Timewise, my life is totally screwed up.
I arrived in Santorini this morning. Santorini is seven hours ahead of Key West time.
I went out in Athens again last night. Did not get back to the hotel till one in the morning. Had to get up at 5 to get cab at 6 to take me to the airport for an 8:30 flight. The flight took a half hour.
Now for my yesterday fun day.
My computer and data port are still not working. Nor will the computer take wi-fi. Ergo, I am required to find a store that leases computer/internet time. The place in Athens left a bit to be desired. Second floor. Heavy humidity. No air conditioning. Everyone smoking. I was soaking wet and stunk of cigarettes when I left.
I took a walk. I was hopefull the fresh air would take the smell out of my tee shirt. It was my last clean one.
Walked the same commercial street as I did last year. Heavy duty stores. Top of the line. More closed than last year. Saw beggars, again. Three. A young man with no legs sitting on the street with his hand extended holding a cup. A young mother kneeling in the street holding her baby. The woman had a sign around her neck…..I have no money. A small bent over old lady with no teeth walking up to people with her cup and mumbling undistinguishable words.
These are not homeless people as we know them. These are for real beggars. The same that have existed since the beginning of man.
It was Acropolis and Parthenon time.
It was a tough trek last year. I was in terrible shape. I walked through Plaka to the foot of the wide road leading up to the entrance to Acropolis and Parthenon. Better than a 45 degree incline. At least a mile up. Had to stop several times. Thought I was going to die.
Did it again yesterday. This time the smart way.
I found an English speaking cab driver. I asked if he could get me to the entrance on top. Absolutely! I was there in minutes. Not even winded.
Acropolis and Parthenon are Acropolis and Parthenon. The beginning of civilization. Still standing. A little weathered. A bit beaten. Yet surviving.
It was still hard work after the cab ride. I had stairs to climb and much ground to cover. I did it with pleasure. There is something exhilarating about seeing man’s beginnings.
I had to walk two blocks after leaving. To find a cab to take me back to the hotel.
One thing bothered me. The cost of entry. Either Americans are unloved or thought to be rich. I think both.
Europeans pay 6 euros. Americans 12. At the Last Supper, I ran into a similar situation. I am 77 years old. Senior Europeans paid 1.5 euros. Americans 10 euros.
Last night, I was back in Plaka. Probably should be spelled Playka. A wonderful place! I never stay up late, yet I did at Plaka two nights in a row.
I was heading for the bar/outdoor cafe where I spent some time last year. Where I watched the European soccer world series with the owner and some of his buddies. When they yelled, I yelled. When they swore, I swore.
The name of the place is Cossimos. I think. Everything is in Greek. The Greeks have their own alphabet. Strange to non-Greeks. Cossimos is as close as I can come to the correct name.
I was in a large crowd moving down the street towards Cossimos. All of a sudden I hear a shout…..Key West Lou! It was my owner friend from last year. He came running towards me and we hugged. As soon as we arrived at the cafe, he yelled to a waiter…..Gin on the rocks!
I made a friend last year.
He is Canadian. Sixtish. Was very happy. Told me he been divorced in the past year. He had a girl friend in Canada. Twenty seven years old. She was coming to Greece to live with him. Lucky you, I told him. He beamed!
The drink arrived. A large water glass filled to the brim with gin. At least 3 drinks in one. Maybe 4. My friend was a generous host.
Note that I have not mentioned his name. I coud not remember. After his warm reception, I did not want to insult him by saying I forgot, what is it, etc. I never found out.
I noticed a couple of things while devouring the gin.
Every dog I saw was flat on the ground sleeping. I never saw one up and about. I thought they might have smoked something.
Athens is alive. People are up. Locals and visitors. Contrasted with Novara where I found people basically depressed.
They have Ed Swift type trains as in Key West. My thoughts were of Sheila. The train cars are a bit narrower. Three max across as opposed to four. They do not drive on city streets. They drive down the narrow alleyways in Plaka. Only people are obstacles. Not bicycles.
Outdoor cafes galore. Each with someone hustling your business as you walk by. Two nights in a row, I walked past Mikel. A charming young man. Eat here, eat here, was his cry. We chatted. I promised him I would return. He was thrilled when I did.
Mikel’s restaurant is named Meandros. I only know the English name because I had Mikel tell me and spell it for me. The food was outstanding! Lamb chops. Broiled. The cheap boney fatty cut. Loved them!
I walked back to my hotel. I did not get lost this time.
Enjoy your day!