Yesterday, I slept late. I was comfortable in bed. My body refused to move.

Later, I took a walk. Up and down Ermou Street, Athen’s busiest commercial street. I finally learned its name yesterday even though I have spoken of it every day.

Saw an inviting outdoor café. Took a table. Sat for two hours watching the Greek world go by. I ordered a freddo cappuccino. It is a cold cappuccino. It is the only Greek coffee I have learned by name. Ergo, it is my drink of choice where ever I go.

I made some observations and arrived at some conclusions while sitting. Let me share them with you.

Spaghetti seems to be the lunch favorite in Greece. The famous Greek salad comes in the evening.

There have been no demonstrations while I have been in Athens this year. Last year, I was fortunate to walk through two involving thousands of people. There are union called protests. Nothing however like the ad hoc yelling crowds of last summer.

I constantly learn. Learn of my mistakes. I always thought Acropolis and Parthenon were two separate sets of old buildings on top of the same mountain. Turns out Acropolis is the mountain and Parthenon the buildings.

Sneaks are different in Greece. Whether male or female, they are low slung. Similar to the American walking sneak. No one wears the big Nike. I did. Stopped. Thought I looked foolish, that every one was looking at my feet.

Sandals are also big with men and women. I was ok in this regard. Sandals have a universal appearance.

Women’s foot attire is another story. Athens needs a Stephanie Kaple. Heels forget. On the whole trip thus far, I have seen one set of stiletto heels. A woman working in a high end jewelry store on Santorini was wearing a pair of four inchers.

Platform shoes are worn. Not that many, however. Most women, whether dressed or casual, walk around in sandals with full backs at the ankles. They seem to be the female shoe of choice.

The New Dawn Party is a rebirth of the Nazi Party. It is a growing influence in Greece. When I see them in their black uniforms, I feel the same way as I did on Amorgos when the big Greek Coast Guard vessel arrived and sat in the middle of the entrance to the harbor for several days. Intimidated.

Automobiles were in the minority in Milan. Mopeds were the vehicle of choice. In Athens, it is the motorcycle. I have never seen so many. Crossing the street is a dangerous event!

Young Greek men are lovers. Especially in Athens. They move on every woman, regardless of age. The ladies seem to expect and enjoy it.

There is a constant sense of being a part of history when a person is in Greece. Much like visiting the Washington Memorials, Mount Vernon or Gettysburg.

I quick visited a museum I came across behind Parliament. Entry fee 10 euros. What country are you from? The USA. 10 euros. Seems only the US and German patrons pay 10 euros. Everyone else, 2 euros. We know the Greeks hate the Germans. I can understand why the Germans would not be given a break. But why an American citizen? The Greeks seem to love us. Big time! I suspect they believe Americans are all rich and can afford full price.

The young lady collecting the admission fee at the door and I had a brief chat. She was very upset. She recently finished her university education. She has four degrees. Could not get a job. She works as a ticket seller at the museum and makes a paltry 300 euros a month. $400 American money. She is angered.

I stopped at the Grande Bretagne for a manicure. The same young lady that did me last year did me yesterday. Her name, Chrysa. She said upon seeing me…..You are from Key West, you were here last year. Amazing!

I shall close with the saga of the two elevators.

I think I am losing it a bit.

I had to take the elevator to get to the beauty shop. The elevator doors shut behind me. I looked to both sides and saw no button panel. I did see a sign at eye level. It was dark, had on sunglasses, and have bad vision to boot. The word VOICE stood out. Next to the sign were two little speakers.

I was impressed. A new elevator concept. You recall I experienced one in Washington, DC recently. I said….Two. Nothing happened. I have a clear deep distinct voice. I repeated the number several times. Nothing happened.

I thought…..Shit, I’m stuck in an elevator!

My eyes dropped. There at about knee level was the usual appearing button panel. I pressed 2 and was on my way. I read the sign when the doors opened at 2. The message was in effect to relax if you were stuck. A voice would come on in due course and you could talk to someone.

I returned to my hotel. I am staying in 806. The door opener is one of those swipe things. The door would not open. It had opened the previous two days with no trouble using the same card. I found the floor cleaning lady and told her of my plight. She agreed to let me in. We tried my card again first. She asked what my room number was. I told her 806. We were on the sixth floor and I was trying to get into 606!

Enjoy your day!


Athens is a 25 minute flight from Santorini. I had to wait 45 minutes to get my luggage. Amazing!

Nikos drove me to the Santorini airport. What a guy!

I noticed on the drive into Athens from the airport that there were a lot of police cars. The cab driver told me it was because Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta was in town to meet with the Greek hierarchy.

