THIS IS MY HOMELAND

We cannot stop time; it is not an option! Still, I wish I could do so by catching my breath in the shade of an olive tree or a mulberry tree! Our life’s pace is so fast that small pleasures of the past like the smell of a warm, freshly-baked bread, right out of the wood stove seems like the ultimate luxury. It has been such a long time since I last saw children in shorts playing in the countryside or women weaving. And yet, everything is so familiar and still so precious. This is my homeland. This is the Peloponnese I love as if I never left…
I wake up in the village. The light of dawn finds me with a cup of mountain tea, a slice of bread with honey, and fresh eggs from my brother’s free reign chickens. The ultimate treat. I get dressed quickly and go out for my early morning walk in the chestnut forest. I find the rain soothing and rejuvenating. Nothing can ever come between me and nature. We are one and have been longing for each other’s company ever since we parted ways. Living in the city has always been like a long lasting separation.
My thoughts accompany my walk through the woods. An hour later, I’m outside Pantelis’ shop. A hot rakomelo and a board of backgammon are there waiting for me.
“You are late,” he says.
“Pour yourself a cup and sit down. Today’s game is mine!”
After a home cooked lunch with spinach pie, feta cheese and rooster with local lasagna, I head down to the beach. On the way, I roll the window down to feel the air, the temperature rising, and the scent of the rain has left behind. Music keeps me company as I cross through the villages. Magically the songs seem to be in complete sync with the journey, blending the past and the present in tunes that bring up memories.
The sun peeks its head for one last time, before it sets for the day. I manage to get a glimpse of the sun setting in the sea in Ilia. Such beauty!
Peloponnese is my home. But it also feels like home to so many Europeans who once came as visitors but never truly left. For some, it began as a leisure trip and ended up as a life’s journey.
An old man, who could very easily have been my grandfather, tells me: “They will all return, sooner or later. The city is bound to drive them away.”
Reality check!!
At the 9th Sympossio, we decided to let emotions take the lead. We boarded a car and travelled the Peloponnese in search of true warmth; a warmth that only family, friends and tradition can ignite. We’re on a never ending journey.

Alexandros Angelopoulos
Aldemar Resorts / Sympossio

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“PELOPONNESE IS A LIFE’S JOURNEY. ONE THAT REVOLVES AROUND SOUNDS, TASTES, ARCHITECTURE, HISTORY, CULTURE, BUT ALSO INTIMATE, WARM AND HOSPITABLE PEOPLE.”