After the storm, dinner at the top of Skopelos Island

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The weather can change quickly at the Agean Sea. Most of the summer, it is hot and the sun shines from a clear blue sky. But when severe storms approach, the Greek Meteorological Service will send out warnings. These are times when we see the clouds building up, when we take down garden furniture and umbrellas and put aside flower pots that may come crashing down in strong winds.

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A few days ago, we had such a storm. Dark skies, heavy winds, heavy rain, lightening. For hours. For a day and a night. A fall of six degrees in the temperature. These are storms when the poor tourists are forced to stay in their hotel rooms or in the bars. The local people on the islands do not mind the weather. The rain is good for the gardens.
And then, a day later, heavy clouds are fighting a losing battle to clear skies. Finally, the sun is chasing away the clouds and Greek summer is back again, the type of summer that every tourist expects to have here.

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Today, the weather is great again. Neighbours have invited us to their boat and in the late afternoon, we are heading for Skopelos Island. The boat is big, the two strong boat motors take us to the small little harbour of Loutraki in fifteen minutes. We are heading for Glossa, the little town on the top of the mountain. We have prebooked a taxi to the harbour. The taxi driver is not there. As could be expected. We call the taxi driver. Yes, he knows that we are coming. He will pick us up in less than ten minutes. One telephone call and twenty five minutes later, the taxi arrives. The driver skillfully takes us up on the small, curvy road. Finally, he stops and we have to walk another ten minutes to reach Agnanti, the restaurant where we are having our dinner. The view from Agnanti is stunning.

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The food is great. We share everything. Fried calamares. Fried cheese with honey. Vegetables. A few other starters. A Greek lamb dish. A pork dish. Chicken. Bread. White wine. A well tasting dinner!7

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After dinner, we walk down through the small town, not bigger than a village. The path down is more straight than the road we came up on. It is an old stone path, a path for pedestrians and donkeys. It is a beautiful walk, a good exercise. Finally, we get down to the water, resting for a while on a bench before we walk back to the harbour for the return trip to Skiathos Island.

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As we arrive to Sklithri beach, the sun is setting. We anchor the boat and get ashore. We are sitting down for a while at “our” Sklithri Taverna, sipping a glass of wine before we walk up to our houses.

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This was one of those days when the world beyond the horizon does not exist. A day when the world consists of the sea, green islands, friends, good food and wine. A day of total relaxation…

Incredible beauty and fairytale landscapes – Greenland

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We fly over Greenland. Incredible beauty. Fairytale landscapes. A few hours later, we arrive in Canada.

There is so much beauty on this planet. Why are we destroying it?

There is so much to enjoy on this Earth. So much to see, so much to share. Why are we fighting over this beauty? Why are we fighting over land? Why are we fighting over borders when in reality there are no borders? The Earth is beautiful, owned by every being living on it. Why do we humans live the lives we do?

We arrive in peak hour traffic in Toronto. With the help of our GPS, we make it to our hotel. New experiences are waiting…

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Scars from the past – The raw and tender beauty of Iceland

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I take a deep breath. I take many deep breaths during our stay in Iceland.

There are few places on Earth where nature takes such a grip over your body and soul as this place. It is undisguised beauty. Raw beauty. Tender beauty. Ugly beauty. Beautiful beauty. Everything is here. In one place. Everything on one island, untouched for thousands or even millions of years.

I wish our stay here had been longer. I feel that we have just touched the surface of the secrets of Earth. This is one place in Universe which tells us what Universe is about. One place which tells us what was here before man occupied this planet.

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We see small ponds. Bluish water, coloured by minerals. We see small ponds with boiling water, heat provided by the inner of Earth. We see rivers with crystal clear water, water you can drink. We see volcanoes, lava fields and lava stones that tell us about more violent times on the island.

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The mid-Atlantic Ridge goes through the island. This is the junction of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, the place where America and Europe drifted apart. This drift is still going on, by about 3 mm per year. The scars from this divorce are visible in many places. Small deep rifts, often with crystal clear water, sometimes 20 meters deep or more. We see scuba divers going down into these rifts. Over the past number of years, five scuba divers have died exploring the secrets of the rifts.

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Iceland, you still carry many secrets. Secrets of the past. Will we ever get to know them?