DAYS 31 and 32…..Greece the First Time
Posted on June 28, 2012 by Key West Lou
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 a 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
The long boat trip gave me a chance to see many of the Greek isles. We were in and out of about 10 of them picking up passengers.
Politics could not be avoided. I was speaking with some Italian and Greek passengers. Fortunately, all spoke English.
Italian former Prime Minister Berlusconi is on his way back. He beat a sex charge involving a seventeen year old and won some sort of local election soon thereafter. Berlusconi is running again for the Prime Minister’s job. The election is next year.
Of the roughly 17 European nations making up the euro bunch, Italy is in the third worst shape. Only Spain and Greece are behind. Greece is last. Berlusconi has started blaming the Greeks for everything. He is siding with the Germans. The Greeks screwed up is his position.
I shuddered. History repeats itself. The scenario reminded me of the late 1930s when Mussolini joined with Hitler.
I further thought how dumb! Didn’t this guy realize that Italy will be one of the next. Sucking up will not avoid the grasp of the bill collecting Germans.
An example of how heated the conversation got was the boat we were on and ATM machines. The boat was built/bought 10 years ago with euro dollars. The Italian said that euro nation dollars had built the boat. Not Greece’s money. Further, he said that money the Greeks were taking out of ATM machines was made up of Italian and euro nation dollars. In effect, the Greeks were free loading…..all the way around.
I fear worse is yet to come.
Last night was a replay. Went to Plaka. To the same outdoor cafe I drank at several times three weeks ago. The manager saw me and shouted out…..Louis! He embraced me.
I had dinner on the poor side of Acropolis. At the restaurant where the Greeks dance. Under brightly lite Acropolis. Only one problem. Business was poor last night. Only three tables in use. No music. The food compensated. I had huge grilled lamb chops. The kind with fat. The taste spectacular!
Before leaving for dinner, I went to the bar and put down two gins. A magnificent big city type bar. Just like New York City. Then it was downstairs for a manicure.
Chrysa did me. A lovely young lady. Did a good job. We chatted. She was born and raised in Greece. Has a friend in New Jersey. She visits the friend on occasion. She thinks she may be visiting the last week of November and the first week of December. They are planning on driving to Florida. I asked…..South Beach and Key West? I do not think she understood these places. Her answer was Orlando. I told her we all love Mickey Mouse and she should go. But afterwards keep going south till you hit South Beach and then Key West.
I know Chrysa will be reading this blog today. Come to Key West! When you arrive, go to the Chart Room at the Pier House Hotel. I am there most evenings at cocktail hour. If not, tell the bartender who you are and how I may contact you. Do not miss South Beach and Key West!
I had a quick breakfast of nothing this morning. A double espresso. It was like drinking acid!
Enjoy your day!
A couple of items that come to mind which are not in the blog.
The magnificence of the Grand Bretagne I have already shared. Greece’s economic condition, also. The economy affected my stay at the Gran Bretagne.
The hotel was empty. I did not know it at the time.
I had no reservation. Walked up to the counter and explained I had just spent a month on Amorgos and wanted to spend a few days in their hotel. I explained I needed a return to civilization!
What a deal it turned out to be!
I had a huge magnificent room, bathroom and terrace. All for $172 a night.
I was placed on the valet floor. Did not understand what it meant till I reached my room. The floor had a valet. Tails and all. He was to provide all services.
Nice guy. He explained I was the only customer on the valet floor. Ergo, I was all his during my stay. He unpacked my bags. Packed them when I was to leave. He said anything and everything you want, call me. I did. I was cared for like a King.
Lamb is a big dish in Greece. What is on the menu, what you order, is not lamb. Generally, goat. The islands definitely goat. Big time hotels and restaurants in Athens I assume lamb. Smaller places goat.
Don’t say ugh at the mention of goat. Tastes like lamb. You cannot tell the difference.
Goat is especially served on the islands because it is plentiful. You frequently see herds of wild goats running across a mountain side.
I am excited! Extremely so! I am finally to get the vaccine shot. Tomorrow at the Frederick Douglas Gym in Key West.
The news a relief. My 85 year old age is constantly in the forefront of my mind. I should have been one of the first in line. At the moment, they are down to age 55 receiving the shot. What happened to me? I’ll never know and don’t care. That I am to finally receive the shot tomorrow is what is important.
Coronavirus is what? A year old. New things happening daily. Problems. Solutions.
One of the recent occurrences involves a baby born in Washington, D.C. in September. The baby was born with the virus. More dramatic and worse, the baby had 51,000 of some bad thing in his body. The 51,000 number far higher than those in other young patients.
No one knows why.
The baby was “very sick.” Responded well to treatments, however and is virus free today. Doctors believe the infection was from a coronavirus variant.
The baby was “lucky.” The young barely show symptoms.
