Sunday, June 3, 2012


The hydrofoil rides on the waters of the Aegean at 7:30 am and brings me to Syros, one of the Cycladic Islands.  Maria is waiting at the harbor where I disembark with many others carrying suitcases and babies.  We take the free bus and arrive at her house right in front of the sea.

Charming two flat: I have my own studio apartment: bedroom with balcony on the water, bathroom, kitchen.  This is heaven!  Or close to it.

Ermoupolis is the capital of Syros as well as the capital of Cyclades.  Quaint buildings from the neoclassical period stand next to Venetian looking buildings.  The history of the island goes back to the Phoenicians and it was occupied by Franks, Venetians, Turks, everyone passed by here.

In the evening we walk down to the center teeming with children on skateboards, parents pushing strollers, boys with soccer balls, young men and women sitting in cafes smoking.  A myriad shops attract my attention with beautifully colorful bracelets and earrings, ceramic cups and plates, a bookstore or two, everything is here.  The ground we walk on everywhere is marble.  So much marble!  Makes for a cool walk in the summer heat I'm sure albeit a bit slippery. 

We have a sangria in one of the many harbor cafes and walk back through the town square where a free movie of the Neo-Fascist movement in Italy is being shown.  We sit on the steps of the city hall and watch with awe and sadness.  Next week there is an antifascist festival on the square.  Intriguing, isn't it?  After the film, we walk to the restaurant Oneiron (Dream) where we sit in the garden among eucalyptus and pine trees for a delicious supper and a glass of white wine.  It is absolutely peaceful and enchanting to sit under the stars and enjoy a good meal with a good friend.  Outside young men are chanting and singing because their team won the basketball championship.  The opposing team fans are not so happy however.  But in the back yard of the Dream all is well.

The walk back is slow and somewhat uphill with the full moon keeping us company.  I walk out on my tiny balcony to see the lighted houses and boats across the way, the moon shimmering on the Aegean, the sky dark above my head.  I could stay here for days on end.  I could...

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