End of a Summer Odyssey

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Greetings readers and fellow history-lovers.

Well, I’m back from my adventures across the sea, and I had an amazing, blessed time.

I tried to keep you all up-to-date via the Instagram feed, but my Peloponnesian connectivity was a bit dodgy.

Needless to say, I’ve got a tonne of pictures and some video which I’ll be sharing with you over the coming months.

The ancient theatre of Epidaurus

The ancient theatre of Epidaurus

I didn’t get to all the sites I wanted to see, but I did manage to visit the ancient theatre and agora of Argos, which I’ve wanted to see for years. I also made return visits to the theatre of Epidaurus, as well as the Sanctuary of Asclepios there. In Athens, I made a return visit to the Acropolis, and the new museum which was amazing.

Feeling good after lunch by the sea

Feeling good after lunch by the sea

Normally, I would have taken in many more sites, but this trip was more about family and friends for me. That said, just driving across the landscape in Greece, or swimming in the turquoise sea, is not only inspiring, it’s also a form of research. This ancient landscape, especially in the Peloponnese, remains relatively unchanged, from the incredible light and colour, to the flocks of goats and sheep bounding up mountainsides, to the whirring of cicadas in the dry, pine-scented heat. You step back in time in rural Greece.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, as seen from the Acropolis

The Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, as seen from the Acropolis

 

I’ll share my experiences of the sites and more with you in future blog posts.

As for the book I had planned on finishing, well… let’s just say that the goal I had set myself was unrealistic. I managed to finish about a third of Heart of Fire, and I’m happy with that. Here’s why:

For the first half of the trip, I was getting up at about 7 am every morning to write outside for a couple of hours, but, as the ‘schedule’ began to fill with visits from dear friends and family I hadn’t seen in a long time, it became harder to squeeze in the writing time. Worse, I began to stress about getting that writing time!

Theatre and agora of ancient Argos

Theatre and agora of ancient Argos

That’s when I had an epiphany.

I realized that my vacation was slipping by, and that I was wasting my precious time worrying and not relaxing. After all, isn’t that what vacations are for?

I also remembered that, in the past, I wasn’t trying to squeeze in writing while on vacation. I was always absorbing the history, the sights, the smells, and the feel of the world around me.

The Wine-Dark Sea

The Wine-Dark Sea

The writing was always something that came afterward, when I was missing the places I had been to, reviewing my mental tapes of the entire odyssey. I forgot that I would have an acute case of the ‘Aegean Blues’ after my trip, and that this would be something I could use well after the fact.

So, about half-way through my trip, I stopped worrying and began to absorb and enjoy much more. I wrote when I could, but I just let it go if the day was not conducive to it – plenty of time to write afterward.

Detail of the Erectheion on the Acropolis of Athens

Detail of the Erectheion on the Acropolis of Athens

I’m happy with what I’ve written of Heart of Fire so far, though as often happens when writing historical fiction, there are a few research gaps I need to fill in. That’s fine, as it keeps me immersed in the period.

This was a wonderful holiday and it reminded me what a lovely country Greece is, the land, the sea, the history, the people. I miss it already, and I can’t wait to go back.

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Sunset in the Olive Grove

I’m struggling now, back in my cubicle. Honestly, who wouldn’t? But I’m writing full speed ahead.

On Friday, I finished the first draft of an Eagles and Dragons series prequel novel which I have kept secret till now (more on that to come!). It’s called A Dragon among the Eagles.

Now, I’m going to stay put in the year 396 B.C. and Heart of Fire, until the story is completed.

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That’s the update for now.

Thanks for following along, and thank you for reading!

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7 thoughts on “End of a Summer Odyssey

  1. Enjoyed the photographs! The high def allowed me to enlarge details I was interested in, and even further envy you your trip.
    I think I just might try a barge/boat on the canal du Midi soon…..though the middle ages is not as exciting as classic times to me, the canal is just amazingly beautiful, and somewhat reasonable to travel.
    Walter Price III

    • Glad you enjoyed the photos, Walter. Lots more to come – I think I have around 1200 or so! Your trip sounds amazing too. France is wonderful, and hey, I like the Middle Ages as that is where I got my start in history! Have a great time 🙂

    • Cathar country is magical. I was in the south of France, in the Languedoc region one summer, and had an amazing time driving around. It’s such a different, and ancient landscape to other places. The Cathar castles are amazing – I got stuck on the top of the castle of Perepertuse in flash lighting and rain storm that swept down out of the Pyrenees. Quite intense, but it added to the mood of the place which, as you can imagine, is quite dark and sad due to the persecution of the Cathars during the Albigensian crusade. Be sure to share some of your pics and experiences when you get back!

  2. What a delightful post! Thank you for sharing this, Adam. It’s great to know you enjoyed your stay in my city. The first photo off the boat looks like the port of Spetses. If it’s not, the resemblance is uncanny! I bet you had a lovely time and still do. Continue your travels and keep posting these photos – can’t get enough 🙂

    • Hi Effrosyni! Good to hear from you. Yes, the photo is of Spetses, an island we know well. Athens is always fun and we had wonderful time catching up with family and friends. More photos to come!

  3. Hi Adam,

    The photos are great. Made me wish I was back in Greece 😀 I haven’t been to Argos which I will the next time. The new Akropolis museum is impressive. I loved the spaciousness and organisation of the artefacts. Sigh…

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