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Holidays in Syros - Part I

by Frank Panis

What is the ultimate opportunity what cichlid hobbyists can dream of? Meet each other so they can talk about their beloved fish, share experiences, get new ideas and even better: become friends! This way George, Francesco, me and the complete families already met each other during the 13th ABCV cichlid show last year. One year later we decided to meet again, and our intention was to make it a relaxing holiday. Most sadly Francesco & Stefania couldn’t make it, so it was only 2/3 of MCH that was coming together. Despite that, we had enough topics to discuss, places to visit, meals to enjoy and jokes to laugh about. Once we left our kids with my parents, and after a refreshing sleep (I had been sick the previous 3 days) we got to the airport early in the morning. The check-in went very smoothly and after a 3 hour flight we finally arrived in the magnificent new Athens airport. 


With my length, the emergency exit seats close to the wings are a must to arrive in prime shape.

This was the first time we ever stepped on Greek soil, and at this exact moment I’m sure it wasn’t the last time! The Taxi ride will always be remembered as the confrontation with male Greek attitude. Could you believe that the driver didn’t know the exact address of George? On top of that, the traffic was huge because of the ongoing works for the 2004 Olympic games, what caused the taxi driver to get extremely nervous. He kept on shouting all the time and had to ask the road for at least 10 times… we were very amused indeed! Finally he managed to get us were we wanted to be: at home with George! 

At last we were together (the second time since we already saw each other in Belgium during the 13th ABCV cichlid show in Belgium!!!) It was a delight to see our dearest friend George again!! Finally we could also see all the fish tanks that we had seen on pictures with our own eyes! It's not that we didn't have seen cichlid tanks before, but the 1300L Malawi, the 500L mbuna, all of them where we've read so much about, were magnificent! After George made us a terrific home-made espresso that Hilde first refused and then desperately wanted too, (the best I had up till now – we still have to visit Francesco in Rome to get a confirmation of the superior quality espresso there) it was time to take a close look at the pride of the home: George’s 2 140L Mediterranean tanks. Again there was a big WOW! What a magnificent view, the sea urchin, the sponges, the anemones, Salaria pavo (Big daddy) and the fish that I saw later in the sea: Thalassoma pavo! 



Picture of a juvenile Labidochromis caeruleus in George’s 500L Mbuna tank & Thalassoma pavo in his Mediterranean tank

Continued in next page

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