Protomagiá at last

Mayday in Greece

The first of May is known as Protomagiá (Πρωτομαγιά) in Greece. People get the day off work, kids get the day off school, and everyone heads out into the countryside to pick flowers. Knowing far better than to ask Alexander and Eoin if they wanted to go for a walk after breakfast, we simply told them to brush their teeth, put on their outside gear, and see us downstairs in five minutes. In the meantime Tina and I had drawn up a plan to drive up to Vrachíonas, the highest mountain here in Zakynthos, and walk to the top. Twenty minutes later, we were ready to go.. Continue reading

Easter in Zakynthos

The book about Zakynthos is coming along nicely, if slowly. I’m up to 12,500 words. That’s still much less than I wrote for my Malaysia Diary, though. However, following advice I got on the Google+ Travel Writers community, I’ve downloaded Scrivener, a program specifically designed to help you write a book. I wasn’t convinced that Word was the answer, nor Google Docs, which I’d been using up to now. Scrivener‘s a cool word. I came across a while ago it doing Irish on Memrise; the Irish for writer is scríbhneoir, pronounced skreev-nore, more or less, so they suggested using this old English word as a way to remember it, since they’re obviously cognates.

Megali Domada in Greece

Anyway, one of the reasons we came to Zante as early as April was to spend Easter here, something we’ve never done. We never spend Easter anywhere, really; other than having a very big meal at Tina’s parents’ house, Easter usually just goes by unremarked, like passing an internet celebrity in the street. Anyway, as you might have guessed, Easter is big in Greece. Although Easter itself is called Πάσχα, Páscha, the week leading up to Easter, Holy Week, is called Μεγάλη Βδομάδα here, literally Big Week. It’s certainly bigger than Christmas. Continue reading