Trip Start Feb 10, 2006
Trip End Mar 07, 2006

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Flag of Greece  ,
Monday, March 6, 2006

Last night we discussed at nauseate what to do today. There is a town north of Corinth called Patras that is supposed to the be the biggest celebration of Carnival in Greece. It would take us about 4 hours to get there and then 4 to get back. We would spend most of the day on the road. It would be really cool to go since it is where the most action is going to be but we would be wasting so much time and may find that it is so crowded that we wouldn't be able to even park the van.

We came to the conclusion that we would stay here in Nafplio. They will be having a carnival parade and party so why not? 

We had our breakfast in our room again. The kitchen has really come in handy. It has let us have a slow start to our mornings which has made it more like a vacation than a marathon.

After breakfast we did a little shopping on the streets near our pension. Cory and I met the nicest man in one of the stores. We bought a few things for family and he ended up giving us a couple of key rings. It is funny. Cory and I have found that people have been very generous with us. I assume that most people are nice but it seems that our little efforts of trying to speak the language and learning about our hosts in this country really makes an impression. Not everyone with us has gotten that same reception. 

We decided to walk the path along the ocean. It crawls around the peninsula and back toward the public beach. We started down at the pier. The crowds are already picking up and we have seen a big difference from yesterday to today. The water is a Sapphire blue and the sun was dancing of it. Spring had pulled out its palette and the greens were a compliment to the beautiful sky. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. The walk around the peninsula was relaxing and enjoyable. We got to see a man fishing and several little fishing boats out in the bay. Everything was so picturesque. I felt as if I was walking in a painting. 

There were people strolling hand and hand, guys rock climbing, and people out in the water swimming. We made it all the way around to the beach. The water is like ice but there were people swimming in it. The beaches aren't sand so I don't know how it could be comfortable to lay out on the beach. Even the people walking across it looked to be in pain. We sat on the pier and took in some sun. Of course Paulie fell asleep.

We headed back to the hotel to change into something cooler. It was really rather warm today.

After changing we went into the center of town to enjoy the carnival festivities and eat. We found a restaurant out on the main square. We were a little bull dozed. The waiter came out and asked if we liked Lamb or beef. I thought it was directed to me and I answered Lamb but he didn't ask anyone else at the table. I had just ordered. 

That is something that is different about the little towns of Greece. In these really small towns the restaurants may have things on the menus that they don't' have. This isn't a problem if you speak the language but for tourists it is sometimes hard to convey exactly what they have available. They also see you as their guests and want to give you the best that they have. If you order something that they don't think is good they may say that they don't have it.  Sometimes because they are a small establishment and times like carnival are busy they may run out of some things. They have handled this situation with us a couple of different ways. Just saying yes or no when we try to order something, taking us right into the kitchen and showing us exactly what they have, or this guy who asked if we like lamb or beef.

He took it upon himself to order our whole meal for us. It was really busy so I totally understand and I am sure that he brought us the best that he had. It was all delicious. Unfortunately not everyone in our group rolls with the punches. There were three in our party that started grumbling. Two were picky eaters and one just likes to bitch. She managed to bitch about how greasy the lamb was while she shoveled it down her throat. I wasn't going to let them ruin it for me. Cory and I had a fabulous lunch. I loved all the food and the wine that we had with the meal. 

While we were waiting on the food I went and bought two hats for Cory and I for Carnival. I was going to do this all the way. There were all kinds of people in costumes and some had even dressed up their pets. The kids were the cutest.

After eating we went out to explore the other festivities and find a good place to watch the parade. We found a stand where they were making Greek donuts. They were mixing the batter frying the donuts and then dipping them in sugar. Not only did we have to stop to watch we had to try some. Whether it is a fair in Southeast Missouri or a carnival in Nafplion Greece there is nothing better than the fried foods. The donuts were no exception. 

We found a place to watch the parade from. We noticed all of the TV cameras and when the parade started we were right next to the announcer. If only I spoke the language. She gave a play by play on all the groups and floats. Some of the groups didn't need an explanation. There was a group of kids dressed as doctors and nurses and chickens. With all the crap about bird flu it wasn't hard to figure out why these doctors with over sized hypodermic needles were giving shots to the chickens. Other things like the man with the huge hard on looking down his own pants left you wondering what the heck it was, Viagra? pervert? some political joke? We will never know.

We laughed at the lack of political correctness. I love it. Here in the states you wouldn't dare do some of the things that they did. They had one entire band that were dressed in sombreros and another that were in black face and afro wigs. The ACLU would have shut down the parade before it ever started. It was all in good fun and viewing it from the perspective of someone that had to just imagine the statement that they were making since we didn't get to understand the explanation made it even funnier. I could just see the liability lawyer salivating when the kids would run up to the floats and jump right up on them. Again something that you wouldn't see here in the states. Makes you really wonder sometime who stuck the stick up our butts. 

There were a couple of guys that kept shooting confetti and streamers out of a canon. All of it was so cool. There were moments that I just had to pinch myself. To think that here I was in Greece during carnival. What a really cool experience.

After the parade we went back to the hotel to have a little Ouzo and Fanta and Rum. It gave us a pretty good buzz to go out and hit the party going on in town.

Of course we had to take our daily dietary supplement...Gelato. Unlike the other nights tonight the shop is so crowded that we moved through like cattle through a shoot. Seems that Carnival brings everyone to Nafplio. They still recognized us in the Gelato shop. How could they forget half Kilo boy?

Little quiet Nafplio was kickin' They had a live band and stage. People were dancing and celebrating. We ended the night dancing, watching women do traditional Greek dancing, and eating little donuts. It was a fun evening and something that really added to the trip.
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