“Papi, Can I pick our next vacation destination?”
I froze at my 11 year old’s innocent question. Don’t get me wrong. She is a sport all right. She has trampled museums all over the world without complaining. Followed me without protesting to a myriad of dusty ruins. She has braved long flights and longer waits at the airports.
I was still skeptical. “Here comes, Orlando?” I thought.
“Greece?” Her beautiful oval eyes wide open with anticipation.
I must have jumped with joy. I myself was deep in the middle of Iliad and Troy and Alexander and Achilles. I would have picked Greece myself. The trip was signed off in seconds.
* * *
Greece has touched my life on so many fronts. India is the largest democracy in the world, but it all started in Greece. (India is also the largest bureaucracy in the world. That too, started in Greece and still continues.) Pythagoras had me floored before I was twelve, Euclid before I was fifteen. Ayn Rand introduced me to the Parthenon a little later in her path breaking novel Fountainhead. Alexander, the Macedonian, is a personal hero, his feats – oh, so un-accomplishable. After him, “all was possible.” His teacher, Aristotle has has taught me a thing or two. Achilles is my hero’s hero.
* * *
Most Greek itineraries are focused on talking you to the islands. The islands are beautiful but the mainland has a lot to offer. People just don’t know about it. Ignoring all standard itineraries, I setout to design our own. The battle of Troy was high on my mind. I wanted to see where it all began. I want to see the Palace of Agamemnon. I want to visit the Oracle of Delphi. I wanted to touch the soil that Helen once did.
* * *
Here is how it turned out…