images of Greece
Rocky cliffs, white-washed buildings,
endless gold-white sunlight. But of the three, the sunlight
is most memorable. You can't visit Greece without feeling
the abundance of light, and the pure glaze of sun is
everywhere--on the land, the crumbling Pantheon, the
dark green of the olive groves, the water itself. It's
said that nowhere the light is purer, brighter, more
distinct than the light of Greece.
Revisit Greece again and the sense
of light and white gives way to shades of blue and green.
The Greek landscape is easily divided into three elements--water,
land and sky.
Just like the pure light, the water
is everywhere, gleaming, reflecting, connecting island
to island and man to sea. But it's not just the proliferation
of water that sets Greece apart. Even the tap water here
tastes different--fresher, cleaner, untouched by life.
Perhaps it's this startling purity
that gives Greek relationships such passion and intensity.
Even today Greek families are exceedingly close. Fathers
remain patriarchal, many women put marriage before work,
and daughters are raised to coddle their men.
Travelers with Disabilities
Greece is not going to be easy for travelers
with disabilities, particularly for those who travel with wheelchairs.
Many of the islands are small, hilly, and accessible only by
boat. Streets can be cobbled or rutted. Houses and shops set
apart by steep steps--sometimes by the hundred! However, with
that said, Greece is definitely worth potential discomfort.
While travel may be difficult, Greece delights
the senses. Few places are as warm and fragrant as Greece.
Arrive in Simi and you'll smell the sun kissed herbs wafting
from the rolling hills--hints of sage, wild thyme, and oregano.
There is always music somewhere--tunes from a café,
a lone man playing a guitar, the lap of sea and creaking of
boats. Swimming is a particular pleasure in Greece. The Aegean
sea isn't just warm, but very salty, making the disabled swimmer
feel unusually buoyant.
Best of all, Greeks are practical and thoughtful,
and particularly sensitive to those with special needs. Most
Greek people will respect a disabled traveler's independence
while remaining ready and willing to assist when needed.
A side note--while Greece may not be very
accessible today, with the Olympics being hosted in Greece
in 2004 many improvements are currently being made to allow
the disabled traveler better access everywhere.