My Heart Belongs to Pelio

  I was born in Canada to Greek parents, and moved to Athens a little over 15 year ago. I was a young professional, looking for a change in my life, though I wasn’t quite sure what kind of change. Having lived in Canada as an adult, I was content with some elements of that environment, yet something was lacking, like I needed to fill a growing void.

  Now, after so many years in this country, I am still not sure whether I chose Greece, or it chose me… My experience as an offspring of Greek parents living on a distant continent was very common: I spent most of my summers as a child and teenager in my auntie’s home, by the sea, in a Greek village, in Pelio. Something quite like paradise: days spent on the beach, with family and friends; home-cooking and lengthy meals spent with siblings and cousins gathered around the familial table; long, restful siestas; joining friends in the evenings comparing life stories and telling tall tales at the café or taverna on the quay down the street from auntie’s.

  And most of all, I recall the characteristic scents while walking down the street in town: ground coffee beans being roasted; the smell of freshly-baked bread greeting me at the fourno’s doorstep; gardenia plants in the yard of every home, and jasmine trees lining the streets in the horio. These are all facets of reality - much like a dream - I remember embracing, as a visitor, every summer in Greece.
  Now, after all these years as an Athenian resident, I have grown accustomed to discovering beautiful locations within a close proximity to this bustling, sleepless city. My memories now consist not only of those idyllic summers, but also unique holidays all year round. For example, one can also enjoy that very same location mentioned above, Mount Pelio, in the winter. Have you ever experienced winter skiing with a view to the sea? It is a most singular sensation. Of course, Pelio is only one of thousands of places to visit in Greece. Is it the sea that attracts you or mountains? Good food and entertainment? Hiking and camping? Alternative tourism? Extreme sports?
  Look around, and I’m sure you will find exactly what you’re looking for, somewhere in Greece.
Nicole Stellos