This year my daughter Cathy and I took a trip that we had been planning for 2 years. Of course, who knew that I would break my back and have to relearn how to walk before we left. Getting back in shape for the already planned trip was great incentive, however.
Where did we go? Cathy lives in Texas and I'm in California. We both flew to Atlanta, where we met up and took off from there to Europe. We went first to Paris, then Athens, Mykonos and Santorini. Then back to Athens and home again.
I still haven't organized all my photos (many hundreds of them) or my videos, but I thought I'd share a couple of the ones from Athens.
This is me with one of the guards at the Greek Parliament building. Actually, he is standing guard just below the main building, at the tomb of the unknown soldier, which is noted on the wall just behind me and my guard friend. Note the pompons on the shoes. Priceless.
The guard stands completely motionless for an hour, and then there is a changing of the guard that is an amazing ritual. When he gets set in place, another soldier comes over and adjusts his pleats (there are exactly 400 pleats) and fluffs his uniform just so. Then he is left to stand at this post. There is another guard at the other side of this courtyard area at a second guardhouse.
As soon as I can get better organized, I will post a video of the changing of the guard. You haven't seen anything like it!
This was taken on the steps below the Parliament, which you can see at the top of the photo. I wanted this photo to show some of the dogs that are everywhere in Athens.
They are stretched out asleep in parks, on sidewalks, in the underground train stations, on the stairs, and even at the Acropolis on top of the hill. Some have collars, but most do not. They all look well fed and happy, but we never saw a single dog on a leash or that appeared to be accompanied by a person. There are plenty of cats too, including a playful one at the Acropolis.
Of course you can't go to Athens and not go up to the Acropolis. Despite the fact that I wasn't yet a fast or strong walker, Cathy and I walked from our hotel, the Divani Palace, all the way to the foot of the hill and then up to the top of the Acropolis. Much of the way was steep, and walking was a little bit treacherous on uneven and slippery marble, but Cathy was patient and we made it to the top. I'll have video of the top later, but a fellow climber took this photo of Cathy and me part of the way up.
It was a trip I'll always remember, and made very special to be sharing it with my sweet daughter.