"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
Oh, Greece, how I miss you! Though we met only briefly, I long for your coastlines along the Mediterranean Sea, for your hills dotted with sheep, for your culture rich with history, food, and warmth.
For my construction-focused aid trip to Macedonia, Thessalonike was our airport for arriving and departing the region. Nearing the end of our trip, I really enjoyed the ride back through the Grecian countryside that included our stop in Philippi. The drive was beautiful – poppies were in full bloom and their red blossoms dotted the landscape. Having grown up by the sea, I miss it when I’m in a landlocked country. As we drew closer to the Med, I could smell it; instantly refreshing, comforting like a happy reunion with an old friend.
We stopped for lamb gyros on the way and I instantly knew Greece and I were meant to be together. Lamb, fresh pita bread, tzatziki – yes, Greece had the land, the sea, the food. Once back on the road, I looked with hopefulness to seeing the Med for the first time. We entered the city limits of Kavala and just as we crested the hill and pulled up to a viewpoint, that marvelous sea was waiting.
Sprawled against the coast was a city waiting to be explored! We learned of an Ottoman fortress within the city and that became our first destination. Cobblestone streets lead us past a Romanesque aqueduct known as the Kamares. Rebuilt from a Byzantine era barrier, it was an umistakable landmark of Kavala.
Beyond the aqueduct, the streets lead us up a long hill in the center of the city. Up, up to the castle on top of the hill. The fortress was originally built during the Byzantine era and later the Ottomans extended it to the hill-top where it now rests. I felt like a kid, wandering through stone turrets, exploring the walls to find archers nooks, and taking in the red-roofed cityscape of Kavala from a new perspective.
Inevitably my tummy came calling. And what better meal to enjoy in Greece than a seafood dinner on the wharf? It was glorious – scallops, mussels, fish, clams, prawns, rich and flavorful sauces, crisp and fresh salads of tomato and cucumber, kalamata olives galore, and the best of feta cheese! We ate outside and watched the sun set over the Mediterranean Sea.
And then I bid a heartfelt adieu to Greece. But we will one day be reunited!
What places have captured your heart?