For some reason, I was not in the mood for plaka last night. My usual Athens night time haunt. I walked in the other direction. Ended up at the Grande Bretagne. I had tried to get a room there when planning the trip. One of the world’s great hotels. I was told there were no available rooms.

There were a lot of policemen outside the Grande Bretagne. Inside, I had to go through security. Like in an airport. I sensed Letta might be staying there. I would not ask, however. Greece makes me uncomfortable on occasion.

I enjoyed a superior evening at the Grande Bretagne! Even better than that!

I started at the bar. I was drinking Beefeaters. During my talk with the bartender, he asked if I had ever tried Beefeaters’ 24 Gin. It is Beefeaters top of the line. Forget never having drunk it, I had never heard of it. I wonder how many of you have.

In any event, I tried a glass. I did not like it. It had a perfumey bouquet like Bombay Saphire.

I decided to eat something. It was around 11 in the evening. I had not eaten since brfeakfast. I took a small intimate table just outside the bar area.

I ordered bruschetta. Three different types were served on vertical slices of a French type bread. One salmon, another mozzarella and tomato. The third was a vegetable of some sort. I susect zucchini crushed into an oily dressing. The whole thing to die for!

There was a piano player. Seated at a large baby grand. He played only American songs. He caught my ear with My Way. Later, his rendition of the theme from the Godfather blew me out.

There I was seated in absolute beauty enjoying excellent food and entertainment.

I thought how lucky I was.

The room. The Grande Bretagne is a distinguished old hotel. The bar area where I was seated is on the side of a huge high ceilinged dining area. Columns to the sky. Paintings. Antique furniture pieces. A physical heaven.

The Germans desecrated the Grande Bretagne with their presence during World War II. High ranking German officers occupied the hotel for living purposes. Offices were maintained in the building, also. I could envision German officers enjoying the room then as I was last night. A shame.

When I left, I had to pass through the crowd of police. I made it out just in time. I was 25 feet from the hotel when the sirens came blasting. Cars drove up. Four abreast. The street is extremely wide. Brakes screeched.

It was the man!

Italy’s Prime Minister Letta was staying at the Grande Bregtagne. He hopped out of his limo, gave a wave to everyone around, and entered the hotel. He had his jacket slung across his arm, no tie and his sleeves rolled up. Gave the impression he had been working. Some one told me that is his trade mark. No jacket or tie, sleeves rolled up.

I recently read that when ever Obama travels anywhere, like 200 staff and protection persons travel with him. The cars he will use are transported by plane, also. It made it easy for me to understand the retinue of cars stopping and people following the Prime Minister into the hotel.

There are two type police in downtown Athens these days. One official. The other unofficial, but tolerated. The usual police and members of the New Dawn Party. The New Dawn Party is the Nazi type political party gaining power on an increasing basis every day. The New Dawn members wore black and both walked and rode mopeds. Young good looking strong appearing individuals. I saw them out and about last night. In three different places. They travel in groups.

There was some sort of demonstration yesterday in front of the New Dawn headquarters in downtown Athens. Near Parliament. The party memebrs played the Nazi National Anthem. The very same one banned in Germany since World War II. During the demonstration, New Dawn handed out free food to whoever needed it. Not a hot dog. Bags of food. Families have a hard time getting enough food to eat in Greece these days.

Immigrants are the Jews of yesterday. The New Dawn Party blames them for Greece’s economic problems. Each person receiving food first had to establish he/she was not an immigrant.

I cannot wait to walk the streets of Athens today. Greece is an interesting and increasingly dangerous place.

Enjoy your day!

DAY 33

I saw something for the first time yesterday. Something never seen before by me.


The real kind. Not a homeless person looking for a hand out on Duval. The homeless receive some degree of care in the U.S. A place to sleep at night, cots, showers, at least one good meal a day.

The beggars I viewed seemed to have nothing. They looked pathetic. Quite frankly, as a visitor to Athens I found it abhorrent that some social network was not available to help these persons. This is the same Greece that I spoke about on my international internet show several monrths ago. The Greece that was preparing to give life pensions to pedophiles. Life pensions instead of life prison terms. To child abusers. While those begging and with serious problems receive nothing.

What did I see?

I was walking on a main downtown street of Athens. Two blocks from the Greek Parliament. The street is only open to pedestrian traffic. No cars. Crowded.

There on the sidewalk was an elderly woman dressed in black. She was holding on to a small wheel chair. In the wheel chair was a 30ish man. His body distorted in every conceivable way. The woman holding one hand out.

A block away I happened upon a young man sitting on the curb. His legs were extended in front of him. His left foot was twisted dramatically to the left. He sat with his hand extended.

