When I first saw that magnificent Porsche 718 Boxster, I instantly knew: the music in my ears, coming straight from the engine would become a grand love theme. There was no doubt in my mind, this mademoiselle deserved a name that would describe her every inch. And so I named her Eliette. After Herbert Von Karajan’s beautiful and truly elegant wife, Christian Dior’s very own discovery, at the age of 19. And also mother, lover, friend, painter, artist, speed enthusiast, and patron of the Eliette and Herbert von Karajan Institute (as well as the Salzburg Easter Festival), a creator of a cultural memorial, dedicated to her late husband, she is, up to this day, ensuring that his work remains alive for generations to come.
Our first getaway had to be to Zagori, in Northern Greece. Because the raw beauty of the Epirus region reminds one of the Alps in spring time. Herbert and Eliette’s favourite route to drive with their otherworldly 911 (the maestro used to drive his rounds at 6 am on the still empty roads of the pass). And there would be no better place to hear Eliette sing, breaking the surrounding silence – and elegantly dance with her, than on and off these streets.
Yes, this getaway was nothing less than an ode to joy. And an ode to Eliette. My snow white Eliette.
About the Porsche 718 Boxster
This beauty of a car is the sequel that continues the 718 era, carrying the legend forward. At its heart, a turbocharged flat four engine beats with the same fighting spirit that delivered countless podium finishes. Which is the will to break with standards. It was simply made for the sport of it: to take the everyday out of everyday. By transforming every distance driven, and every day into an adventure. The sportier chassis setup with the comfort and assistance systems, plus the magnificent 350 units of turbocharged horsepower give you a car destined to keep you smiling, every single time you hear the engine roar or change gear.
Zagorohoria (also known as Zagori or Zagoria) is one of Northern Greece’s most attractive and mysterious regions and a real must-explore cluster, with 46 traditional stone-and-slate villages, tucked into the Pindos range, built amphitheatrically, almost. If you love silence and nature, with breathtaking mountain views at each turn, you’ll never want to leave.
Each picturesque village has its own character, but all are tranquil and beautiful – romantic Dilofo has only a handful of inhabitants and an uncanny silence, and the region’s loveliest restaurant; the charming and rugged Monodendri is the most popular, while Kato Pedina, Ano Pedina and Aristi are the outdoor activities hubs. The Papingo villages are reached by precipitous mountain roads, while traditional Kipi is slightly livelier. Once connected only by mountain paths and extraordinary stone bridges, the villages are now connected by paved roads, some of which enjoy spectacular twists and turns.
My favorite were the Papingo villages, where I spent most of my time. And Aristi, where I would rest – the Aristi Mountain Resort, a proud member of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World”, with numerous distinctions and awards for its infrastructure and services, is really a refuge for those seeking beauty. And it feels like home. The traditional wooden roofs and the walls built on local grey stone tiles preserve the harmony of the area and blend in with the surrounding landscape. [More will follow within a different post.]
Photography: Doya Karolini