My write up this month is inspired by the recent movie ' Goodbye Christopher Robin'. I had that feeling that everyday seems to be an adventure and I try my best to Live in the moment.
The Greek adventure part 1- August 2018
My recent trip to Athens with my family was such a wonderful experience – my children are semi -adults now so the holiday was more like enjoying time with my friends.
Athens – Home of the Greek Goddess Athena – God of war and wisdom. The city is surrounded by Ancient Greek structures including the Acropolis and what an amazing site it is! We trekked right upto the top and explored this magnificents sight. I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the structures and how in those days the rock materials were brought up then to be constructed to make this momentous national World Heritage landmark. The Parthenon – Athena’s temple. Even though we visited in the evening around 17.00hrs, the sun was still scorching, however this didn’t stop the vast amount of visitors at the top of the hill exploring the Acropolis. I sat on the rocks at the side with my husband and just looked around. I’m absorbing this wonderful moment and watching my children in awe of the surroundings. We could see the whole city from here, the white homes/ buildings were glistening in the sun and it was truly looking at something magical. I wanted to know more about this place, learn why it was built and what the representation of these overbearing structures were? So what better way to do this – as I look at my 13year old son who has to complete a school project this summer and cheekily said ‘Should we do your project about Greece?’ This was how I was going to add to my learning as well as spending quality time with my child. We later walked through the cobbled city streets, passing some old musicians that were fulfilling their time, playing traditional Greek tunes. It felt so natural and cultural. We then enter through some very quiet streets and I started to panic that we were going to be lost in some derelict place, but through the distance I see some fairy lights and a few steps leading up to a beautiful traditional tavern filled with colourful flowers and mounts of greenery, the owner greets us and tells us that the hotel has booked us the best table in the house. A Rooftop space overlooking the whole city, at this point the sun was setting and the evening city lights started to emerge. I couldn’t contain my excitement and just wanted my family to take in the same feeling of happiness that I was enduring.
We were staying in a beautiful boutique hotel called ‘The Margi’ which was located further south on the tip of the Greek coast, approximately 30mins away from Athens. My time here was cared for by very attentive staff with a warm welcoming nature. It’s a small hotel however had a grand charm about it. The rooms were cosy but modern and we had a lovely balcony overlooking the pool area and parts of the city behind. As soon as we walked in, the aroma of fresh flowers and candles with a very rich scented perfume filled the reception area. I talked to the waiting staff in the morning – his name was Andreas - learning new words that I could say in Greek like ‘Fharristoe’ – Thank you and ‘Para Colla’ – your welcome and ‘Calai Meera’ – good morning. (excuse my spelling, I’ve written how I heard it) Whenever I travel I always feel the need to understand the culture and to be able to emerge myself into it. So to be polite and learn a little- Why not. The other member of the team I became very friendly with was Afrodite, who also helped to make my experience so enjoyable by booking us in for a few hours at the local farm. The hotel produce was all organic from farm to table and yes they owned their own farm! I was so ecstatic by this thought. However, the tours were very expensive and too long of a day as we only had a couple of days in Athens, so I kindly asked Afrodite if my family could just do a short visit to see it. She made it possible and we had the best time, feeding the goats especially Stelios, who was a giant white Goat, larger than me! With tufted up hair at top and tuffed chin, like my son described as Elvis Presley, he had huge curled up horns and brilliant white fur - I hadn’t seen anything so magnificent before. We then did some grape picking, learned about the fruit and vegetables on how they were grown and even met the rescued Donkey Billie, that had been maltreated and was previously used for work. It was now in this sanctuary haven having the time of his life. As we were leaving the farm keeper Meehra kindly gave me a brown package filled with fruits- grapes and chillies to take back with me.
It was just the best time and I loved each moment.
We were then off to Khalkidhiki to meet my sister and her family to continue our Greek adventure.
Since by SAH I have this force behind me that is pushing me to learn more and experience new things. This is each day, each moment. It’s as if I’m back to being a child and one that can absorb more information than my adult self. It’s very intriguing though and the more I’m learning the happier I am. It could be that I feel I don’t have much time left or that the impact to my head has aligned in some way to take in more information. Whatever the reason - I am enjoying this journey.
Author - Kavita Basi