Tuesday, 31 March 2009
So Long, Greece
This gives you some idea of why I haven't blogged for a week. David and I flew into Athens with Tess and spent three days checking out the Acropolis and living in a suburb where total strangers gave us almonds, pastries, blood oranges, and drinks, which was pretty much magical. James flew in for our last evening, and then we caught an overnight ferry to Iraklion and a bus to Chania, where we spent the day eating bougatsa, jogging along the beach, and wandering around the old city before attempting (and succeeding!) to make tzaziki and salad ourselves. (I also made everyone try a bottle of retsina that I got for less than one euro. Everyone hated it, so I finished the bottle myself and pretended I was being culturally sensitive.) David and I hiked to the west of Chania, then spent our last full day taking a bus up the Akrotiri peninsula to Stavros, where we played with dogs on a beach, got yelled at by a shepherd, were harassed by a herd of goats on two separate occasions, climbed a volcano, and managed to eat a loaf of bread and avocado on the beach for lunch with no silverware whatsoever. And then I finished the New York Times crossword over a cup of Greek coffee on our balcony and we went to Tamam for grape leaves and yogurt, stuffed peppers and tomatoes, and boureki for David's birthday, and it was a pretty uniformly excellent day. And then the next 48 hours are pretty much a blur because they involved a bus to Iraklion, exploring the palace at Knossos, an overnight ferry to Athens, a day on the Pnyx and at the National Archaeological Museum, and then various subways, buses, and airplanes from Athens to Piraeus to the airport to Gatwick to Oxford. And now I have to learn to be in a library again and to deal with my badly sunburnt face.
I did follow the flooding in Fargo as closely as possible from Greece. My grandparents were evacuated from their place in Moorhead, and my parents moved everything in our basement up into the garage in case the Sheyenne goes over its banks. My mom said everyone's just kind of sitting tight and waiting to see if the river will crest higher after the storms this week, but apparently they're housebound, school has been cancelled for over a week, all nonessential businesses have been asked to close until further notice, and the National Guard is everywhere. She said it's like a war zone. This didn't really help assuage my guilt after spending the past week on beaches in the Mediterranean, which is part of the reason I might embargo my pictures for a couple of weeks to prevent being kicked out of my family.