How one can fit Greece on an island, in a place, or in a taste, a beach, a sunset, or a summer? It’s possible in the cherry tree in Wisconsin – at the village of a grandfather and grandmother – or on the endless path at 1,200 meters in altitude, where tall trees you encounter appear as God, at the beautiful beaches of Nikiti in Halkidiki, too. Oh, and by camping in Elafonisos as on the Weekends at Cape Sounion.
And as my carousel of memories unfolds, the memory of childhood and teenage travels to Saladi appear. Leaving behind Nafplio and reaching the village of twins, down a dirt road for about 10 km, our Renault Farma, loaded with all the essentials for a summer holiday, was coated in a lot of dust, by the time we reached the beach. With his passing the car, started the abandon and the game. It was there I got my first money as a worker by doing chores… γκαρσονιού.
The salary, together with the tips of the customers, it was enough to make the first plans for the bicycle market on our return to the city.
I remember those mornings when, with Kostas and his little family, Dimitri, used to get up butt crack of dawn to catch the trawls of fishermen and go fishing. Although our biggest success as fishermen came one day, rather randomly, when I literally fell over an octopus, which we got, and we all ate together, proud of the even and random catch we were. Even happier we were when the boat reached the island of Spetses for a day trip…
I’ve never been in Saladi since then. They tell me that the hotel ghost is still there haunting the memories of an entire decade, that may not have had the luxury and comforts, but the peace of mind and the innocence of youth. This innocence is, for me, holidays. For a few minutes, hours, days, nothing matters but the moment. The moment that is like an umbilical cord tying you to your childhood. Have a great summer!
By Harry Theoharis – Minister of Tourism
Loosely translated from the original story at Athens Voice