tiistai 31. maaliskuuta 2020

North of Greece

Since we are all just sitting indoors going for occasional walks in our usual neighborhoods - I have decided this is a good time to do some blog posts of last summer's travels. Or indeed from any of those awesome trips when I just did not have the time to report. I was literally traveling so much last summer that I had no way of writing from each location that I went. It is somewhat comforting to think that back then I was feeling like 'if only I could be at home'. And now, it's pretty much the 180-situation. It is human nature to think that you want exactly the opposite of what you have - but honestly - right now, I am fine at being at home with my family. Yes there is a part of me that longs to be up there in the clouds, but I am very happy to be also here now, in my corner of the world, with my loved ones. 
But this is a good chance to catch up with old travel photos - with travelling feelings. Feel that breeze on your face briefly.
Last summer I was driving around in the Balkans with my chosen. We had rented the most mini of the rental cars from Macedonia - how much space could two people need??? And went on our Balkans roadtrip part 2.
 This blog is from Pella, at the 'G' point of the map above. Just befor Thessaloniki, on our way to Pefchori.
We have some specific relationship with the Balkans, you see. Not only is one of my dearrest friends from Macedonia, but also in fact my beloved's family tree dates back there. This was definitely blood trip, we figured out and the scouts that we are, decided to drive around as much as we could in the 8 days we had.
As you already know, our trip begun at Macedonia. We were greeted by my friend's family, which I now consider my own, really - and we spent the most amazing time in Skopje. Then we rented a car, head out for Kosovo and Albania. Next was Greece. Juha had never been to Greece. I had been to Greece many many times. Because some of my Dearrest colleagues are still from Greece. But never the less I had never been to Northern part of Greece. The Macedonian part.
So we looked at Google and what was on our way? Alexander the Great's Birth Place?
Yes thank you. We said yes to that. It happens to be that we both, not in any consultation with each other, had chosen the same name for our two sons.
Russian or Greek? Macedonian? You can argue on. For a second on the way we entertained ourselves for a second to consider baby names - definitely would be easier to agree in the past!
Yet, we stop by at Alexander the great's birth place. It is called Pella. It's like 44C hot and really, really taxing.
It's not much more than ruins and a couple of exhausted tourists.
Fields all around - Olympos can wait - although it's not that far!
The most impressive are the mosaics. One shows a lion-griffin attacking a stag, a familiar motif also of Scythian art, another depicts Dionysus riding a leopard.

Still. On a time like this - it is important to remember those times out there in the world. Just like this one day driving around Northern Greece. What a great day to remember!
/Koronakaranteeni vaikuttaisi olevan hyvä aika kalastella vanhoja valokuvia naftaliinista. Mitä olivatkaan kaikki ne paikat, joissa vierailin, mutta minulla ei ollut aikaa blogata... Nyt kun istutaan kotona neljän seinän sisällä perheen kanssa, on hyvä muistaa, että viime kesänä matkustin niin sieluni täydeltä. Nyt tämä Balkanin roadtrip päiväkirja voi nähdä päivänvalon, sillä omat päivittäiset kuvailukohteet käsittelevät lähinnä keittiön pöydän kotikoulua ja lähilenkkireissun maisemia. Viime elokuussa olimme Juhan kanssa ajelulla läpi Makedonian, Kosovon, Albanian ja Kreikan. Tuntuu aivan hullulta nyt se, miten helposti silloin saatoimme vain hyppiä eri valtiosta toiseen... Ajat muuttuvat nopeasti! Kävimme katsastamassa Juhan esi-isien maisemia Mavrovon kansallispuistossa ja sieltä koukkasimme Albanian kautta Pohjois-Kreikkaan. Kohteenamme oli Pefchori - makedonialaisten suosikki rantsukaupunki - vähän niinkuin paikallinen Hamptons, paitsi ei niin posh. Matkalla ehdimme yöpyä Olympoksen kupeessa ja pistäytyä Alexander suuren synnyinpaikalla Pellassa. Sattumoisin olemme Juhan kanssa molemmat toisistamme tietämättä antaneet pojallemme nimeksi tämän makedonialaisen supersankarin nimen... Johdatusta vai vaan suosittu nimi? Tämän blogin tarkoitus on kuitenkin kurkistaa kotisohvaa pidemmälle... On hyvä muistaa, että rajojen sulkemiset ovat vain väliaikaisia ratkaisuja tiukkaan tilanteeseen.

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