We never made it to Ithaca.
Instead, we spent our days racing about in our little car looking for stony beaches around the island, which was nothing like those bone-dry, whitewashed and blue-doored village dotted islands of the Aegean, islands that one can imagine haven't changed much since the time of Alexander and the age of heroes and capricious gods and goddesses. Instead, Lefkas is green and mountainous and mediterranean and has spectacular and terrifying views in place of charm.
But, we did spend the early afternoon at one empty beach hemmed in by huge krasts in the water where A., the assistant director and the husband waded into the calm sea but were nearly smashed into the rocks when swells suddenly appeared from nowhere, forcing us to grab our clothes and run back up the bluff. We figured that whatever minor god ruled that beach wanted to be left alone. Maybe the age of capricious gods and goddesses hasn't yet ended, at least not on the island of Lefkas.
"It was really scary," the husband said. He and A. had been in the water for only about a minute.
We brought back huge five-liter tins of Greek olive oil, and suntans that had no trouble surviving the plane ride home.
The Swedish word for the day is stranden. It means the beach.
- by Francis S.