I’m Greeked out! I am ready to move on. This does not mean I do not like Greece. It just means I have experienced it all for this year and boredom is starting to set in.

My time in Greece was extended from originally planned. I sensed something happening in Greece the first week I was here. I wanted to verify my feelings. My plans were juggled to permit me to extended my Greece time by two weeks. Whatever I wanted to accomplish has been accomplished. In my mind. My thoughts to be shared when I return.

For me, Greece is three islands and Athens.

Athens is pure love. It is one of the world’s great cities. Like New York, Paris, and London. What is there not to like? My return to Athens is for three nights. Then to the Italian alps. A Swiss chalet half way up Mont Blanc. Within an hour’s drive to Switzerland and France.

The three islands I have come to know are Mykonos, Santorini, and Amorgos. Mykonos has the best beaches. Santorini the best view. Amorgos the best wind. Amorgos also has the promise of tomorrow.

I spent two weeks in Mykonos last year. Ten days planned and four extra days because I could not get a ferry boat out due to the bad seas. I did not like Mykonos. Ergo, it was not on the agenda this year.

Mykonos became famous back in the 1950s and 1960s. Movie stars and jet setters popularized the place. It became their playland. 2013 is 50-60 years later. Mykonos still has the reputation. However, there is not a movie star or jet setter on the island. It has become a tourist haven. Wannabes looking for the excitement of yesterday. Additionally, a tourist trap. Merchants hustle everyone. Friendliness lacking.

Therein lie the reasons I did not return to Mykonos this year.

Mykonos does have one non-comparable attribute, however. Its beaches. The best I have ever seen. Soft sand. Quiet water. Great beach bars and restaurants. Plus, topless and nude women. The women merely frosting on the cake. The beaches are that good.

Santorini has a view that is spectacular. Absolutely spectacular! The Lord could not have planned it better. The cave apartments also add to the ambiance. However, you cannot sit on a cave terrace and watch the view all day every day. That is where the problem comes in. After a volcano visit and catamaran trip, there is little to do.

Santorini is becoming a tourist haven. Most merchants on the hustle. Waiters disrespectful. Food not always the best. Prices very expensive. Note however there are still many places and people to the contrary. Such as the Taverna Katina and my cave apartment landlords Nikos and Maria.

Santorini is still good. I fear however it is becoming the tourist trap that Mykonos is.

Amorgos is like a five year old child. On the verge of blooming. It awaits the world.

The island is yet to be discovered. As I have stated in the past, it is a 100 years behind the times. Sitting on the Aegean, waiting for the world to visit it. Prices still dramatically cheap. Anywhere from 50 to 100 per cent cheaper than Mykonos and Santorini. The merchants love you and you love them. They care for you, are thankful for your business, and do their best to please you.

The beaches leave something to be desired. Stoney beaches. Water clear, however. Think Le Grand Bleu.

Amorgos has the wind! A big wind! Kept Katopola where I was staying comfortable all day. A strong cool wind off the sea is almost a necessity of life on a Greek isle in the summer months.

My sense is that Amorgos will be where Santorini is today 20 years from now. Sad. Enjoy it in the meantime.

I spent four hours yesterday morning at the internet store. First correcting my messed up blog from the day before, then doing yesterday’s blog, and finally writing next week’s KONK Life column. The article is interesting. The Real America. It starts with Michael Moore. Then goes from Travon Martin to Obama to Bank of America to the Religious Right to Pat Robertson to Halliburton. The column closes with Weiner and Spitzer. A revealing commentary in many respects. Some things you may not have known.

Lunch was at Mezzo. A chocolate milk shake again. I am a little boy at heart.

Later this afternoon, I start the trek to Athens. Tonight the Plaka. Dinner at the foot of a lighted Acropolis and Parthenon.

I will be in Athens three nights.

The family and I are in touch. Jake is getting car sick. Just from a short ride around town.

Enjoy your day!


Wi Fi did me in yesterday! I was completing, correcting and revising my blog. The Wi Fi kept going in and out. Somehow the final product did not get published. An earlier one did. With all the misspellings and improper grammar.

I did not know till this morning. I am profoundly sorry. I take too much pride in the product to have sent it off in the fashion it was received.

The blog was corrected this morning. It was good to go and is good to read.

Two nights ago Maria told me yesterday would be the hottest day of the summer. It was! What heat! Overbearing!

I have never had need to use the air conditioning in my cave. Yes, even caves have air conditioning. Yesterday, I did. Then prostrated myself on the bed for 4-5 hours till the sun receded over the cliff to the west.

Before the heat hit me, I was walking. I realized very soon how difficult it would be. I stopped into Mezzo to get out of the heat and have lunch.

