You will be no doubt delighted to hear that I’m back from my annual summer holiday, refreshed and ready to regale you with more random ramblings. Is it good to be back, I hear you ask? Well that’s debatable, but living in Southeast Asia certainly beats flying back into Luton airport on a drizzly day after two weeks in the sun.
So, as travelling is supposed to be a source of enlightenment, what have I learned from my past two weeks in Greece? Well I learned that wine should always be served by the kilo (or multiples thereof), that meat should always be cooked on a stick, and that the tourist island of Skiathos should never be visited on a Greek public holiday during a motorbike rally.
Other than that, I did get an insight into another breed of tourist with whom I wasn’t previously familiar: movie pilgrims. From the Tunisian desert used in Star Wars to the blue door in Notting Hill, film fanatics flock to sites used in their favourite movies. And it just so happens that the Greek islands where we were staying were widely used in the filming of uber-camp Abba tribute flick, Mamma Mia. It also happens that Mamma Mia is my girlfriend’s favourite movie. Coincidence? I think not.
Every bar and restaurant we visited had some kind of Mamma Mia memorabilia, and often featured photos of cast members chinking glasses with staff or necking back shots of ouzo. Then I noticed that not all the cast were pictured. In fact most of the bars only featured pictures of one actor: Pierce Brosnan, the former James Bond who starred in the movie. There he was in every picture; blurry-eyed, red-cheeked and grinning widely as another group of Greek restaurateurs filled his glass.
So that’s what I learned from my holiday; that an Irish actor likes a drink. As revelations go it’s hardly groundbreaking, but that was quite reflective of my holiday; quiet, relaxing, and blissfully uneventful. Pierce Brosnan would’ve hated it.