I spent more than four years living in London, right on Europe’s doorstep, and I’m proud to say I did a big whack of travelling in that time. I went to France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Croatia, Greece and all over the United Kingdom.
But I left with a few regrets.
There are still so many places I want to travel to in Europe and a few I want to return to and see a different aspect. You could say I have unfinished business on the continent! So where would I go if I had the chance again? There are so many holiday gems to choose from.
I want to go back to the Greek Islands. Yes, I have been there. Kind of. I took a slow boat with Carmen from Athens to the magical volcanic island of Santorini in 2009 and we spent a wonderful week there.
The fact that we made it there at all was an achievement. We had only arrived in London six months before and had to scrimp and save the meagre income we made from our terrible jobs as a telemarketer and a shoe shiner to afford the trip to just one of the thousand plus islands Greece has to offer.
We thoroughly enjoyed Santorini though. We found a great place to stay right on the coast and sunned ourselves every day. We ate grilled seafood, drank peppery red wine and hired a scooter to roam all over the island. We skinny dipped at a beach with red volcanic sand, went on a boat trip out to the volcano and a classic little fishing village and watched the sun set over the Mediterranean. Bliss. Why wouldn’t I want to go again?
If I had the chance I would spend my time island-hopping and tick off all the big name islands, like Kos, Corfu, Rhodes and Crete. A few days on each would be great. Maybe a week! There are so many different things to see on each of the islands, not to mention to delicious food each specialises in. Not to mention the ouzo!
My favourite memory of my time on Sanorini was sitting with Carmen on a beach on a moonless night. A massive, floodlight lit cliff towered above us to the right while the ruins of a Minoan village behind us echoed the waves lapping the shore in front. You could really sense the ancient history of the place and understand why the Greeks invented so many myths about their surroundings. The Greek Islands are a magical place; no wonder I want to go back.