The White Cliffs of Zakynthos

Everyone knows Greeks are very proud of their flag, with its stripes of azure and white.

I never made any connection between the color of the Greek flag and the nation of Greece, until I visited the tiny island of Zakynthos.

An island where caves are filled with sparkling azure water.

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Where majestic white cliffs rise from the water, preventing beach access by road.

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And where shipwrecked pirates long ago left their vessel to the sand.

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Ok, so full disclosure, there are conflicting stories and it probably wasn’t pirates. But the shipwreck is real.

I found it kind of fascinating that the part most people remember about this magnificent spot is the piece of decaying manmade trash deposited in the middle.

But, to be fair, shipwrecks are pretty cool.

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Perhaps morbidly, I first heard of this place because of a base jumping accident that happened here.

While we had no desire to test the laws of gravity, it was a pretty inspiring place to sit for half an hour.

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Like most Greek islands, I left Zakynthos with dozens of memories of delectable taverna lunches, incredibly warm water, relaxed afternoons, hairpin turns, cheap wine that occasionally tasted like gasoline, and warm hospitality.

Oh, and good sunsets. You know I’m a sucker for a good sunset.

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But, without a doubt, the experience that has been carved into my memory is the half an hour that I spent with my feet dangling off the top of a cliff, looking down at a shipwreck below.

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And, for the rest of my life, whenever I see a Greek flag the colors will remind me of the white cliffs of Zakynthos rising from the azure Aegean sea.