When I asked members of a group Live from Greece when was the first time you visited Greece, I received countless responses.

I’ve selected some of them for you, and the rest can be found here.

“Neoi Poroi, for the first time in 2014. Before that, as a little child, I was in Montenegro, but I hardly remember that period, and after, every piece of Greece was an experience itself and the same remain today… each time when I get close to Evzoni I become emotional and tears start coming out. I’ve been watching the tree alleys along the highway, the irrigation systems and I felt like I was on another planet, and Neoi Poroi stayed unforgettable. We all got to know the new parts of ourselves through that experience and me, I did not even know that I could relax that much. The feeling when you are stressed out and relieved I haven’t felt since the early childhood. After that, came Thassos, then Polychrono and this year, Nea Vrasna. I live for the day when going to Greece and that is the main thing I think about. I wonder sometimes if this is normal because I really overdo it, but blame it on Nei Pori”

“Michaniona in 1972, and I continued going there for the next 15 years. Before it was an urban place with a church at the main square. The church was destroyed a few years later and rebuild as bigger and even more beautiful. When I returned there in 2012, I noticed the city was built more but it was no longer a tourist destination, the beach almost didn’t exist and it became a fish port with a fish processing factory. After 26 years I have met people we were staying at during our vacations in past and I will never forget that encounter that returned me to my childhood”.

“Hahaha, I’m evoking memories from 1977 with my brother, of course, Paralia! With parents in Fiat car, of course without an aircondition, without a highway, a path to the unknown! At the border, first uniformed soldiers with puffs on clothes that ritually shifts on the watch! Than, the highway with blooming flowers! And the endless sandy beach, which we had not seen before! Don’t get me started about souvlaki in a bun from corner shop! Then the coca cola from cans, which didn’t exists in Serbia in our time! We made pencil vessels out of them! Then shopping in Katarina - obligatory chandelier, curtains, coffee, olives and of course, for me, orange sandals with orthopedic heels, of course, which we did not have! Then practice of English and first falling in love and letters! The only thing I missed then was the smell of cypress that Gradac had! Uh, I could talk for hours, how much time was filled, relaxed, magical!”

“Leptokarya in 1978. Only the main street was asphalted. Chocolate milk in a plastic bottle. Sausages on the beach from a parked van. A summer holiday with Aunt Keti every year. The Greek Zorbas tape that we watched nonstop. Beautiful memories”

“Pefkohori 1995. Holiday with my family and my closest family friends. I was 6 years old and everything was new experience, although I do not remember the details of the place itself. Our two families, at the time, both four-person, received two totally different accommodation, one miniature and cramped, the other huge, with veeeery long terrace where we liked to hang out. The promenade seemed big then, I remember evening tumult, and the biggest hit for me as a child was some huge ice cream that in didn’t exist at the time. The water was clear, transparent, I was afraid to leave the shallows. One of us kids had the first encounter with jellyfish. We have great photos and memories, and love for Greece has only strengthened with time and new experiences.”

“Paralia, the 80s, we were traveling in the morning, the sky was full of stars, three children in a old car without A/C. Church parish in Paralia, priests share chocolates with children. The smell of bakery. Mum buys curtains (she still has them), Wrangler and Lee Cooper jeans. Raw coffee, which is why the customs officers in Gevgelija are kicking you out the pants. The first ironing board from Greece.”

“I remember the ferry to Thassos in 1974… then from Kavala… from foreigners just our car (Stojadin of course) and one Swedish… we found in Scala Rachoni… where literally there was not a single tourist. A room in the house on the beach…. the landlord Yanula wondered what we would do there… 10 houses… one village tavern… so… we went shopping in Prinos…. there was one of the then phenomenal markets for us… and the city of Thassos (Limena as the locals called it) had a couple of taverns, a kiosk with souvlaki and some of those typical Greek shops…. And then it started slowly… tourists… development… so now I can hardly recognize some places… my folks were on Thasos last time in 1990… and all this time in the same house… I was somewhere in 1985 last time, when I stopped going with them… but in 1994, when I came back with friends, everything was different…