For my last weekend in Thessaloniki I invited over a special friend from Athens.
We met on the train platform on the Friday afternoon. After a short rest my best friend in town picked us up for a surprise destination…
We ended up on the third floor of one of the city’s major hospitals looking up at the thousands of blackbirds that dot the sky above the building complex every evening with mathematic precision.
They fly around in different cliques and formations with no apparent plan. Not really going anywhere. At a certain time, the feathered little creatures decide to dive into the tilting branches of the courtyard pine trees to rest for the day. Flock by flock they settle.
We fluttered around the city center. Vesper sight-seeing of Agia Sofia and the Mitropoli. Evening stroll against a backdrop of azure skies over the sea promenade.
We reignited family bonds over a Sunday lunch with longtime no see old relatives of my guest. We landed in their warm nest and spent a few hours with homely food, complex Cretan family trees, war stories and cats purring by the hot stove.
After months of being on the receiving end of people’s hospitality it felt genuinely good to redeem some of the kindness that has been coming my way. Being Eleni’s hostess for the weekend was like giving something back to all of those who have shared their homes with me. I thank her for giving me that opportunity.