Even at 78, I get cravings. I have been thinking of a chocolate milk shake the past few days. I satisfied my desire yesterday. A chocolate shake for lunch! I am still a kid at 78.

I spent parts of the day off and on working on next week’s KONK Life column. The Real America. It will be short and hard hitting. Another eye opener.

Last night was lamb on the spit again at the same taverna where I enjoyed it two nights earlier. Same good! Same taste!

I sense I am mellowing out. First time in ages. A good feeling.

Enjoy your day!


After three delightful weeks on Amorgos, I have returned to Santorini for a week. Santorini will be an enjoyable stay.

The two islands are different.

I love Amorgos because it is yesterday and laid back. Santorini is the view. Different flavors, different strokes. Each satisfying in its own way.

Santorini is a one hour ferry boat ride from Amorgos. It took me all day! Yesterday had its negatives.

I did not know till 3:30 in the afternoon whether the ferry boat was coming. Bad seas. In the meantime, I had to pack and leave my apartment because new tenants were coming in. Eleni was good, however. She arranged a room for me in the event I had to stay another night on Amorgos. However, I could not gain access to the room till it was certain I was staying over.

I was with a large suitcase with no where to go. I stayed on the terrace in the sun. Spent some time at Mythos. Said my goodbyes to three special friends I made. Spyros, Vangelis and Suzanna. Good people all!

Then word came. The boat was coming! Joy to me and a hundred other persons.

The ferry boat was due at 5:30. It was an hour late. Did not show till 6:30. I was standing on a concrete dock in the sun for 1 1/2 hours waiting.

The boat got me to Santorini at 8. One and a half hours late. The seas were still rough. The first 15 minutes of the ride were a bit exciting. I thought I was going to get sick! I assume everyone else thought they were going to, also. Up and down, big dips, with no end in sight. Started just as we left the harbor. After 15 minutes it stopped and was a smooth ride the rest of the way in.

Nikos met me. What a great guy! His cave apartments are on the other side of the island from where the ferry boat landed. Maria gave me a Greek hug and kiss when I got to the caves.

Andromaxi welcomed me with a big hug and kiss when I arrived at Mezzo! She was excited to see me. I was excited to see her. You will recall that I described her a few weeks ago as a classic Greek female beauty.

I wanted a cheeseburger! Chbeeseburger in paradise. Another paradise. I had not had beef in quite a while. Delicious!

I stopped in the bakery store this morning to buy a warm roll. The elderly woman who runs the place gave me a big smile and hug, also. First time.

Santorini is a hugging and kissing place. All of Greece is for that matter.

Besides the various differences described between Amorgos and Santorini, there is another. Santorini is more expensive than Amorgos. Tremendously so!

My best estimate is 50 per cent higher for the same item. What was 4 euros on Amorgos is six on Santorini. In one instance, the difference was 100 per cent. A bottle of Beefeaters on Amorgos was 12 euro. The same size bottle last night on Santorini was 23.90 euros.

Accomodations are also significangtly more expensive.

Santorini is not a poor man’s paradise!

The beauty of Santorini is beyond description. I arrived as the sun set. I was sitting outside this morning when the sun rose. God worked a wonder when He inflicted the volcano eruption on this island some 1,600 years ago.

Enjoy your day!


It’s not easy sometime!

Another 2 for 1 blog. I could not do yesterday’s blog. Two things are to blame. Verizon #1. They sell. However, the service leaves much to be desired. Second, I arrived in Amorgos yesterday afternoon at 3. The internet store closed at 2. It is only open 10-2. What a life!

Yesterday was July 4. Happy Fourth of July everyone! Hope you all enjoyed.

I am into my fourth book. Jefferson by Jon Meacham. A good book to start reading on the 4th. A smart, deceptive, cunning man. Just like Eisenhower. Maybe that is what it takes to be President. Especially a great one.

Wednesday was my last full day in Santorini. There is another side of the island. A side I had never seen. It was time.

Santorini cannot be more than 2 miles wide at Oia. The other side, totally different.

Oia is perhaps the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The natural result of a massive earthquake some 3,600 years ago. Made the Oia side dramatic colorful cliffs overlooking several islands which broke off from the main island at the time of the earthquake. Man has taken advantage of nature’s work. Business booms because of the beautiful view. I sometimes think Santorini as a whole is becoming too commercialized. I hope it does not become a Mykonos.

The other side of the island was nothing. Zip. The volcano did not affect the area. It was flat. The sea looked as any sea. The waves roll onto the beaches. No cliffs. No people, either. A few homes here and there. Most of Santorini’s development has been on the volcano side.

Greek houses come in two color combinations. White with blue trim, tan with white trim.

After my other side of the island trip, I sat on my terrace overlooking Back Street. Finished reading Eisenhower. A good book. I recommend it. It is a no holes barred revelation of Ike’s life.

