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A Fivesome; Trireme; Big Ship; Athens; Gypsies; Greek Food; Get a Room! Home Sweet Home!

Our last group dinner was with our good friends Maryanne, Ann and Mark. We had a lot in common with them, because we had all lost a child. That’s a tough “common denominator” to share, but we all have experienced the ups and down of tragic losses and the happy realization that our sons and daughter are still with us in Spirit. Suzanne had given readings to them this week, and both their sons had come through with solid evidence that they were still here, so our dinner was actually a celebration.

While the girls completed their Power Shopping, Mark and I visited the Naval Museum in Mykonos. It was small but packed with paintings, artifacts and ship models representing about 3,000 years of Greek maritime history. This model of a trireme was based on Greek warships which defeated the Persian navy at the battle of Salamis in 480 BC, almost 2,500 years ago. Shortly after 300 Spartans were annihilated at Thermopylae (a “must read” book about this epic battle is The Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield), 270 triremes from Athens and other Greek city states defeated Persian ships at the battle of Salamis. In this trireme, 170 rowers (in Greek democracies, rich and poor alike rowed side by side) and 30 marines comprised the crew. They maneuvered to ram the Persian ships, and evidently were pretty good at their seamanship skills, because the Persians suffered heavy losses, in part because they, unlike the Greeks, could not swim. Xerxes was evidently in a foul mood after the battle, because he ordered many of his Phoenician allies beheaded because they had not prevailed against the Greeks. (I’m not sure that would exactly lift morale among the rest of his army and navy).

Just before we departed Mykonos, a cold front came through with dark clouds, rain and visits by three cruise ships. The poor weather was offset somewhat by the dramatic skies above this enormous cruise ship anchored close offshore. As much as I like ships, I cannot say that I could ever take a cruise on a ship like that… you know, with 5,000 newly-acquired friends.

We completed our visit to Mykonos and headed to Athens. Then we settled into a very decent hotel just a half mile from the Acropolis. The last full day of our Greek Adventure found us at the top of Athens (that’s what acropolis means, the top of the city) with the famous Parthenon undergoing renovation/reconstruction.

Another famous monument was the Palace of Athena with its gigantic marble columns sculpted in the form of women.

A view of the Acropolis with the Temple of Apollo in the foreground gives you an idea of the tough uphill fight attackers would have trying to overcome defenders manning the walls of the Acropolis. Nevertheless, it was overcome several times over the centuries.

This photo of My Lovely Bride smiling among the ruins of the Acropolis belies the fact that after two weeks, she’s running low on energy touring hysterical site after hysterical site and seemingly identical piles of rocks and stones…

One of the sad things about touring Europe is seeing Gypsy children not going to school and being forced by their parents to steal or beg on the streets, often by playing accordions like this young boy, approximate age 5 years. This is a very common sight; there appears to be very little interest by Gypsy adults in assimilating into Western cultures or having their children attend school.

In between tours, we grabbed a snack of baklava and cappuccino; not too hard to take, low on calories and full of things to keep you awake… well, maybe there’s a smidgen of truth there…

Okay, just one more church visit to look at these votive candles…

And this couple, caught making out in front of archeological equipment. “Come on, guys, get a room!” The problem here was that in the Acropolis, there are hardly any walls left standing…

Well, that brings to a close our Greek Adventure. The next blog will see us back at our homestead in The Villages, Florida, where we are holed up for the winter…

1 Comment

  • angeldust
    Posted October 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    We've all received a great history lesson on the ancient Greek sites you've shared here. The expert pictures tell it all. Especially enlightening, as though we were there with you. Repetitious history of wars, earthquakes and destruction is hard to imagine. Hope springs eternal in that we have learned something from the mistakes.

    Suzanne, don't know how you kept up with it all, but what you provided for so many will be a great reflection for you. So much postive feedback from those inspired by your efforts. Now time to recharge back in your sacred space. Could it be time for a "long winter's nap?? Well….naahhhh…..just a thought. Schedule very busy. Kudos to you for sending out an ocean of ripples!

    Much Love,


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