The Unbearable Lightness Of Being Greek

by Lena

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Proud, passionate, honest & free…

welcome to the Greek Soul…

I have lived for a couple of years in Cyprus, in the late nineties, but have never visited Greece.

This chapter of my 4 month journey won’t be about the places I’ve seen, it will be about the people and the life I was fortunate enough to share with them.

Santorini greeted me with rain… of course it did… I am the rain child.

I was lucky enough to spend time with Joanna and her friends. Joanna is an incredible writer and website designer, (she came up with the title for this post) who lives away from the main city. We lost time in our conversations about love, life and culture. Although I have a Russian Soul, I understand the Greek Soul so much more now, because of her.

There is no middle ground, they go all the way or not at all. Greek soul is full of dignity, class and poise. They might be loud at times, just like the Russians are, but it’s because there’s no pretence. They either like you or don’t, they won’t put a fake smile on. Greek soul has no time for that.

They laugh with their whole being, they take their time and don’t rush through life.

Greeks truly know how to savor and enjoy every moment.

Joanna and I shared great food and laughs at different places in Santorini. One of them was Pirouni

It’s a wonderful little gem with great food and stunning views. There, she introduced me to her friend Kostas, who is an incredible chef.

Kostas has an eagle tattoo. When I asked what it means, he replied “Freedom… I am free”

Yes he is… The Greek soul will never be captured! It will rather soar above the chaos of political and economic crisis, with pride, dignity and love, than be captured in a cage full of lies.

I spend a lot of time at Ethnic bar with another friend of Joanna’s – Gabi. She is a gorgeous bar-tender there. We laughed, drunk, shared little stories from our lives and I danced on an absolutely empty dance floor, barefoot…

that’s freedom to me.

Joanna, Kostas & Gabi, explained that life on this island is a double-edge sword – people here have a love-hate relationship with the enigma, by the name of Santorini.

I got a little taste of what Kostas calls freedom… got a ride on his motorcycle ~ wind & road…


There are so many cliché ways to encapsulate what it is, that makes a Greek…

most of those clichés are just plainly untrue and insulting. Want to summarize a true Greek in a few words?… Not possible!

It’s a complex nation with incredibly generous and kind people.

Hospitality of Greeks is unmatched! They will open their doors for you and treat you like a family.

Hearing Greek language made me remember a few phrases from my time in Cyprus. At 14 I translated a few things between a Russian businessman and one of the biggest mob guys in Cyprus, who had two guys with machine-guns on both sides, at all times.

But hey, all the clubs in Larnaca, had green light for me, because this mob guy (who’s name will remain a mystery) was the owner.

Isn’t this exactly what teenagers usually do? What did you do at 14?

You see, at my fourteen, I looked 18 with an aura of late twenties and only 1 visit to Cyprus per month, from my mom.

You might say, but what about the Ouzo? Well, what about it?

Yes, they drink it, but a Russian, drinks Ouzo and Tsipouro simultaneously…

Greeks are incredibly hardworking people! Guys from Live in Athens work day & night, in order to transform your stay in Athens into a life of a true Greek. What they offer is truly unique. They want you to feel as if you actually live in Athens, not just visit, like a tourist does at some hotel. Everything in their apartments is hand-made with care and love. This incredible team of young Greeks, pour their souls into what they do. You can feel it as soon as you enter your apartment…

They spend months, trying to choose the absolute best for their apartments… From plants to mattresses.

When you walk into the apartment, you are home.

My 1 bedroom apartment had a huge patio, where I savored my favorite Loukoumades, while watching sunset and the lights of The Acropolis…

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By the way, make sure you get to The Acropolis by 8 am. in order to escape the sea of tourists and have all of it to yourself and maybe only a few other people.

Actually, walking in Athens in the early morning is a real treat … no people, no hassle. It’s just you, the city and the morning sun…

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make sure you pay a visit to the greatest outdoor movie theater in the world …

But I guess a true highlight of my Athens stay was meeting a Poet-Sandal-maker to the stars… well, actually his son, Pantelis…

welcome to a truly unique experience in Athens…

“The Poet Sandal-maker of Athens”

The energy in this hidden gem oozes with history and shadows of all the icons that visited this place…

Lenon, Callas, Kennedy-Onassis, to name a few.

This place is full of beautiful art and creative vibe. I got the “Sophia Loren Sandal” … what can I say… I’m a fan.

The only souvenirs I usually take from countries are photos, but I just had to get my very own Melissinos sandals…

If you want a unique gift from Greece, go there. Marvel and breath all that Melissinos family has to offer.

I shared a great conversation with Pantelis. We talked about Theatre, Art and New York… that’s right! He lived there for 10 years.

My visit to Melissinos store, reminded me of my time at the Artistic restaurant in Morocco.


It was time to say goodbye to Greece and travel from Athens to Patras by bus, in order to catch a “super-fast ferry” to Bari, Italy

It turned out it was 15 hours of insane turbulence and that “super-fast” was actually “super-late” … to be exact, it was 2 hours late, because of weather conditions. Glad I had my own cabin…

I will forever remember Greece…

Love, Passion




 The woman behind the words