs both, I also used your playlist to read other posts by. Such lovely songs you included. Thank you for the thought and effort you put into your posts, reading them has been a pleasure.

    Congratulations on completing the A-Z!

    All the very best always,

    1. That is high praise indeed and I thank you, Nila. Your theme was equally enjoyable to me. I’m glad you enjoyed the playlist! Best wishes to you, as well and see you again, soon.

  11. What a fabulous journey and a wonderful way to end the challenge. I took the ferry from Brindisi to Greece in 1969. Unfortunately all my photos were slides that faded over the years. Thanks for sharing your pics.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Denise. 🙂 How aggravating to lose your photos! There’s a lot more about Greece all over this blog if you’re interested. Thanks for your support during the A to Z. Your Benelux travelogues were fabulous!

  12. So happy for you that you ended up in Greece at last! Was it everything you imagined?

    I am lucky enough to have fulfilled two of my dreams: living in San Diego, CA and driving a Mustang convertible. I feel very blessed.

    Congratulations on completing a fabulous A-Z challenge! Hope to see you on my blog throughout the year from time to time!


    PS: where did you get that date from? May 8 for a reflection post? I was thinking of doing one, but I didn’t know there was going to be an official date.

    1. Greece was everything I had dreamed about and SO MUCH more! 😀 It truly was the trip of a lifetime and sometimes, it seems like it was all a dream.

      Being familiar with San Diego, I can understand that dream. How wonderful that it came true! If I could afford it, I would buy a winter home there. Sigh… Mustangs are beautiful cars. Enjoy!

      Thanks and I will definitely see you around the Blogosphere. Cheers! Uf Widerluege!

  13. One of my dreams is to do a mediterranean cruise – Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Israel, Turkey, Egypt. Someday I will.
    Enjoyed your AtoZ musical series.

    1. That sounds like a wonderful cruise, Suzy! 🙂 Thanks for your support during the month. Sorry to get back to you so late – pleading internet fatigue. I enjoyed your quotes very much.

  14. Thanks Debbie for a month of golden oldies that brought back many memories of my youthful past too. I remember this movie Zorba the Greek , especially the dance…..Hope to keep in touch the rest of the year too…Cheers!

    1. Thank you for your support over the month. I will back to more interactions after getting rid of this internet fatigue. 😛 See you soon!

  15. Sorry, the fastest finger in the west didn’t allow my brain to finish the post! LOL:…
    Loved having you here for the few days! Too few! And perhaps next time, we can arrange a tour together….that’s a dream, no?

    1. I was so happy to see you again and regret we didn’t have the time or the energy to take that trip to Capri. I’m sure we will make it back to Italy at least once more, but don’t know when. Taking a tour with you would be a lot of fun. Let’s plan on it! 😀

  16. I know it will be a relief to you, but I will miss this! I enjoyed every minute of it, and paralleling our experiences as well as the songs to go with them!
    As for Zorba, I had to thank my Dad for my interest in Greece. As far as I can remember I always loved reading Greek mythology (Roman mythology was a bit of an anti-climax–Egyptian was boring and the northern myths were totally uninteresting for me, a southerner!
    Dad had been a POW in Greece for six years, and he had been able to differentiate between his sad plight and the Greeks he came to know, with positive results, as far as I can remember. He came back to Italy knowing Greek, which helped him when he finally made it to Canada. (found a job in a Greek restaurant 😉 )
    So, whenever we heard that song played, Dad would dance it as it should be danced, and I would watch fascinated.
    Just think….over 55 years have passed! Where has time gone?

    1. Thanks for sharing that fascinating story about your Dad, Bianca. Good for him, learning the Greek language! I found that an impossible task, but thankfully, everyone involved in the tourist trade speaks English. I know what you mean about the time. We’re so damn old! LOL I very much appreciated your visits during this challenge and the chance to reminisce with you. There will be new content here, eventually, once I get over this internet fatigue. Memoirs are a huge part of it, so stay tuned. 🙂

  17. Hi Debbie – I loved Zorba the Greek, and Greek food and Greece – I haven’t seen as much as I’d like – but you’ve given me food for thought … wonderful trip that must have been … I’d love to see more of the world … down under – one day .. cheers Hilary

    Congratulations on letting us join you on your memory tour of life along the way – http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/z-is-for-zebra-zoo-and-zedland.html

    1. It was an amazing trip, Hilary! 😀 If I lived as close to Greece as you do, I’d go again and again. Australia would be amazing, too. Thanks for your support all month. I’ll be sure to keep in touch. Loved your theme!

  18. YAY! You got to check another from your bucket list. That’s always exciting. Congrats on completing the challenge. It was great reading your personal stories. I’m looking forward to having you return to battle of the bands 😉

    1. It was incredibly exciting, Mary. 😀 Tough act to follow, though. Thanks for you support all month! Looking forward to rejoining BOTB on May 15.

  19. What a great trip! I remember when the Zorba film came out though it was many years later that I saw it. The music from the film was played everywhere. The version that I had on record was the one by Herb Alpert and the TJ Brass. I remember my good friend Dan and I listening to that album a lot.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. It was an incredible trip, Lee! 😀 We’ll never be able to top it. I remember the Herb Alpert version, too. It had a faster tempo. Love the trumpets!