So this is 34!

My 16 years old self would think that being 34 is ‘old’. I also thought that people beyond their thirties were wise, settled and had it all figured out.

Clearly, I had no clue about life, yet I had all those misconceptions about adulthood and ageing.

Fast forward to today and I’m that ‘old’. Only that I don’t feel old at all! I also don’t consider myself wise and I’m yet to figure out everything.

As a matter of fact, I feel young, lucky and at the best time of my life! Not too young, to not have my freedom and do things as I wish, but not too old to need people’s permission to do things.

Looking back into my life so far, my twenties were invested towards working hard to put me through college and uni, so now that I’m well in my thirties I feel its time to reap what I sowed, relax and for once enjoy life without being stressed about the future.

The thinking behind this year’s birthday was to celebrate being healthy and alive for yet another year. I keep mentioning how lucky we are to have our health considering the state of the planet just now. We are privileged in so many, unimaginable ways I can’t help but think of it every night before I go to bed.

Travelling abroad wasn’t an option but there are so many beautiful places in Greece, I didn’t have to think twice before booking for me and my friend a hotel at the village of Portaria in Mountain Pelion.

Mountain Pelion is one of the most popular destinations in Greece, it combines lush green hills and wild beaches, its ideal for a little escape. Many people have their summer houses here or visit the traditional villages of Makrinitsa and Portaria for a Sunday meal at one of the tavernas with views of Volos city and the Pagasetic Gulf.

Once we checked in our room, we went for a stroll at Makrinitsa. Our first stop was at Art Cafe for some Greek coffee served traditionally in a briki (pot) with cinnamon cookies.

When we built our appetite, we headed to the taverna under the big platanos (plane tree) that is said to be here for hundrends of years.

The famous Platan of Makrinitsa!

We ordered some Fava with caramelised onions, Greek salad and local red wine and enjoyed the views…

…soon friends joined us…

And the day, all of the sudden, became much more interesting!

There was no birthday cake this year but I managed to blow the candles on a piece of chocolate cake. And when I say candles, I mean a candle. Or, to be more precise a tealight candle as nothing else was available in the village. There’s always first time for everything, right?

Traditional Greek pottery art

We spent the rest of the day wandering around the village before going out for drinks back at Portaria.

I ordered a glass of my favourite D’Asti, a sweet fizzy drink served with a slice of orange and orange peel and watched the people walking by before it was midnight and the police asked us to leave. Oh, the joys of COVID-19 restrictions!

Erofili Hotel in Portaria

The next day we had breakfast at the hotel’s veranda. Due to COVID-19 we were served at the table, instead of choosing what we like from the buffet. I wasn’t quite happy with the limited vegetarian selection but the views compensated for it.

Views of Makrinitsa village from the hotel

We finished my birthday celebrations with a walk through the famous Centaurs pathway but more on it tomorrow!


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  • Jennifer
    September 22, 2020

    Happy Birthday!!

    Curated by Jennifer

  • Ingrid
    September 25, 2020

    Happy Birthday, Anastasia! I love to read your blogposts. If I could ask you, are you going to come back to Scotland?