Synavlia – Where People Become Family

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I still remember when I first entered Synavlia, a small cafe managed by a wonderful greek family. A few days after we arrived, me and my partner back then were wandering around Nea Moudania looking for some spots with Wi-Fi, once we didn’t have it on our room.  Nea Moudania is a small town in Halkidiki, Northern Greece, where I’ve lived and worked for two months, for those who haven’t read any other post on this blog.

Back then, we still had some days to enjoy before we started our internship and we were shopping for our tiny home, when we passed by the bus station and a nice old man with a funny moustache approached us asking where we were from. (Was that obvious that we weren’t greek?!) After we said that we were portuguese, he opened his arms and invited us to have a drink, welcoming the guys whose national team had lost the Euro 2004 final to Greece. Well, at least the first thing he said about my country wasn’t “Cristiano Ronaldo”…

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We smiled and thanked him, saying we would definetely go there the next day. And we did, but it was closed. It seems that spanish people aren’t the only ones who love siesta time, so the only one welcoming us was Melina, the sweetest cat I have ever met.

So we decided to go to the beach and after I took a swim, I met the nice old man with his sweet wife in the sand saying that the water was too cold for them. They introduced themselves: Yiannis and Maria. Once again, they invited us to pass by Synavlia to try their ice-cream that, by the way, was delicious!

We started to go there more often. They were always so kind and friendly that soon became our greek family. They introduced us to Maria’s son and daughter, with whom we had a great day in Petralona Cave and some towns around Nea Moudania, in one of the few days-off we’ve had. They took care of me when I got sick and couldn’t stop throwing up. They cheered me up when I was feeling homesick. They sang to me, invited us to a camp fire on the beach, offered me so many good moments…

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Our last days in Nea Moudania were heartbreaking. We could feel their sadness of letting us go and we felt the same. They made our days in Greece really memorable and, in the end, Maria offered me a beautiful neckless. It was her first handmade work and she gave it to me. It was so special!

This is the beauty of travelling: you meet wonderful people everywhere.

My faith in the humanity was restored.

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