Monday, January 13, 2014

Athens Greece - "Can You Dig It?"

Kali Chronia!!
(Happy New Year in Greek - of course spelled phonetically)

Yay!  We shed the coats and long underwear!  Wonderful warm people in Greece - we arrived here on New Year's Day and wondered why everyone was asking us about California.  We were stunned - maybe our accent.....until someone told us Kali Chronia (which sounds like California) was Happy New Year!

Since everything was closed New Years Day and the day after, we had to scrounge for our New Year's Dinner.  Thank goodness our landlord Nikos left us a bottle of wine!  We found some cheese and crackers and so like the Greeks, we started the year on the "Austerity" Plan.

View from the top of our apartment complex in Kypseli.  We can see the Acropolis lit up at night.


Some people in our group of travelers thought my use of the catch phrase "Can you Dig it?" at one of the hundreds of archaeological sites was lame. OK, but anyone recognizing the phrase from either the 60's Woodstock or the movie The Warriors, is also old enough to remember the easy- going feeling of that era. Although, the Taxi drivers and scooters may not be easy going, the vibe from the rest of this wonderful city embraces that early 70's feeling.

Escaping the cold of Vienna to arrive in low 60's weather (16 Celsius) we gladly embraced the comfortable warmth of the Greek people. Between the Ouzo, calamari, souvlaki and refills of Raki (on the house) we easily absorbed and took on the relaxed pace of Greek living.

Times are tough here and problems exist - the reality of the current times is evident on faces of the people, but given the friendly exchange or the opportunity to smile, the underlying Greek spirit emerges.

Temple of Zeus - just the start of all the Digs we will be sharing with you!

Ahh Nick!  "Greek hospitality is amazing" says nephew Eric.  Austerity is over as Nick plies us with ouzo and a delicious Greek dessert.

Rich feels right at home here - all the Greeks think he is Greek!  (Must be that Zorba look or maybe he has finally found a country that eats, laughs, and drinks as much as he does.)  We feel very welcome here!!