21 July 2018, Saturday morning
A distance of 135 kilometres in north-westerly direction lies ahead when we leave our hotel in Thermisia. The rough wildness of the mountain landscape seems like a different world after the tight embrace of the holiday resort. Our way leads us through picturesque villages snoozing in the intense heat. Well constructed roads become adventurous gravel tracks behind the next curve. They remind us not to forget the travel sickness pills next time. On both sides of the road high mountains again and again, in the distance glistening marble surface mining.
A short break at one of the numerous small fruit and vegetable stands where we try with hands and feet to find out the price for half a kilogram of fresh figs. Until the saleswoman gives it up, takes the offered money and additionally presents us with two big tomatoes.
Two hours later a larger city: Nemea, where the pillars of the ancient temple of Zeus welcomes us impressively.
A short call to our friends – we’ll be there in half an hour.
They want to meet us at the village entry and take us to the house of Giannis’ mother to welcome us extensively.
The moment has come. I’m standing on a mountain south of Psari and suddenly realize that this is the area my grandfather marched through 74 years ago with rifle and backpack, also in July. I had followed his steps in thought on the map during the last months so many times. Again and again I had envisioned the first personal contact with family Skourtis.
Now I’m feeling some kind of fear.