Boxing Day in Cotswolds 


To my opinion, travelling is the reflection of who you are, how you spend your life, the dynamics of your personality. 

I have had the chance to have parents that gave me the wings to fly and people who seeded the taste for good food and drinks, luxurious hotels and top destinations. Living in Greece for 5 years was another reason to love travelling. Crete and Santorini were home for four and respectively,  one years. Sea, food and hotels was the perfect combination for an exquisite lifestyle. Daily swimming, sea food for diner and wandering the narrow streets of the old town of Rethymnon was the least common way to spend a day of my life where in Crete. Chania and Heraklion were weekend or days off destinations. Restaurants and taverns gave me the sense of life, both for the decor and the culture of the place: traditional plates mixed with classics and minimalists gave a blend of flavours that only Greeks could offer you. My favourite restaurant has been Avli, a fine restaurant where fish dishes and traditional Cretan meze coexisted. Now I can see besides a wonderful venue both during the wintertime for the Carnival event or during the summertime to be spent in the gardens with white washed table cloths and bougainvillea in the background, it developed a cooking school. I wish I lived there again, to feel the time, to take time for myself, no rush and no hustle: to enjoy history, gastronomy and the pleasantries of life. Another experience was St George Lycabettus, where I spent a night in the presidential suite, viewing the mount Lycabettus and Acropolis. Lights, champagne, views, fine tastes and history. 

Myconos was my first holiday, a real escapism to the famous island host of extravagant and parties of gays and lesbiens. For the first time I saw these kind of genders live. I went to Pierrot bar, their nest, what an excitement for me. In 2002 this was a wow factor for me. Paradise beach was a party beach, with music, people dancing at 4pm on the bar and dancing in the water, as an extended dance floor.

Santorini restaurants were a must to experience. From Oia to Perivolos, the island is a gourmet venue: Ambrosia, Selini, The Nest, Koukoumavlo, 1889, the most appreciated and recommended places to eat. The hotel Astra Apartments and Suites facing the Skaros mount and the volcano, 400m above the sea level, where I spend my time daydreaming and working was a stepping stone for my taste education and art appreciation. A built-in, traditional Santorini hotel hosting art like paintings, glass works and signature designed rooms. Famous people were staying at Astra: artists, singers, designers. The owners were very friendly people, with acquaintances from all the backgrounds but which had one thing in common, glamourous lifestyle. Everyone was visiting the island in the summer for a couple of days of entertainment on the beach, where there was a beach bar, Wet, waiting for them with sunbeds and the Cyclades Sea. The nights were full of excitement, with dance, new friends and drinks till dawn at Enigma club in Fira. 
There is nothing related to the pictures I uploaded than the love for travelling, the love for life that I had then, curiosity and constant quest. I still like to discover new places, now it’s more a touristic approach, there are no new friends and no real excitement, no story just the story of the places I visit. It’s a silent trip and a sedate visit, whilst the times in Santorini and Crete were about me, I was actively discovering and experiencing everything, involved in every stretch of land I discovered and people I met which took part into my life and I remember every feeling for each of them. It was my lifestyle full of people, attractions and events. Now it’s just a walk with no interaction with no local and no time to relax. 

I spent the Boxing Day in Cotswolds and visited the picturesque village Bibury that is taking you back in time to fairytales with dwarfs or with Harry Potter. Low windows, honey-coloured stone houses, enchant the eye and tickle the imagination. If in seventeenth century these honey-coloured with steeply pitched roofs cottages were inhabited by the weavers who supplied cloth for fulling at Arlington Mill who are the nowadays inhabitants?

The difference between my then and now travelling is that the exposure I travelled with, opened myself and the shelter I am travelling right now is making all the fun. I guess I was more alive then in the motion and restless point of view but I am more aware now. 

26 years ago when Thema and Louise was released, I wouldn’t have understood it but now it revealed all the big themes and phases that I’ve been living so far: the awakening, the true self, self expression etc. 

I’ve just seen a movie made after the life and work of J.D.Salinger, Rebel in the Rye and thought about his book, The Catcher in the Rye which, when it was a mandatory reading in school I did not get a clue about what it was and how would I appreciate it now.

Linking details of my life with episodes I lived is not my favourite activity but I guess everything has a meaning and if past comes back to you this means you still have things to catch up with.

I’ve always had to catch up with something, to overcome the cultural gaps when living in another country, language barriers, social bridges. I am part of a sacrifice generation which did not have an own voice and experienced versions of self that did not necessarily expressed own’s way to live. The purpose was not truthful to the self and the act of rediscovery took almost twenty years. 

Still looking for my true self, my voice and purpose in life.

Coming back to Cotswold, I visited Bibury, a priviledged village, conserved over the years and remained faithful to the beginnings architectural style. Then, had a round in Cirencester and Stow on the Wold. Being in a hurry to see most of the top attractions in winter day, had to skip these two locations in favour to Bourton on the Water where visited the Birdland and dined. It was a pity did not have time due to the dark which was setting down and the heavy rain that started when we went to eat at a hotel pub we found on the riverside. 

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