My first ever trip to Europe was GREECE. Interesting, because usually people here go to France first and then they move around. I was always very fond of greek history and mythology, so it was no surprise for anyone to see me planning going over there. So, I flew to Athens and took a boat to the islands. I mainly visited historical sites and talked to people.
In Crete, I rented a car and drove without any plans of going anywhere in particular. Just being on the road was quite an adventure. Small routes, U-turns over high cliffs that makes your stomach churn, but the view was amazing! I saw a post for an archeological site and decided to follow the lead. After a few minutes, I enter this quiet little village, looking for a new sign that would indicate directions. I pass in front of a small bistro where 4 old men, having tea-coffee-ouzo-etc., smiled (it looked like a smile!!) and waved. So I waved back. A few minutes later the road stopped abruptly.
After laughing for a long minute, I turned back; waved again at the 4 men, that where not only smiling but laughing. Suddenly, there is this tall men in the middle of the road, waving for me to come. I followed and I parked next to his house. The man didn’t speak much english: hello, thank you, come. And my greek was limited to kalimera, kalispera, efharisto, OPA! But we managed to have this amazing conversation about his family, his children, Canada, my children, and a few other things. His wife served me tomatoes (from is garden) and feta cheese (made from his goat’s milk) and we drank red wine (that he made also).
He showed me a box of letters and postal cards from all over the world. He never traveled anywhere, but the world came to his door.
Just before I left (with my 2 bottles of wine and 3 bottles of homemade olive oil) he showed me this sheet saying in 10 languages: the archeological site is about 2 hr walk from here. Have a nice visit! Haha! I never went…
The moment spent with that man was priceless. Really connecting with other human beings is beyond words. To this day, I can still see him push my hand away to pour more wine in my glass and laugh! “No police. Ok police.” Remember I had to drive… roads with high cliffs…!
My daughter just came back from Greece yesterday… with an everlasting smile in her heart.
With great respect!