I am pretty good at planning. For some time, I want to start from Kona, to swim in Socotra island, to pass by Fernando de Noronha and at the end to walk around Khiva. My wish is general, it depends of time and the huge amount of money, that’s why I expect to realize it in unknown future. Until then, just like that without any planning, I managed to board myself on an aircraft carrier, I have flown on a zeppelin and even I have entered the tower of flight control to convince myself that the airplanes are really moving as a small dots on the monitors. Often the greatest plans are falling apart dramatically: missed flights, and changes in the last second. Another time the good things are happening by chance.
Now, when I launched my blog the people are constantly asking me how I am planning and organizing my trips and I have decided to tell you. The procedure is standard and doesn’t change thru the years.
Summer Friends. The plan is to meet us early afternoon in Piraeus. To the port – everybody is coming by car when he can. We have a common decision – we will travel to this destination, to which the first ferry is scheduled. We are buying tickets and we know now – we will visit Santorini. We are sailing all night and early in the morning we are on the island. We welcome the sunrise on the deck, and we are observing with pleasure how the ship approaches the big rocks. It’s time to step off the ferry. Ready, steady, go, but because we didn’t know the destination we are going to, on the rooftop of our car we have two bicycles. And whilst the rest of the passengers are unloading their cars, I am coming on the island with two bikes – the most inappropriate transport for Santorini. The locals are staring at me, whispering something and we are starting to climb the hill with the tourists on their donkeys. We are loading the bikes and starting to look for a hotel. Without any success. We are gathering together on the rooftop of a building and wondering what to do. Then a huge hairy Greek man is approaching us and asking if we are Bulgarians. Yes, we are. Hearing the answer, he is giving us great rooms, because his wife’s mother is Bulgarian, and he even knows ten words in our language.
It’s time to take a walk around the island, to catch sunsets, to explore beaches. From every journey I am back home with several items – local music, food and a light and easy to care for souvenirs such as a jewel or a scarf. We are going for food, far away from the supermarkets. On the island the residents produce unique wine, from a special type of grape. Because of the lack of water, the grapes are drinking liquids from the condensation of their leaves. We are buying some vine from a local man and we are finding another. Old Santorinian is selling something green, which looks like a seagrass. Purely local, without etiquette or expiry date. We are buying immediately. In the jar there are caper leaves. Their flavour is richer and much more intense, than that of the capers. Then it took me years to find another place, from where I can buy this delicacy, but ones you try this taste is impossible to forget the pleasure of it.
Then the music, we find it in Pyrgos. Far away from the sea, but close to the heart of the island. From a small house sounds divine music. Slowly, touching and very Greek. The composer is Manos Hadjidakis – the man who perfectly catches the white and blue of Greece, the smell of purple flowers, the taste of fresh food and the panoramas with endless beaches and transforms them into a touching rhythm. We have a CD, and all we came for. The plan was to stay two days, we left after eight. Then we found tickets for the ferry to Paros. A person told us about green sign on the second turn after the port on the right-hand side, because there was supposed to be a wonderful hotel. We found it and it became our starting point to travel around beautiful Paros.
Basically, this is the way I am planning my travels. This happened fifteen years ago, but from then I did not change neither the system, the friends, or the important things we are searching for and finding. So, for those, who are asking constantly how, when and where, here is my recipe: I am planning quite simple: to be healthy, to work and to dream. Having all these, I will be able to plan everything else. For example, a journey with friends like the one I just told you about.