Photo caption: school lunch time entertainment Greek-style. Having popped to the park we heard whistles and shouting so I rushed the children down to the port to see the street "carnival". It turned out it was just the kids on their school lunch break. Hoards of them playing in the square surrounded by mothers sipping coffees in the cafes surrounding it. There were about 15 of these electric cars doing a loop round some trees. Irrisistable (left); on our walk into the port one evening we came across this 7 year old boy putting on a puppet show for passers-by. His grandfather in the room behind had proudly made it for him based on his favourite boytime activity. The "soundtrack" to the puppet show was blaring with granny and a friend sat on little wooden chairs showing encouragement. It was so lovely (right)
What I am loving on the other hand, is meeting so many new people, each with their own story and intrigue: a Bulgarian/American couple in their 60s from San Francisco tracking down every centenarian on Ikaria as part of their quest for the secret elixir of life; a ceramicist from the Acropolis museum (we have already lined up a family pottery day); a renowned Turkish director; an aspiring Greek actor/director and his wife who founded the quirky This Famous Tiny Circus Theatre Group; a half-Indian/half-Italian (just think of the food delights he must have sampled growing up) former New Dehli B&B owner who will shortly be returning with his lovely French/Swiss/German girlfriend to set up and run a new one this autumn (he has inspired us to re-route our travels in order to go and visit them), the French host of a residential 5 Rythmns dance group and a beguiling young man who I met on the deck of the ferry leaving Ikaria who had been staying, along with various other urban hippies, in part of a controversial "camp" located on the beach of Nas. I had already learnt from our former hostel owners that these were somewhat pejoratively referred to as ‘river dwellers’ (since they merely sleep in the gorge at night but enjoy the creature comforts of the restaurants above the rest of the time). Half way through our esoteric conversation he let slip that his father is an eminent politician. I do love a fellow Bourgeois Bohemian.
Certainly we must seem above-averagely fascinating for once with our family-of-5-taking-12-months-off-to-travel-the-world tale, and perhaps this is bringing out the best in others. Or maybe we are just being exposed to the more laid-back, off-season travel crew. Either way, the world does definitely seem like a more open, exciting place once you’ve committed to exploring it!
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