Dear Members of the Magyar Tolkien Társaság,
Hearty greetings. This piece is being written while still in Budapest, waiting to board my plane back to Greece. Nostalgia has already nested in my mind. Thus, all the memories are fresh and eager to jump out and be shared.
Let’s go a few months back. The preparations for our visit began when Metaflora contacted our Tolkien Society to invite us to your celebrations for your 20th Anniversary. The answer was obvious in my eyes. Nikos (Eomer) and Stamatis (Finrod) accepted gladly to follow. Trips and visiting fellow Tolkien Societies have always been exciting, very pleasing and unforgettable in our hearts and minds.
Needless to say that our expectations were not only met but surpassed by far. Where to start? Falling in love with the city of Budapest? Yes… that’s a good place to start. Buda Castle with all its attractions stole my heart. Later that evening was our first encounter with all of you. A cozy bar and people laughing with warm hearts playing quizzes and singing together. That’s where I first felt the connection, joining you in singing with a single voice some beloved Tolkienian songs. Then followed the beer and the first chats. I am happy to have learnt a lot for you and by you. Daniel was excited to share with us Hungary’s and your society’s history. Here I must mention the invaluable help of Flóra for taking such good care of us during the whole celebrations and Adri who was always there for us as well. The next day followed my presentation at the conference. My experience was great, having a presentation at such a great university under the organizing baton of dear Daniel Karakas. Later, came the highlight of our visit for me, the unforgettable, for many reasons, Líthas organized by dear Zsuzsanna. What to mention first? Watching the sunrise all together? Playing jugger with the help of the great Zsolt? Singing around the campfire? Meeting the Fairies in the ancient forest with Viki’s help? Valuable and heartwarming moments that will never fade. We are forever grateful.
Saturday followed with the second day of the conference and the Party Night in the evening. My feet still hurt from dancing and imagine that I danced much less then Nikos and Stamatis. People were full of energy and eager to make us feel welcome. Dancing Sirtaki with all of you was a blast.
Sadly, Sunday came. Sadness didn’t arise because of the great choreography, the amazing play or the toast and cake celebrating your 20th birthday but because of the sad truth that soon we had to return to our routine and put the magnificent journey behind us. Now, as I’m boarding my plane back to Greece, I feel the urge to say a big “Thank you” from the bottom of my heart to all of you for making this trip amazing and special for us. We have one regret: that we didn’t have more time to spend with you. I put a temporary stop to this narration hoping that we’ll meet again soon and we’ll have more time and heartwarming moments together.
On behalf of everyone from the Greek Tolkien Society
Dimitrios Kolovos aka Amandil
Vice-President of the Greek Tolkien Society “The Prancing Pony”