Celebrating the Launch of a Parthenon in Pefki!

Day 3 on Pefki was quiet and with all the craziness that had happened before flying out, I was still trying to acclimatise to a slower pace of life. I’d decided that today was going to be a nice restful beach day. Breakfast at the Myrtia Hotel is basic. After taking a seat under the sprawling trees, Nickos would bring two pieces of ham, 2 squares of cheese, some bread, a cake, a glass of orange juice and tea or coffee. Sufficient for a start to the day.

Peter had told me that another lady would be staying at the same hotel and to keep an eye out for her. With neither of us having met her before, I’m going in blind. There is another lady at breakfast – the only other guest at the hotel that I have seen. I gave her a cheery “Good morning” which was rather less enthusiastically received. Not to worry. A case of mistaken identity I suspect. We should all be wearing a carnation in our hair but that may have been even more awkward.

There is a cluster of sunbeds with bright orange parasols in front of the hotel. Already most of the beds have been taken but I find one close to a large family made up of what looked like three couples and several young children. All started well. The family take turns to take the children to the sea including a baby in an inflatable. The baby was less than impressed but I loved watching how they introduced this young child to the sea. By now I’ve detected that they are speaking in an Eastern European language though which one I’m unsure.

Some time later they begin playing music amplified through a Bluetooth speaker. It isn’t too loud and I don’t mind it at all. It was a mixture of traditional (what I now know is) Serbian music along with a little bit of Greek. A little later the music did get cranked up quite a bit. This resulted in – let’s call it a little altercation on the beach between a very annoyed lady and the family of Serbs. At that point, I felt that it was time for me to go, and the water hadn’t even touched my feet!

Anyway, moving swiftly on. Peter and Alex had kindly arranged for a small get-together for guests who had arrived in Pefki. I had asked Peter what time and I was told 8-ish. So I took that quite literally as a Greek 8 o’clock which from experience could mean anything! The taverna is a ten-minute walk so I slowly ambled down, taking photographs along the way. I was horrified to see that everyone was already there. For someone who believes that punctuality is one of the main attributes of good manners, I was mortified! I will stick to being my usual early self in future.

This was a lovely small gathering – a mixture of Peter and Alex’s family and a handful of us who had made the journey for the launch. It was a lovely dinner with very eclectic conversations taking place. With introversion written into my DNA, it took me a while to tune into the different energies. Sitting in the middle of the table, I did my best to absorb the various conversations to my left and to my right, some just too far away to hear but there was no pressure – I’ve always been more of a listener than a talker. It was a lovely relaxed evening with a sense of excitement for the launch of Peter’s book.

The following day I see one of our group of travellers at breakfast. How easily we fell into conversation and discovered that we had so much in common aside from being members of the Writing about Greece group. Before we knew it we had been talking for seven hours flat!

Do you know, I think it takes a certain type of person to travel over 2000 miles to a single event. I was going to be in Greece anyway and simply adapted my pre-planned (but ‘rather loose’) itinerary to fit it in. My fellow traveller and I agreed that saying “Yes” is a very specific philosophy or outlook on life. It is so easy to ‘not’ say yes and to ‘not’ take the chance for adventure. My own personal mantra is “Make it happen”

Coincidentally before flying out to Greece, I’d shared a post about the sole surviving sample of Queen Cleopatra’s handwriting. It was found on an ancient papyrus and contained the single Greek word, “γίνεσθοι” (ginesthoi) meaning “make it happen” or ” so be it”. Queen Cleo and I – kindred spirits! 😍. The people who have really made it happen are Peter and Alex with their combined amazing talents. BTW, Alex works incredibly hard at taking the beautifully curated photographs that you see in the Writing About Greece Facebook group. They are the type of photographs that invoke the desire to be in that particular place at that particular time and she nails it every time.

Back to the event – my fellow traveller and realise how time has flown away with us. We have just enough time to get showered and changed before we are picked up for the launch event. This is it – this is what we are here for. To join in the celebration of the launch of Peter’s new book!

Peter insisted on picking us up to take us to the taverna which is only about a fifteen-minute walk away. How on earth he has time to do this I’ve no idea. I’d always get so pre-occupied before events that I’d organised. (different times and a different life). As we get out of the car, I can see Alex, an absolute vision in white, truly a Greek goddess.

They couldn’t have chosen a better place for the book launch. Balarouras is a very traditional taverna set slightly back from the main road. A singular building with a large pergola shaded by mulberry trees, blue tables and chairs with blue and white checked table cloths – exactly what you would imagine when thinking of a traditional Greek taverna.

The musicians arrived and before long the place was packed with people from all walks of life. A beautiful mixture of people that had travelled from all parts of the globe along with some lovely Pefki residents and we were all made to feel very welcome.

The musicians were all set up and ready to go and my word – what incredible musicians they were. They played and sang for hours and were the perfect accompaniment to the exuberant dancing that took place – don’t know the steps? No problem – just get up and do your own thing!

A very generous and delicious buffet was also laid on, and due credit to the chef and owner of the taverna who I’m sure did Peter and Alex proud. The evening was an absolute joy!

As we leave, Peter tells us that his book has gone straight to number one – as if there would have been any doubt. Peter and Alex, thank you for the joy that your books give to so many and also for the kind and friendly community that you have created. It is truly appreciated. ❤️

Similar Posts


  1. Hi Stephanie, I loved Cleopatras mantra, “make it happen”! My personal mantra is “If not now, when?” As someone who realizes time is marching on, I want to see and do everything on my list, which changes often. What is the name of Peter’s book? Is it a book that a lover of all things Greek would enjoy?
    I hope you are well and that you are keeping Stavros at bay, Pat Durose

    1. Hey Pat – great to hear from you! Yes – Life’s too short is another one (gosh I sound like my late mother!). Peter Barber has several books. The first is a Parthenon on our Roof and the new book is a Parthenon in Pefki and there is the third part of the trilogy on the way. I think that you will find them a great romp with some really interesting insights into Greek life. ❤️❤️❤️

Let me know what you think. ❤

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.