“Hydra – An island built by a race of artists. Everything miraculously produced out of nothingness. Each house related to the other, as though by an unseen architect. Everything white as snow and yet colourful. The whole town is like a dream creation: a dream born out of a rock. At every step of the way the picture changes... Winter will come with roses, melons, grapes. The soil is like dried blood.”
Henry Miller, First Impressions of Greece, 1939

“What is it that gives a frontier its magic? Not the fact that it is a territorial or political boundary, for these are artificial, dictated by history... Perhaps it is language that gives to the crossing of a frontier its definitive flavour of voyage. Whatever the answer, the magic is there. The traveller's heart will beat to a new rhythm, his ear pick up the tonalities of a new tongue; he will examine the strange new coinage with curiosity. Everything will seem changed, including the air he breathes... That rosy old satin dawn, sending its warm pencils of light through the ravines of the hills is really and truly 'rosy-fingered'... It is at this early point that the traveller begins to recognise the distinctive form and signature of things Greek.”
Lawrence Durrell, The Greek Islands, 1978.
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“It was no half-hearted spring, this: the whole island vibrated with it as though a great, ringing chord had been struck. Everyone and everything heard it and responded. It was apparent in the gleam of flower petals, the flash of bird wings and the sparkle in the dark, liquid eyes of the peasant girls. In the water- filled ditches the frogs that looked newly enamelled snored a rapturous chorus in the lush weeds. In the village coffee shops the wine seemed redder and, somehow, more potent. Blunt, work-calloused fingers plucked at guitar strings with strange gentleness and rich voices rose in lilting, haunting song.”
Gerald Durrell, “The Sweet Spring”, My Family and Other Animals, 1956

“All of Greece is absorbing and rewarding. There is hardly a rock or a stream without a battle or a myth, a miracle or a peasant anecdote or a superstition; and talk and incident, nearly all of it odd or memorable, thicken round the traveller's path at every step.”
Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani.