DAY 6

 

Greece is a time bomb waiting to explode.

The people are unhappy. The financial crisis is choking them.

Economics is the topic of conversation everyday. Expressed with increased vehemence each day.

Riots around the corner. Protests already. The situation a tinderbox ready to ignite.

I was on my way to the Metro Underground beneath the plaza in front of Parliament yesterday. Thousands of people walk the plaza hourly. In one corner near the entrance to the Metro, several young people were carrying signs. One was talking into a loudspeaker.

Speaking Greek, of course. I neither speak nor understand the language.

About 50 persons milling about listening. I mingled in the crowd. I was able to pick up the gist of the protest from comments made by onlookers. Economics. The euro.

Listeners aroused. The name Merkle caused several to spit on the ground.

Recently, Greece had an election. Neither the left nor right obtained enough votes to control the government. So the Greek Parliament is floating along. The country in limbo.

A new election is scheduled some time in June.

Italy’s former Prime Minster Berlusconi announced yesterday the unless Germany backed off the euro, Italy should return to the lira. Germany appears the only European nation benefitting from the euro. The Greeks and Italians dislike the Germans. They feel Germany is being hard ass about doing something corrective regarding the economy. Whatever might be done would not be to the financial benefit of Germany.

Beware. I sense bad days ahead. Keep in mind that we live in a global world. Whatever happens in Greece and elsewhere affects us in the United States.

I spent 3 hours doing yesterday’s blog. I sat in one position and typed for the three hours. When I finished, my legs from my knees to my ankles were full of fluid. I went back to my room, took a fluid pill and lay on the bed three hours till the problem was relieved. Today I am getting up and moving about on occasion as I write.

I took the Metro Underground. It is a subway. I have not been on a subway since my senior year in college in New York City. 1957.

The purpose of taking the Metro was to visit Acropolis and the Parthenon. Way up a hill. Better to ride to than walk. One stop on the Metro.

A problem. The Metro Acropolis stop was still at least a mile from the entrance. An uphill walk. At a constant 30 degree angle. In the boiling sun.

Not my cup of tea. I had to stop not several times, but many times to sit and rest. As I sat, many passed me by going to the top. Many  older than I. Some obviously infirmed. While Louis sat, they marched.

The first part of the return trip was a problem also. The initial path down was of marble. Huge irregular blocks. Slippery. Small cuts in the marble to minimize the sliding factor. I slid, did not fall. It was not easy.

The trip was worth it. I was a part of history during the time I was on top. Acropolis, the Parthenon and other smaller temples. The most stimulating factor for me was the realization that all I saw was constructed BEFORE Christ. Way before.

Acropolis was a temple to the Gods. The most exciting feature of the Parthenon the columns.

The smaller temples had columns also. However, they were copies. Some time back, there was a violent earthquake. The columns could not handle the movement. To protect them from a future abuse by nature, they were removed and replaced. The originals sit in a museum at a point down the hill.

Two generationally different fat cats responsible for much of what has been done. Pericles back in the 400s BC. The Rockefeller Foundation in recent times.

All the buildings are fragile. Thousands of years old. Modern man is constantly working to preserve that which was. There are scaffolds and cranes every where.

There had to be a topping on the cake after such a glorious walk back in history. It came in the evening. Dinner at Dionysus Restaurant.

Dionysus sits at the foot of the historical mountain. About a mile away. It is a huge outdoor restaurant. Top self. Great lamb. Greater view. Expensive. Worth it.

There in front of my eyes on top of the hill sat the Acropolis and Parthenon. All brightly lite. Awe inspiring. The viewing emotional.

Traditionally Dionysus was the God of the grape harvest. He was also known as Bacchus. Party boy! Festivals galore!

Did I sleep last night? Finally! The first full night’s sleep since starting this trip. I hope the jet lag is behind me.

Today is my last in Athens. Tomorrow I leave for Santorini. I still have not danced nor thrown dishes around. Hopefully tonight. There is a little Zorba in each of us.

Yesterday was Ally’s birthday. Seven years old. I forgot. I will Skype her later and make up for it. I selected a birthday gift for her before I left and gave it to her. So I am only half bad in forgetting.

I know not what today holds. Whatever, it will be good. I am in a place where it cannot be bad. And tonight….hopefully dancing and dish breaking.

Enjoy your day!

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