Yesterday I got blogging again, and talked about my trip overseas.
Today I will pick up the same topic, and take you back to the dock at Civitevecchia, Italy.
It was there an Irish honeymooner from Cork, who was on the same cruise, summed up Athens and Turkey beautifully when he said: Athens was what he expected of Turkey, and Turkey was what he expected of Athens.
Leave it to an Irishman to have the right words.
He also recommended to my 23 year old son that he try Murphy’s beer at Shannon Airport on his way home, rather than Guinness, which was originally, and probably still, brewed in England.
Funny how old prejudices die hard.
But here is the story of Athens.
It is broke.
The economy is horrible and it shows.
Lots of strikes and rioting, although we only saw the aftermath and not the action.
Athens looked run down, but then again most big cities do because they are.
We went to the Acropolis.
Aside from looking up at the hall walled city, our major observation was the number of stray dogs and the awful stench of dog manure.
They told us the strays were safe because the government takes care of them.
A full time job.
No wonder the government is broke.
To get to the Acropolis we had to climb many rocky stairs.
As we found typical, there were no railings, many uneven and slippery rocks, and steep cliffs.
Thousands of tourists, young and old, weaving in and out of the crowds, and nobody slipped, fell or got hurt.
The injury lawyer in me is constantly drawn to potentially dangerous situations.
Once we reached the top we saw a guy working on a marble column at the Parthenon, not to be confused with the Pantheon in Rome.
He was perched 30 feet above the ground, and was sitting on some old wooden staging.
The workman was not buckled or strapped in, and wore no eye protection as he sanded and blasted away on the column.
In our country he would have been in violation of every code in the book and OSHA would have shut the project down for sure.
No problem there, even though he was working on one of the most important buildings in the history of the world.
And wouldn’t you know it, here we were on the other side if the world, and we spot a fellow wearing a St Ansalem’s tee shirt.
It was the same college in Goffstown, New Hampshire.
He was a student and was friendly with some students we know from Keene.
Reminds me of the time many years ago when I was at the Grand Canyon.
The very first folks I met there lived in Langdon, New Hampshire, a town of about 600 people easily within an hour of home.
Lunch was at the Parthenon Museum.
More naked statues.
Drinking a FIX beer, brewed in Greece, I lost my appetite when I saw what was being featured on the menu: Macedonian delicacy, free range cock.
Needless to say, we ( some of us) managed to maintain a juvenile sense of humor.
None of the Greek restaurants could touch the Greek salads we get in Keene.
Couldn’t begin to compete with the one Mike Blastos serves at the Pub.
Had fun asking the locals if they knew Gleminakis, Skipitaris or Blastos from Keene.
We cruised by the beautiful Greek coastline, and wished we could have stopped at such places like Kalamata, where I have relatives from ages past. They say the Islands, too, are spectacular.
maybe one day.
Next stop was Turkey, a place I had no interest in visiting.
We were pleasantly surprised.
Enough for now.
I’ll pick this up tomorrow, and you will see why the Irishman’s observation was indeed on point.
We woke up to see a sparking, beautiful and very