Bestselling author Victoria Hislop on gorge-walking, water skiing, the drama of Delphi and her favourite Greek beach
I have a very strong connection with Greece. Nobody knows where it comes from, least of all me. Many people in Greece think I must have Greek roots, but I haven’t found them. It’s just a deep feeling of belonging here.
My first visit was in the late 1970s when I was a teenager; I came with my mother and sister to Athens and it was love at first sight. That was 40 years ago and I’ve been back every year since. My sister, on the other hand, never stepped foot in Greece again.
This year, I’ve been to Greece every month for a few days. I rent an apartment in Athens and have a house in Crete. It is a place where I’m inspired to write, where I come to live. I’m an outsider and always will be, but I continually peel away the layers to find out what’s inside.
Greece, first and foremost, has a beauty that’s unlike anywhere else. I have travelled to every continent in the world (I used to do a lot of travel writing and go around the place promoting my books) but there is nowhere else that has the aesthetics of Greece. The sky here has a unique translucence, the sea is especially blue, the stars are brighter and the landscape is dramatic, particularly in Crete where I have my house.
It’s very varied. Every island is a little country with its own traditions, dialects, music, dancing, landscape, so you almost have a whole universe just within the Aegean and Ionian. And the people are intensely friendly and hospitable.
The landscape and character of Greece have a huge impact on my work. For me, Greece is inspirational, perhaps because it is so very different from the place of my birth and, as a foreigner, I find things interesting here that local people don’t even notice. I am constantly asking ‘Why?’ when I am in Greece – and the answers are the inspiration for my writing.
(read the full article at Wanderlust)