I’m almost in Athens, Greece. Golden fields disappear from my view. They are replaced by concrete. In the Macedonian capital Skopje, I used CouchSurfing for the first time. Athens will be my second CouchSurfing experience. It is always exciting to get to know it would go on. When I arrive at the station of Athens, my hosts Alexandros and Ilias are already waiting for me. Phew, they have not forgotten me.
The table in the apartment of Alexandros’ family is ready. Greek delicacies are ready to be eaten. But first they have a surprise for me: a little road trip to Cape Sounion. “It is worth the 40 minute ride.” And they were right.
A five days stay in Athens must be enough to visit everything. Through the day I would have to amuse myself without company, but in the evening Alexandros and Ilias had time for me. Or that was how I thought it would go. But in the end I was only alone in Athens for one day and I even witnessed local Greek elections. And we saw a lot more than just Athens.
The big road trip
“I just called Alexandros. Maybe, if you want, we can visit some other sites in Greece together?” – Ilias
Whaaat? That’s something you don’t have to ask me twice. So we jump in the old jeep of Ilias’ dad. First stop: the Corinth Canal. Next on the menu: Mycenae with the famous Lion Gate and the old Greek capital Nafplion. In Nafplion I meet the climbing legs of the Greek. A staircase with thousand steps was no problem for them. And for me… Yeah.
I am a #historynerd, so it is a hashtag I like to use. And by coincidence Alexandros and Ilias are history students. Perfect match. They know a lot about the richly filled Greek history. Calling them a walking encyclopedia would be disrespectful, but how much they can learn me about their country is really amazing.
But there was one thing they did not know. Behold, the fun fact that became the fun fact of the trip: King Leopold I, the first king of the Belgians, once had the chance to take the Greek throne. But today, Greece is no longer a Monarchy.
Also in Athens Alexandros and Ilias show me around. Interesting museums, but also shisha bars and the best places to eat “souvlaki”. Even the classmates of my hosts join us. Fancy names like Theodoris and Konstantinos become part of the fellowship.
Beer with a view
“All my friends love that place! You have to see it!” – Ilias
It is the last day in Athens. It is the forth day Ilias is talking about his rooftop terrace. Alexandros confirms: “Maybe it is the most beautiful spot of Athens.
So on my last evening it is finally time to visit that spot. With a bag full of Belgian beers we get in the elevator and press button number six. The view indeed is marvelous. There is no better way to end a week with your “adopted family”.