Day 157 – EU – Greece [Sagiada to Syvota]

28th July 2020
Run: 39km

Back on the road on a superb day of running towards the Greek coastline and a string of tiny beautiful villages

The past few weeks have been for me some of great “discoveries”, through countries I was unfamiliar with: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia. Montenegro and Albania. Croatia and Albania stand out because I spent much time running across them and they were so pleasantly surprising. It is often the warmth of the people that makes a place or country stand out. And both Croatia and Albania certainly did score high in that department – in addition to being blessed with truly outstanding natural environments.

Crossing a border is insignificant on a map. A few meters from here to there. Yet the difference it makes in terms of experience can be tremendous. Right now I feel a world apart from Sarande and Albania.

Being in Greece is such a familiar ground. I lived there a total of 5 years ½. In 2003-2004 first, which were pre-Olympic and Olympic Games years. Quite an exciting time to be around. Then again from 2008-2011, which were financial crisis times, much less fun to be around! Tough years to be precise, especially for the entrepreneur I was then.

It’s also only the second country of the world run where I speak the language (France and Greece) – though I understand bits of Spanish & Italian, I am not fluent in these languages. It makes a difference when you can communicate “as a local” with the locals. It’s the difference between being treated as a tourist or as a friend. In countries like Greece which are very community-centered, it makes a significant difference.

Greece is also a country we visited as a family, back in 1989 when I was 12 y-old. We went around the Peloponnese, on a three weeks camping trip. It’s going to be interesting to re-visit these places, 30 years later, from a much different perspective.

Anyway: brilliant day, happy to be back on the road, thrilled to be in Greece – and delighted how the journey is going so far 🙂

Ps: my toe has healed wonderfully through the 2 days of rest, so that’s the last time I will mention it in this blog hopefully!

Check my daily run GPS data on Garmin or Strava (icons top right of your screen) – here is the map of today’s run: