Sunday, June 19, 2011

Homesick? Madame Owner?

I've almost come to the end of the story of Madame Owner's most recent excursion abroad. Usually I'm not actually a witness to ALL that I'm sharing with you. This story however, I was present for in it's entirety. 

It can't all be gelato and discos, can it? MO shared the whole pathetic story on her blog a couple of months ago so why should I trouble myself? I'm simply copying it.

 I was lucky enough to be in Athens. Before you get too jealous, let me share my experience there with you. Upon entering our room we all rushed to the window to get a look at our...


Well, who cares? We aren't going to be in this room anyway! We are going to be out and about in Athens!

Things don't always go according to plan...we'd been in Athens only a couple of hours when I became ill was placed in a taxi and taken back to the hotel.

That lovely little bed on the right is where I spent the next 24 hours. I should have taken a picture of the ceiling, it's what I remember most clearly.  Finally just a few hours before boarding a flight to return home, my daughter begged me to at least ride the elevator up to the 12th floor to see the Parthenon in the distance.

I dragged myself (looking like a walking corpse) to the elevator. On the way I leaned over to take this pic of the staircase...

made me dizzy.

The rooftop view was lovely and the fresh air probably did some good, but frankly I hoped to see no one.

I didn't want to scar anyone for life. 

I was frightening I tell you.

At one point I looked so bad I nearly took a pic but decided I had to draw the line somewhere about what to share with you on this blog.

But oh, how entertained you would have been!

Or, maybe you'd have had nightmares...

The Parthenon was lovely even from this distance.
It could not compare at this moment however, to a little red brick house I was longing for.

Me, homesick?

Oh my...there really is a first time for everything.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ταξί! (Taxi!)

After a day in Delphi which included what can only be referred to as a hike up a mountain to see the stadium at the top and a long bus ride to Athens, My Owner, her daughter, and friend located their room and settled in. It took a moment for them to realize that there was no energy in the room unless someone's key was in the slot by the door. A smart conservation trick, that. MO felt a little chilly and kind of tired but it had been a long few days.

No time to waste they plopped their luggage down, and were off to the lobby to meet their group and head to dinner. The tour guide handed out subway tickets. They marched en masse out into the streets of Athens. As they walked along MO chatted with an art professor and a few blocks from the hotel they were both momentarily distracted by a man pushing a stack of the biggest tins of olive oil you've ever seen. They looked up and were at a corner. They looked around. Their group was gone. Disappeared completely in the 5 seconds they were ogling olive oil. They backtracked. The stairs to the subway descended at the exact spot they hadn't been paying attention. The entire group had vanished underground. They rushed to catch up and did, just in time to jam themselves into an already filled to capacity car.

They exited the metro and headed to the restaurant. They sat and chatted until a lovely Greek salad arrived. MO looked at it. She felt odd. She ate a few bites and put her fork down. The main course arrived which resembled a cube of meat. MO and her daughter exchanged glances. Someone asked what it was and the consensus was that it was veal. A dagger in the heart of MO's offspring. There is nothing appetizing to her about baby cow. MO felt sick and headed to the bathroom followed closely by her daughter.

I'm omitting details here for your own good except to say that for the next few minutes a good many women in that establishment got the privilege of using the men's room. The tour guide came to see if they wanted him to get them a taxi. He walked them to the corner and hailed one. He gave the driver the address of the hotel and though MO doesn't understand Greek she could tell that he was giving the driver stern instructions to take them STRAIGHT to the hotel. 

The driver was a jovial fellow with his cab covered with pictures of all the things to see and do in Athens. As they drove along he pointed out places of interest along the way. Suddenly he pointed to a building and said "That's the Ministry of Banking! They are a bunch of F*%@#&! A*%&!#@s" Then he burst into a hearty laugh. MO and her daughter looked at each other and cracked up. (Which took MO's mind off of trying not to make a mess in this nice man's cab) Next up the President's house, and other official buildings, always with the same reaction.

"All these F#@$*&% bankers and politicians they are screwing all the people all the time! Is it the same in America?"

MO and her daughter looked at each other and nodded.

"My friend, it's the same all over the world."

They arrived at the hotel, they had given him 10 euro, for a ride costing a little over 5, he went inside to get change. They followed him and realized it was the wrong hotel. He collected the change, got the name of the hotel right and back into the cab they went. A block or two later they arrived at their hotel and MO was wondering about that change. As he parked the car he handed it to her and when she tried to tip him he refused it, instead writing his name and number on a slip of paper in case they should need a cab again during their stay.

This made them smile. MO was flagging and knew the driver would never know how much his kindness and humor  were appreciated during those few moments in his cab.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Looking for Answers in Delphi

So what does a girl have to do to get a question answered around here?

My Owner thinks she's amusing and had a lot of fun with wise cracks about questions and answers when she visited Delphi, home of the famed Oracle.

Click here for the history of this enlightening place.

The city was built on a steep hill and seeing everything including the stadium at the top made MO wonder at the physical condition those ancients must have been in. The iconic statues are probably accurate. The landscape is quite rugged, but also breathtaking.

The Temple of Apollo...

 The view from Delphi

After touring the ruins one visits the museum at the bottom of the hillside.
Now MO didn't find any answers to her many questions in Delphi, but the museum is a strangely calming sanctuary, sedating in its cleanness.  Pictures are permitted and the museum had oddly casual security considering what it contained compared to The Vatican which is intense.

 MO was having the most delightful time, the weather was perfect and in the museum she nearly had a "historygasm" ... do I even need to tell you that she said this aloud?

Her filter is a little meshy.

A few hours after leaving this stunning bit of scenery however her trip was going to come to an abrupt end in Athens. But this morning, this morning was worth everything.
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