I was out for the night early. Stopped at Mezzo for a drink. A necessity. Few restaurants carry liquor. Just beer and wine. I drink neither. So I stop where I know I can get what I want before going to a restaurant.

Mezzo is a small place. Only two servers. One male, one female. The female represented Greek beauty to me. Stands erect, lovely legs, a bit of an accentuated butt, lovely breasts and the face of a goddess. A Greek goddess. Topped with streaked gold and brown hair.

Her name is Andomaxi. She is Greek by birth. Lives on a different Greek isle from Santorini. Comes to Santorini for the summer to work.

Her English is perfection. Since it is a learned second language, each word is clearly enunciated. It was a delight to hear her speak English.

I treated myself to a Greek shirt. They are made of light flimsy cotton. Very cool to wear. Very cool to be seen in. Did not make me Greek, however. My crocs give me away.

I discovered a new tiny Greek restaurant. Off the beaten track. Taverna Kasteli. They had lamb chops! The kind I like. The kind my grandmother used to prepare. The cheap fatty bony cut. Delicious! One of my favorite foods. Lamb is big with the Greeks.

We are now into yesterday. Friday, the 4th. I left Santorini for Amorgos. Another island.

Amorgos is really nothing! Mountains, but no dramatic cliffs. Very few people. No airport. Very few cars. No tourists. The boat till this year used to come in once a week with supplies and people. This year, two times a week.

I enjoy the quiet, the simplicity, the nothingness.

I had to take a ferry boat to Amorgos. The Greek islands are connected by ferry boats. The ferry boats are their buses and subways.

The port was packed. I would estimate 2,000 people at least. All waiting for three boats. All due in at the same time. All came in at the same time. One hour late.

Most of the passengers were going to Mykonos. A celebrity haven 50 years ago. Everyone wants to experience the flavor today. I was there last year. I did not like it. Too many people, a tourist trap, everything expensive and generally not worth it, everyone hustling you. Mykonos is also the place where I got hit by the car and thrown into the air. Where the driver never stopped.

I was on what is called in the Greek isles a high speed hydrofoil. Reserved seats.

This boat had five stops. The first was Amorgos. Everyone seemed to be carrying a big suitcase weighing 40-50 pounds. You bring it on. An ordeal. When on board, you are shouted at and asked where you are going. Your bag is grabbed and thrown into a pile with bags going to the same place. Finding your bag afterwards is a task.

You have to hustle to find your seat. Once everyone is on, the boat moves. No lost time. If you are not in your seat, you are going to be on your ass.

The ride was ok till the last 15 minutes. Then 15 foot waves. Bumpy.

Arrived in Amorgos! Maybe 20 of us got off the boat. Lined up in front off the boat were representatives of the various homes that rent out rooms. No hotels as such in Amorgos. Some homes they call pensiones. Nothing upscale and today. These representatives are actually home owners trying to get some business. They hold up signs try to get your eye, and yell at you for your attention.

I am staying in the town of Katopola on Amorgos. Santorini’s Oia is very upscale. Katopola the other side of the spectrum. Very downscale. I would bet Katopola has not changed one iota in over a hundred years.

Maybe that is why I like it so much.

I was settled in my apartment. Elini’s. Ground floor. My own entrance. My own terrace. The terrace sits 12 feet from the ocean. The views nowhere as spectacular as Santoriini, but good never the less.

I heard a loud thump. Then another. And another. I looked to my side. There was an old man in a bathing suit. He apparently had caught with his hands a large squid. About two feet long. He was beating the squid on the rocks. Up and down many times. Obviously killing it and thereafter would take it home for dinner. Amorgos’ version of the old man and the sea.

My favorite Amorgos restaurant. I still do not know its name. There is no sign. It sits on the port off the water where the ferry boat dropped me off. An old 2 story house. The downstairs has been turned into a restaurant. Tables outside. A roof built overhead. The restaurant is typical Amorgos.

The owner and waiter remembered me. Handshakes all around.

I ate there almost every night last year. My grandmother’s cooking.

Last night it was lamb chops again. Two nights in a row. The same, the cheap cut. The kind you eat with your fingers. I also had a dish of egg plant, zucchini, tomatoes and potatoes in oil. The kind of dish you clean with the bread. The bread was De Vito bread. My Utica friends will understand.

As mentioned earlier, lamb is big in the Greek isles. The only problem is I have never seen a sheep. I see goats. Many of them. I suspect the lamb chops are goat chops.

This morning I was up early. I was standing on the terrace. Down the path/road to my right about 500 feet was a pickup truck. I saw a man come out of the house holding what I thought was a dog. As the truck drove by, I saw I was wrong. Two goats. “Lambs” being lead to the slaughter.

Enjoy your day!