A Raki Update from Greece

Trip Start Aug 01, 2008
Trip End Nov 19, 2008

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Flag of Greece  , Cyclades,
Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Give me a little slack on this update! Today I decided to take a vacation day and just relax, do laundry, and book hotels for the remainder of my time in Greece. I was hungry so went exploring in this little town near my hotel (the Vedema..VERY, VERY nice...thank you Greg Johnson!). There were not many tourists so I was obviously different. The food was incredible (fava and souvalki). The owner appreciated my sheer joy in eating everything I was served! I noticed two Greek guys drinking raky-- a strong aperitif -- and thought, "in the middle of the day"???? Next thing I know, those greek guys, the restaurant owner, some other people, and I are on our 6th or 7th bottle. They say it is tradition!

A couple of observations. Santorini is absolutely beautiful but the main town, Fira, is way too busy for me. I knew Santorini was on a caldera..but it became real once I saw and touched it. They say it was the largest eruption on earth. I believe it. In Greece they think in terms of hundreds of years, and history is still a big part of their culture. When I talk to locals they will be telling me a story and when I ask about a date for context, I hear.."oh..that was in 1493"!!! Amazing!

To finish the Croatia chapter, I am certain it will rank as one of my most special visits. A couple people left impressions on me which I will never forget. The coast and islands are stunning, and the cycling was challenging. Riding along the cliffs, small towns, then jumping into the very, very salty water are only part of what makes this country special. The young people feel frustrated because they believe that opportunities are still somewhat limited as a remnant of the central control from communism. With all our challenges, they still see America as a land of opportunity. Almost everyone is disappointed in our recent behavior as a world leader. Regardless, as one young person said, "we need America to be a good leader". So.....my fellow Americans....

This trip is more than I ever imagined. I am told repeatedly I look relaxed and happy. I am learning a great deal, building relationships that I know will last, and...of course....following my bliss.

I still have 10 days in Greece. I am leaving Santorini for a small island called Folegandros, then on to Crete, then Athens. I want to immerse myself in myths, gods, and all things historical in Greece.

I hope everyone is happy and healthy!! My time is going way too fast!

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