As the wing of the plane dipped toward the earth, I got a glimpse of the ever-enlarging scenery 16,000 feet below. Despite wispy clouds and the haze of the beating sun, I could perceive a mountainous island surrounded by a glistening sheet of Mediterranean blue.
The island, one of the world’s most tranquil vacation destinations, has been the focus of literary novels, historical inquiries and cultural events. But for my fellow traveler and myself, it was the meeting place of the Summer Piano Institute in Corfu, Greece.
Drawing musicians from around the world, inspiring pianists came to study with experienced artists in a wonderful weeklong program that featured lessons, lectures, performances and cultural excursions.
After a smooth landing, I and my traveling companion, a fellow pianist, best friend and identical twin sister Evangeline, joined the throngs of passengers entering the airport terminal. It was no small relief that we got to our destination. Not that either of us mind flying; but when a ticket agent switches your boarding passes for a connecting flight with a couple going to another country, you realize just how lucky you are to have actually reached your destination! (Incidentally, from then on we double checked all of our papers to make sure nothing like that would ever happen again!)
Immediately after passing customs, we were whisked into the arms of Greek hospitality. Thoroughly organized and equally prepared, the directors of the festival took care of transportation and boarding accommodations so that our trip proceeded without further incident. The location of the festival was entirely breathtaking! Housed within the confines of an ancient fortress, Ionian University, where the piano festival was held, bore evidences of ancient days and foreign ways.