History repeats itself.

Last year I was stranded on Mykonos four extra days. The sea was too choppy. The ferry boats would not venture out.

It is happening again in Amorgos. The ferry boat did not arrive yesterday. Sea too rough. As I write this morning, I have been told it is doubtful the boat will come in today. Perhaps tomorrow.

I minded the inconvenience last year because I did not like Myukonos. I do not mind if I am forced to stay another night on Amorgos, however. Amorgos is one the best places in the world!

The only problem is where do I stay. I lose my apartment today. Eleni says she has a room for me on the third floor. A hike up long steep stairs. At least, I will have a place to sleep.

The funny part of all this is that I only need a ferry boat for a one hour trip. I am returning to Santorini for a few days. Santorini is one hour away.

I had dinner at Mythos again last night. He told me his fisherman said there would be no ferry boat today. The water beyond the bay is too rough.

There ia a boat in the area which gives me concern. The Greek military vessel at the opening to Amorgos’harbor. It is still there. I am sitting outside doing this blog. The monster is directly in my vision.

The vessel is big. I find it intimidating. I keep waiting for a few shells to fall on this small inconsequential island.

I started asking questions yesterday. Turns out the ship is a Greek Coast Guard vessel. I have never seen anything this big in Key West. Most refer to it as a battleship. I doubt it is. However, believe me, it is huge! Even has a big helicopter perched on the rear deck.

There are two versions as why it is here.

Apparently, the Turks flew two planes over Greek soil last week. The Coast Guard vessel is in response to the unauthorized flight. I amn aware Turkey is close by. Not that close, however.

The other version is the boat is part of a training exercise.

The vessel will not leave till friday. It will have sat in the entrance to Amorgos bay for ten days. Many are pissed it is there. Greece is hurting economically. Manuy island people consider it a waste of money for the big boat to sit idle.

Flora stopped by last night before I went out. All dressed up! Lovely! A bright red skirt and black armless top. The colors of Albania. The Albanian flag is red with a big black bird in the center.

Flora and I have become friends. We moved the relationship forward last night. We became Facebook friends.

Before Flora arrived, I was sitting outside on the terrace half asleep. Rita from the other day came by on her bike. To say goodbye to the third American on the island, as she described me. It was nice of her. Her next stop was her garden.

Everyone has a garden on this island. They grow their own vegetables. I suspect they can the foods for the winter.

Canning is a throw back in time. I can recall as a young boy in the late 1930s helping my parents can tomatoes and peaches. Fun, but not easy. Hot work. No air conditioning back then. We lived on the third floor of an apartment building. The top floor. The roof was flat. The tomatoes had to be boiled. Contributed to the heat. Then peeled. Then canned in Bell glass jars. Following which the bottled tomatoes had to be boiled again. The heat and sweat big time.

A full day job. Many jars of tomatoes to be done. We ate pasta at least three times a week. The tomatoes necessary for the sauce.

Last night, a wonderful evening. One of the best. I dined at Mythos.

I decided on lamb chops. Vangelis said no. I have a goat. A whole goat. Cooked it myself. Have the goat. You will enjoy. His food has been so good, I did not argue with him.

A whole goat had been roasted. My plate was overflowing with slices and pieces of goat meat. Some covered in a crispy skin. It was fantastic! Tasted just like the pigs we roasted outdoors for parties in Utica. Great flavor and texture.

After dinner, Vangelis and Suzanna sat with me. It was late. Their work was done. Others were cleaning up. We chatted for well over an hour.

Terrific people! Vangelis is Greek. Suzanna, Albanian. As Flora is. I told Suzanna her name was from the old South in America. I sang the first line of Old, Susanna to her. She knew of it.

They met when Vangelis was on vacation in Albania close to 20 years ago.

Hard working people. Suzanna cooks. Vangelis does everything else. He hosts, takes orders, serves. Their 15 year old daughter works incessantly. Without complaint. These people go seven days a week for three months. The daughter is as good as the father in what she does. The ten year old son serves and cleans tables. Then there is the 13 month old baby. Lovely! She is in someone’s arms all day.

Suzanna said she gets to bed about 3 in the morning and is back in the restaurant at 10. Vangelis gets to bed the same time. However, he has to return at 8 to get things going.

