Last Night in Athens

by wjw on November 2, 2022

It’s our final night in Greece. We left the Callisto three night ago, and now we’re back at our B&B in Athens, just hangin’ out and seeing the sights.

The Callisto experience was delightful but intense. Every day new sights to see, new ruins to meander through, new artifacts to admire, all with people whose interest in archaeology and history mirrored our own. Plus our boat followed nautical tradition in serving up three enormous meals every day, to which were added as many gallons of alcohol as we cared to consume, all served up by our genial bartender Mambo— who called me Sir Walter White, incidentally. If we were ashore at mealtime, a restaurant would be found to produce a five-course meal. Yikes.

The storm-driven pivot out of the Cyclades to the mainland was followed by other vessels— One mourning we woke to find excursions ships all over the port at Nauplion, including one very large cruise ship, which the authorities wouldn’t allow to dock, and which had to transport its passengers to shore by shuttle. We could rejoice in being first to respond to the windstorm threat and find shelter. Then one morning we woke to find ourselves in Piraeus, and it was time to go.

We were in the Piraeus yacht basin, which featured a few superyachts. If I owned one of these I couldn’t think of anything to do with it, unless it were illegal and/or illicit.

Since returning to Athens I’ve spent a lot of time in bed, catching up on my sleep.

Since I’d torn my achilles tendon at the beginning of the year, and my tilted pelvis means I walk with a limp, I was worried about climbing around on mountains, ruins, and boats. My tendon seemed to be pretty well healed, but I’d re-injured it in the past, and didn’t want to do it again. I’d stopped wearing my ankle brace at home, but I packed it along in case I needed it. For the most part I depended on kinesiology tape, a pair of sturdy shoes, and my Duluth Trading Company hiking boots for those excursions into the country.

My ankle gave me less and less trouble as the excursion continued. I still can’t manage stairs very well, and have to do the Ahab step-thump up and down. But on reasonably level ground I can walk well enough, though I seemed to be the slowest walker on the boat. My conditioning started poor, because I’d forbidden myself exercise until the tendon was healed, but my wind got better as the trip advanced.

One problem was trying to climb mountains and ruins after a five-course meal with half a liter of wine, all performed in the afternoon heat and sun. I could do it well enough, but all I really wanted was a siesta, preferably in an air-conditioned room.

It’s now late on Wednesday night, and I must rise at 0300 Thursday morning to make it to the airport in time for my 0600 flight. I’m not yet heading home, but instead jetting off to New Orleans and the World Fantasy Convention, where I’ll just have to have more fun.

It’s the first time I’ve traveled to the Big Easy and been ambivalent about the food I’m going to encounter. Maybe a nice salad?

mearsk November 3, 2022 at 11:59 am

Sure you don’t want to eat your weight in beignets instead?

JMW November 12, 2022 at 9:16 am

I envy your trip to Greece. Still holding out hope for myself and my wife…

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