Homer mentions Zakynthos in both the Iliad and the Odyssey. The island’s nickname (given to it by the conquering Venetians) is “The Flower of the Levant.” It is said that 7,000 species of flowers grow there, but Zakynthos was all about the water for us. The boat that took us around the island and past some of the legendary blues caves, took us, first to search for the Caretta Caretta loggerhead sea turtle. It was past migration time and we found only one. I couldn’t help but think of Lonesome George, abandoned in Galapagos.
Gretchen’s notes: “This was the most beautiful place! We got on a small boat, with a section that had a glass bottom, to search for turtles. There were a number of large tourist boats also searching for turtles. We saw one (1) sea turtle and all the boats circled around the poor fella. After the turtle gawking we went to the caves and swam in a small cove encircled by steep cliffs. AMAZING! After our isolated swim, our boat took us on to a tacky public, overcrowded, beach: many people, many boats, and even floating concession boats. Finally, our little tour boat let us off in the town, which has a section for “young” tourists, with a McDonalds, a Subway and lots of litter. (sad)”
Side note: During the Nazi occupation of Greece, the mayor and bishop refused to turn in a list of the members of the town’s Jewish community. They hid all (or most) of them is isolated rural communities. It is said that all 275 Jews of Zakynthos survived WWII.
Gretchen and I veered from our ‘early to bed,’ to hang at the piano bar for our nightcap. A British woman joined the sing-along and had a magnificent voice. The tipsy chorus yielded the mic to her. Gretchen and I stayed on, enjoying. The next day we would compliment the singer and learn she was classically trained and sings now in some famous choir.