They have to make it in the three summer months. Just as Key West restaurants have to make it in the three month winter season. The difference is that Key West has locals to carry them during the off season. Not on Amorgos. Everything closes down. Most on the island have just enough to sustain themselves.

Vangelis and Suzanna have one of the top restaurants. Perhaps the top. They have operated the restaurant for 13 years. They do not own the property. They lease. They have yet to purchase their own home. A home remains too expensive for them.

Vangelis works another job in the off season. He and his brother operate a remodeling business.

Some one telephoned the ferry boat company. They still do not know if the boat will be running today. They will not know till the afternoon.

I really do not care. The only problem is similar to flying and a snow storm shutting down an airport for a day or two. There are not enough seats available for everyone on the first day’s boat out. I could end up staying on Amorgos for two or three additional days. Wonderful! Though I love Santorini, I will not be unhappy to get the additional time on Amorgos.

Enjoy your day!


What a vacation!

Yesterday, I explored. Took the bus to Aigiali. The bus was expensive this time. 2.5 euros each way. A bargain! I was the only one on the bus both ways.

Aigiali was one of the earliest settlements on Amorgos. Came into being around 500 B.C. A beach town. Old, yet more modern than Kapatola. I spent a couple of hours walking around. Sat at a couple of outdoor cafes talking with the natives.

I learned a lot. Discovered I was wrong regarding some things.

I have been of the opinion that lamb was really goat when served in restaurants. The underlying reason being that I have seen hundreds of goats, but not one sheep.

Turns out I have not visited the right places.

The reason I have been seeing goats all over the place is that they are not penned in. They are permitted to roam freely. Sheep on the other hand are penned/fenced in. Sheep have a value and cannot be permitted to wander off.

I have yet to see a sheep. However, I believe the gentlemen who told me about them. If it is advertised as lamb, it generally is lamb I was told. They were a bit offended to think I thought a Greek might pass off goat as lamb.

I was wrong. We live and learn.

Dined again last night at Mythos. Enjoyed a special Greek lamb dish. The owner Vangelis insisted I order it. Was it lamb? I think so. However, I do not know if I ever will be certain.

I enjoyed the dako salad again. Bean bread, diced tomatoes, and crumbled feta covered with a light olive oil. Just as tasty as the night before.

Drank cappuccinos with some locals afterwards. The yacht issue came up. There seems to be a yacht every evening in port. The real big ones. Each evening a different one. Drugs, I inquired. Learned something new again. I was told the economy is very bad in Turkey. So, what is new? Perhaps the worst ever.

Yacht rentals are big business in the summer months. People do not have the cash flow they once did. The yachts were not renting. The rental price dropped dramatically in the search for business. It worked. People are now renting yachts and their crews for their summer vacation. Cheap. Offers a different vacation at a cut rate price.

So much for my druggie thought.

The Greek Isles are not like Key West. Key West is flat. Here every island has several high mountains. Most taller than Santorini’s volcano that I could not climb. The tops of the mountains are unusual. They are huge gray rock formations. Comparable to the top of a glacier covered Alp. Rock instead of ice.

The locals are always trying to figure out a way to attract tourists. That is their econmy. Same as with Key West.

A few years ago someone came up with the idea of rock climbing. Put the mountain tops to good use. Rock climbing is now big time.

I was sitting in a bar when the issue came up. The owner showed me a video of rock climbing on Amorgos. Real big time! Scary! Definitely not for me.

The wind came back last night. Cold! Cold this morning when I walked. If I have been told correctly, last night began another three day phase of cold wind over the island.

Two ladies and a little girl showed up at my apartment this morning. Amwericans. They heard there was another American on the island and wanted to meet me. We had coffee and chatted a while. We are going to become good friends.

Rita is formerly from Los Angeles. She and her husband live on Amorgos full time. Rita runs a dress shop here in Katapola. Her husband is a contractor.

Jean was with Rita. Cousins. Jean brought along her young granddaughter Sofia.

Jean is a physician’s assistant in urology at the Veteran’s Hospital in Washington, DC. She is visiting. Her husband is an attorney. A Syracuse law graduate, also. Once an unsure Catholic, he now is a Deacon. Very much into his religious work and the Catholic Church. I told Rita I had deep concerns about the path the Catholic Church has been taking. She says her husband would enjoy talking with me. And I said, I with him. We exchanged e mails.

Enjoy your day!