First stop in the the winter trip is Athens. I have never been to mainland Greece, but the real reason for coming is not that. Kenneth and Viky are a couple of friends that I made while studying in Edinburgh back in 1995. He’s Danish and she’s Greek. They were both over to Scotland studying for the same master degree i was studyimg for and that’s where they met, fell in love with each other and started their life together.
Kenneth moved to Greece 20 years ago and now runs with two partners a charity that helps children refugees. Viky, unusually among us LL.M. students, is in fact practicing law, and quite successfully by the sound of it, having made partner in the law firm she joined when she got back from Edinburgh.
The new addition to the family I had not met was their daughter, a lovely and lively seven years old with a smile that lights up the room.
Kenneth came to pick me up at the airport where I arrived suitably late due to the collaboration of the Italian air authorities. While flying from London directly to Athens we got delayed in our take off by the catastrophic failure of radio service in the Italians airspace. I can only assume that our flight might have needed to go through it at some point.
We got home, picked up the others and we went out to grab a bite. Kenneth and Viky live on the southern shores of the aegean sea, some 7 miles out of Athens city centre. The area is really nice, with nice residences, restaurants and a stone thrown from the sea. Twenty years worth of catch up is no little task but we got right unto it all through dinner and then back at their house before eventually getting to bed in the early hours of Saturday morning.
This is not the first time in the past few years when I have met people I had not seen for a long time, but it never fails to amaze me how easy it is to pick up almost from right where you have left.
Sunday we went into the town centre. A short drive a little sightseeing, and then for a fish lunch by the sea. Unexpectedly, as well as getting a fair view of the Acropolis, I also had a chance to practice a bit of my español, as we met an Argentinian motorbike traveller that has been around the world since 2002 and has so far completed in excess of 375,000 km. The operative word for me, as I was leaving the exchange must be: practice more! He got that I was Italian from the word hallo, or shall I say hola.
The day ended with more chatting over a green tea and for the second time in two days we were not in bed before the early.hours of the morning. Not to bad for me, I guess, but these people are going to work.
Seeing a bit of Athens was good but seeing these guys was great. I’ll be on my own for ten days now through Istambul, Teheran and Delhi, before getting reunited with David and PY for Chinese new year in Singapore.