Greece is always a very special adventure
Greece is always a very special adventure. Again and again I am fascinated by the diversified landscape: that also happens when I visit the same place again. As a child I spent almost every summer in my Greek great-grandmother’s village in the mountains of Arcadia (Peloponnese). After I became friends with the whole village on my own, I waited almost every day for a farmer and his donkey. Then I could always ride it on the way to the barn. Time and again the farmer told me stories, fairy tales and myths from the region. That is one of my favourite childhood memories.
The loveliest picture from Greece is the mountainous countryside of Peloponnese, often also with sea view. But also the caldera of the island Santorin is in my mind’s eye when I think about Greece. Together with Klaus Bötig, I wrote my first travel guide about Santorini for DuMont publications. Therefore, the island is especially close to my heart. My first travel report was for the Greece newspaper about the island of Paros. That was also an experience that will always remain in my heart.
Time and again the farmer told me stories, fairy tales and myths from the region
In autumn I’m always excited about a warm Greek fish soup (psarosoupa). When I go to Chios again, I want to taste handmade noodles [cherisia] with fresh tomato sauce. When I visit my grandmother, I always look forward to eating zucchini blossoms from the garden filled with cheese, but also zucchini balls baked in the oven and served with tzatziki.
For many years I haven’t bought any souvenirs, because they wouldn’t fit in my flat anymore. But on almost every trip I take traditional dishes with me. For example, the sweet Visanto wine from Santorini or the unique tuna from the island Alonissos. Apart from that, I sometimes find a place in my suitcase for honey and tea from the mountains, homemade marmalade or spoon sweets made from fruit or vegetables [glyko tou koutaliou] and, of course, cheese, which has its very own special taste in many regions: Greece doesn’t just have feta cheese.
Almost every year for me, Santorini, the Halkidiki peninsula, including Thessaloniki and, of course, the Peloponnese are on my travelling agenda. I’m always looking forward to those three. What I want to explore more are the mountains of central and northern Greece, where there is also a lot of snow in the winter and accordingly a few ski pistes and where you can go hiking in autumn and spring. Furthermore, there are a few Greek islands that I haven’t visited yet, including Thassos, Psara and Kimolos.