I walked along the waterfront of the resort town of Loutraki in the Peloponnese in Greece one evening as the sun set over the undulating hills. A sliver of a moon rose slowly above the setting sun in the cloudless sky. A lone fisherman stood on the edge of the boardwalk maneuvering a fishing pole with a line which descended into the clear, icy waters of the Mediterranean Sea. A light breeze ushered in an evening chill. As I rounded a bend and looked back, the picturesque town of Loutraki sparkled in the twilight above expansive palm trees. Behind me on the hillside among some bushes, a melodic male voice was singing in Greek in harmony with a guitar. It was magic.
Loutraki (“small bath”) was the draw that got me to Greece this winter. It all started many years ago with some friends I met while I lived in Greece. They now live in England and own a condo in Loutraki which they visit periodically during the summertime. They offered it to me as a winter get-away this year. I jumped at the opportunity to reconnect with my past. So here I am in Loutraki using this lovely place as a jumping off point to explore Athens and Greece’s fascinating Peloponnese, where history and Greek mythology are inextricably intertwined.
I decided to take advantage of my proximity to Italy this winter by visiting Rome and southern Italy, places I missed in my previous European travels.
I have visited Israel as a tourist several times. I always look for an opportunity to return to this fascinating country. I have the opportunity on this trip to spend a couple of weeks there, so I decided to seize the opportunity and visit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and part of the West Bank.