Then there was the young mother holding what I assume was her young child. The baby was no more than 6 months old. The woman was dressed in black. She had the baby in one arm and her hand extended with the other. Her eyes followed me.

Children 4, 5 and 6 years old came up and put a hand out. In the hand, a rose. They say nothing. Just look at you with big sad eyes.


No one bothers with these people. Including the authorities.

A shame.

I had an otherwwise nice day. A manicure. The nails grow regardless of where you are. Drinks at the plaka at cocktail time. My manager friend gave me a bowl of cut up fruit. On the house. Dinner was again on what is known as the poor side of Acropolis and the Parthenon. A different restaurant. A terrific meal. I needed protein. I ordered an overflowing dish of all kinds of grilled meats.

Did I think of those who had less? Who were required to beg to exist? Yes. Did I do anything about them? No.

Today, I leave Greece. I feel like I have been here for ever. Time to go. I fly to Milan and Navarro this evening. Tomorrow night I will be staying some where on Mount Blanc. I will also be having dinner in France tomorrow night.

It is a good life. Thank you, Lord. There but for the grace of God could have been me on the street begging earlier in the day.

The Hotel Grande Bretagne where I sam staying has an historical background of note. Many events have happended at the Hotel over its roughly two hundred year existence.

Two that interested me.

I am a World War II history freak.

In October 1940, all guests were removed from the hotel. The government and headquarters of the British forces replaced them. It was World War II time. Then the Germans came. Their invasion was successful. The Nazi hierarchy took over the Hotel for their headquaters. Greece was liberated in October 1944. The Hotel became the seat of the new temporary Greek government.

Demonstrations occur.

Generally in the plaza accross from the Hotel Grande Bretagne. The plaza is in front of Parliament. Thousands come out to protest. Last year a demonstration occurred. The people came accross the street to the Hotel and ripped out the Hotel’s gigantic marble steps. As well as the marble steps in front of the other hotels on the same block.

Yesterday’s blog screwed up. Spelling, English, etc. The bottom third of the first part of the publication. Nothing I could do. As terrific as this hotel is, their computers are a generation ago. Slow and mistake inclined. Suddenly, I could not correct my mistakes nor the computer’s.

Terri White. A love of my life. Donna writes that Terri will be appearing in The Razzy Room of the Hotel Nikko in Los Angeles on July 10. A big deal! Go Terri!

I published another article on Amazon Kindle yesterday. Chevron Officials Banned From Leaving Brazil. Theme: Fool me once you may get away with it…..try to fool me a second time and you are in trouble.

That is it for today. The end of the Greek portion of my trip. Tonight back in Italy. Tomorrow night dinner in France.

Enjoy your day!

DAYS 31 and 32

I am back! Missed a day. Yesterday. Big traveling day.

I am sad to say I left Amorgos. It is like Key West in my feelings. Twenty five years ago on my first visit I knew some day I wanted to live in Key West. Amorgos leaves me with the same feeling. No way, however. Key West is home and I am happy there.

I am in Athens. A big vibrant teeming city. After spending more than three weeks on three different Greek isles, I needed a return to the normal world.

I am doing my two days in Athens big time. Staying at the world famous Grande Bretagne. It is civilization. Opulent. Service till you fall over it. Tons of fresh clean towels. A woman to give me a manicure. A real shower. Not one of those small confines with a hand held shower head. Big bed with a great mattress. Clean sheets every day.

The modern conveniences!

My last day on Amorgos was spent doing exactly what I liked. I sat in my bathing suit with my feet propped on another chair on my terrace. A baseball cap on my head backwards. And read. Except for an hour in the afternoon when I went in to take a nap.

Dinner was with Demetrius. He made a fuss. I told him…..I shall return!

Yesterday was a new experience. My 9 hour boat trip to Athens. I was not excited. The starting time was too early. The length off the trip too long. I expected an old beat up trawler with a handful of people.

What surprise! The boat was fantastic!

Big. Three stories. Long. A ferry boat in effect. The first floor for cars. Don’t know why. There are not that many cars in the Greek isles to fill the mammoth space. Two floors for passengers. Roughly 400. The second floor all economy class. The third, half economy and first class. The other half business class.

I was in business class. Explanation time. Classes when traveling are not the same as in the U.S. Whereas first class is tops, in Greece business class is. The Greek first class is comparable to our business class.

You would not believe the business class salon. Easy chairs and sofas. That’s all to sit on. Pure comfort. Always a table nearby for a drink or whatever. Service. Waiters. A small bar with little goodies to eat. Only half full.

The trip was a treat! Rather than the dreaded experience I thought was before me.