Friday 19 June 2015

In the land of the Gods

I was dozing in the car when my eyes opened and I turned my head on the right. “That’s Mount Olympus” Kosta the driver said. The name didn’t fail to create a strong impression in me. My parents had a couple of books about Greek myths. It didn’t take long before I was completely taken by those legends. Driving past the sojourn of the gods moved me deeply. Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Hermes, Poseidon, Athena, Hephaistos, Hades, Demeter, Persephone, Artemis, Ares, Dionysos, Hebe…

It was not Thessaloniki. There was a two hour drive to reach the little village where Amadeo had renovated an old ruin five years ago and turned it into a little haven for himself. Between mountains and sea, not far from the Macedonian border. “Alexander the Great passed this region before going South to conquer Greece.” Amadeo told me. When mountains meet the sea, when history meets our reality.

“Today, you will just recharge and relax.” Karen told said. I was still very weakened by the recent fever and the long hours on the plane. The weather was strangely much cooler than I thought. I expected some 40C to jump at my face and was pleasantly surprised and relieved to feel the cool, sunny and dry air as I walked out of the plane. The high fever and summer temperature in Taipei had somehow traumatised me physically.
The ride to the small village of Kokkino Nero had a cleansing effect on me. The sight of the mountains and the sea acted up on me like forgotten words of wisdom and the tension accumulated during the past weeks slowly dissipated from my city-boy mind.

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