We are all familiar with the saying when it rains, it pours. Somewhat like Murphy’s law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
I refer to Boeing. “Poor Boeing.” However the poor is not really applicable. Boeing has a glitch or two in its manufacturing process. People die when something goes wrong with a plane.
I mention Boeing this morning because a Boeing 777 made an emergency landing yesterday in Moscow after receiving an engine sensor warning.
A safe emergency landing was made. No injuries. No visible damage to the plane.
This is Boeing’s third engine problem this week. Another 777 engine problem and a 737 one.
Something’s wrong in the plant. Boeing better figure it out. And soon! Otherwise no one will fly their planes.
There will be no blog tomorrow. My time will be absorbed with the shot.
Enjoy your day!
How did you sign up for your shot?
Someone telephoned me 3 weeks ago and told me to go to the Monroe County site for Covid. There was a one page instruction telling one how to sign up. I did right there on eh computer. Maybe 6 simple questions. I thought I would be called for the following sunday at the college because of my age. Was not. College did vaccines again this past sunday. I was not called. Got called yesterday. Told time and where to go. I think the internet sign up might still be available.
You probably would have gotten your Covid shot a lot earlier if all those selfish people from the Daytona area hadn’t snuck in front of you and drove all the way down and got theirs earlier than they deserved that way.
Daytona to Key West is more than 400 miles. I don’t know which would be dumber – (1) actually driving that far round-trip for the shot, or (2) Claiming on Lou’s blog that people had done that.
We’re not talking about smart people being from Daytona, 50 miles, 400 miles, who cares? It’s all about getting your shot before someone else – how you do that isn’t the important part. Bragging rights is what counts.
Congrats, Lou! The system finally worked for you.
Hey 1776 man, you just don’t get it, do you?
The system worked, and Lou is just one person in that system. The system wasn’t built for just Lou, it was designed for all of us. Beating the system should NOT be the goal. Lou’s turn came up and he didn’t have do game anything or cut in line ahead of anyone.
I don’t owe any of you a reason why I sought out my COVID vaccine wherever I could find it. But I’ll give you reasons anyway.
Florida has no restrictions on whichever city or county you get your shot.
I am well within the age group for early vaccination.
I have an underlying medical condition. It’s cancer, diagnosed as terminal.
My wife is also a cancer patient.
My doctors recommended I get the vaccinations ASAP.
Three weeks ago we lost a dear 40 year friend to COVID. He died in four days.
So we drove to Orlando where we were welcomed. If you still think I cheated the system or stole the vaccine from someone more deserving, then you can take your judgmental, sanctimonious,
Self-serving Hunger Games opinion and stuff it right where it belongs.
No one’s asking you to justify why you sought your Covid vaccination in somebody elses community. We are telling you how WE feel about it and your phony excuses as an attempt to justify it.
We also feel that trying to school other (like Lou) on how to do it was cheap bragging,
Stop making up stories, it only makes it worse.
Did your high school yearbook name you as most likely to become an insensitive, uncaring, judgmental fool? Oh, wait. Did you even go to high school?
Leave the guy alone.
Are you trying to suppress somebody’s first amendment rights to free speech?
Leave the guy alone.
Wait a minute buddy. Why not you leave us alone? You are the one coming on Lou’s blog with false narratives and crybaby excuses, trying to paint yourself as some kind of victim for something you alone are responsible for!
I know someone who drove a total of 1200 miles to got two shots.
Dumb and dumber. Your chances of being killed on the highway are far greater than dying of COVID.
True, but that’s not the point. Getting ahead in line is what it’s all about.
Who is dumb and who is dumber? there were over 500,000 deaths due to covid last year in the United States, some say probably at least 550,000, yet only 16,650 died in car crashes.
I would NOT call that “far greater” and neither should you.
Spinning the Covid problem doesn’t help anybody. This pandemic is NOT a hoax and you need to come to grips with that.
Now we just have to worry that the damn thing doesn’t mutate into something not affected by these vaccines.
Love to see the statistics of how many of the people actually getting the vaccine, especially those who are doing anything to do so, are the same people who said the whole thing was a hoax, or even those like the guy up in Pensacola who likes to call himself “KoKomoman” who was so vocal about not wearing a mask in public and demanded we open the beaches.
In other news, still amazed that Trump will be crawling out from under his rock and appearing in public.
J. C. ! You people need to get lives.
I hope Trump forms his own nutsy party.
Liberals are good people with good intentions. Always.
Trump will be easier to beat in 2024 than he was in 2020.
Boeing is just one more example of unchecked capitalism run amuck. This self regulation BS just doesn’t work.
Looking more and more like you are safer flying Sukhoi
Jeez, sorry Lou about your comment blog turning into a Facebook like sesspool. Haven’t read it in a while … hope all is well, Lou!