Yasou! Eenoume Sti Athene!
I can get a lump in my throat just thinking about the people who built the Parthenon and the Theater of Dionysus. Being there, however, strangely, didn't add much to my pre-existing emotions. Maybe it's because the high plains of the Acropolis have been grazed to the nub, intellecually speaking, by tourists from the US, Britain,Germany, Brazil, etc etc, and their licensed, tag-wearing guides. More likely it's because every beautiful building in Athens seems to be layered in restorers' metal scaffolding, with a crane added to ornament the Parthenon. It would be ungrateful, though, to say I'm not glad to be here. I took s photo of S standing next to a line of classical caryatid beauties, and she took a photo of me doing Embracing Horse -- the most important tai chi posture -- right in front of the columns.
For dinner we sought out a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that had been recommended to us by an Asian-European kid, and we got good grilled fish and a whole grilled squid and a metal carafe of warm white wine. Now -- S. is sleeping off the jet lag -- I'm off to the rooftop bar of the hotel, with its unobstructed view of the Acropolis, for an ouzo or two. I don't get jet lag much. Probably because I have sleeping disorders by the handful, which keep me up at night at home anyway.
Be that as it may, we're going to spend one more day in Athens -- which more than completes what there is to see in this drab city with its one magnificent central attraction -- and then we'll take a nine-hour ferry to what struck me, when I visited it a dozen years ago, as incontestably, a priori, the most beautiful place on earth: the island of Santorini. We'll be there for five days and nights. I'll tell you about it. (Pictures later, when I get back home.)