My original plans for this month were to write three posts: the first one with the trip to Turkey and the end of September; a second with the main trips of October; and a third with the fieldwork in Thessaloniki and Preveza. I’ll do one now, and leave a second for the begining of next month. Why? Because I am finding it very difficult to sit down [or lay down like now] and write. I haven’t even opened Netflix these past weeks.
So, I came back to Athens and tried to work hard for a week… I finished some tasks, but work keeps piling and for every one I cross another couple appear. Why? Mainly because I travel too much. And I will come to that later. This year I had two missions before I leave Greece: Santorini [Akrotiri] and Dilos. After an unexpected trip to Dilos this month, both have been accomplished. Still so many things to visit around this amazing country, that I don’t really know how long would it take to actually see all I want to see. Anyway, I also had scheduled the visit to two former Yugoslav countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. It has been extremely tiring, due to lots of driving, but it was really worth and I not only learnt a lot, but enjoyed some amazing landscapes. And I will come to that later, yes. First I would like to comment on the complicated resolution of the war, just years ago, in the region. The Balkans are a very complicated area where religion and ethnicities mix up in a melting pot shaked by the results of the conflict, mainly in BiH. I have to admit I just knew some basics about the whole dymanics and when I arrived to Mostar my mind blew. Montengro is quite interesting as an example, stil under age [independent since 2006] is now in the process of conforming its own institutions properly. In the case of archaeology, for example, READ MORE
I really have the feeling less and less people take holidays in July and August anymore… traditionally out month for fieldwork it is now also a moment for more. In my case, I cannot really relax yet if I want to catch up on schedule, but I have to admit I am not in my best position right now and it is being quite difficult. Years ago I listened carefully to the classes by Almudena Hernando at University in Madrid. Now I am living them. But guess we need to carry on, so after crying a bit, here it goes the summary of last month… Once back from North Macedonia I needed to start preparing the next trip, as it has been by far the longest I have taken… almost three full weeks away from home with a conference and fieldwork in three countries. Next week I’m doing something close to that but in a week and without conference… I needed to visit Jordan, and when I saw the call for a conference on archaeological heritage management, conservation and tourism, I saw it clear. It was probably the best excuse to go. At the same time there were a couple of missing points in Israel and Palestine that I needed to address. It all made sense… almost as much as spending the first night in the airport to save some money. I am not 20 anymore, and this is probably one of the main conclusions I got from this trip. READ MORE
In Spain we use to say we do not want to see someone even in a picture [ni en pintura] when we kind of hate them. It is not my case with Athens, but there are periods I do not see the Acropolis ‘ni en pintura’ although this time, I was able to find a nice painting in the Leventis Gallery in Nicosia last week… Jokes apart, since the last post when I was right back from Morocco, I have been in five countries and a half (North Cyprus is not recognised beyond Turkey) and thirteen cities plus the other half of Nicosia. For many, all this travelling is a dream, but when working is not really that much even enjoying some VIP lounges in the way.