Greece is rolling out the red carpet for a visit this week by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hoping to improve often-frosty ties between the two neighbors and NATO allies at a time when Turkey's relations are being tested with both the European Union and the United States.
As the last customers finished their drinks at sidewalk cafes one warm October night, three silver-haired activists armed with a long-handled broom and a bucket quietly plastered posters on a nearby wall: "Hola nou pais" — "Hello new country."
High in the mountains of southern Albania, a bone-jarring drive along a rough track with switchbacks frequented more by goats than by cars leads to a cluster of small villages where time appears to have stood still for decades.
Descending beneath the waves, the cloudy first few meters quickly give way to clear waters and an astonishing sight — dozens, perhaps hundreds, of tightly packed ancient vases lie on the seabed, testament to some long-forgotten trader's unfortunate voyage more than 1,600 years ago.
A satirical cover for a political news magazine was all it took to see its editor eventually sentenced to more than two decades in prison.
It was supposed to be a time to look forward to.