Day 8, Monday, June 28, 2015
I finally saw the Acropolis and, in it, the Parthenon. It’s one of those places I wondered I’d ever get to see. All my life it was an important ancient landmark to me because my mother was an art history teacher, as well as an artist. But she didn’t have to do too much drilling of it into my head because I was fascinated by it. And aside from the fact that the Parthenon had scaffolding around it blocking some of the structure, it didn’t disappoint. How did they get the stones on those huge columns up so high in those ancient times? I’m not sure of the historical dates, but to also know Socrates and his student, Plato, and his student, Aristotle, were wandering around some time around then, philosophizing, and that this was the cradle of Western civilization—it’s just an incredible place.
But Athens itself did not give me a good feeling, except for the area around the Acropolis. Too huge and chaotic for me—unmanageable.
Before Mick, Gill and I left for Athens we spent a long, difficult time trying to make reservations for me to get to the Greek islands. I had my heart set on Sondussa (I can’t remember the name exactly right now or may have spelled it wrong) because of the beaches, but it turned out to be too far out and too remote to be practical for this trip, so I settled on Naxos, and would take a ferry to Mykanos for a day before flying from there back to Athens.
But there was a ferry strike, which we hadn’t heard about, so all the flights were booked to Naxos. So when we stopped in Athens to naively try to get a ferry ticket for tomorrow, we were informed the ferries were on strike. But the guy looked up the latest information just to be sure and, miraculously, the strike had just ended.
Since I had uncancellable reservations in Naxos and Mykanos it would not have been good if I couldn’t get there.
Which brings up the economic-political state of this country, which I guess I should mention. A referendum has been set for the Greek people to vote on whether or not to stay part of the European Union. Greece is so much in debt to the E.U. it’s very bad. People started panicking and taking all their money out of the banks. The banks closed down. No one could use their credit cards. But again, miraculously, the banks are scheduled to open again tomorrow and people can use their credit cards again. The vote is scheduled for the day I leave Mykanos for Athens, which is the day before I fly to Russia. Should be interesting. I’m not worried, like some people are.
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