13 June 2007

Delphi & Nafplio

We have landed on the Island Crete, in Hania, after much debunk-tion. Let me back up & tell you a bit about Delphi & Nafplio & then I will tell you where we are now.

Delphi: This place was rightfully named 'the navel of the earth.' It was named this because Zeus released 2 eagles on either side of the world & they met there. There are remnants upon remnants of the buildings from this site. It's truly magical to think about people coming together to build such a quality place; the energy just builds as you are there. The photo of the imaginary once was is incredible. The museum had a lot of great pieces that are well preserved & they're not all behind glass & velvet ropes; there's an unsaid respect to not touch the objects (& people in every room with laser guns). You won't regret going to see this 'spirit of place.'

Nafplio (meaning Navy, ships): Jenny & I unknowingly went on dates in this original capital of Greece. Let me start from the beginning. One of the great things about Nafplio is that it has loads of stairs & alleyways 8'-10' wide on the Venetian style housed old side of town. The alleys are littered with vined flowers, mostly pink, which link balconies on both sides of the alley & allow a flowered walkway for you. They are used for shops, restaurant tables, walking, & driving cars & scooters. There are 3 fortresses, 2 land bound & 1 island. We stayed at a hostel, Dimitris Bekas, which felt like a flat where we lived among locals & looked over the water. The hostel was at the highest you could go with the stairways & right below the oldest fortress in Nafplio. To the E we could see Palamidi fortress, which claims to have 999 stairs to the church. I stopped counting at 917 when we arrived at the top. I didn't know where the church was until later.

Let me tell you a story. Saturday we went to a Taverna for dinner & while finishing the last bit of our red house wine (a daily dinner ritual so far) we were brought another 0.5 liter on the house. Enjoying the traditional music & before 1/2 way through that we were offered another 0.5 liter of wine & asked over to a table of 6, mind you this is in one of those 10' alleys. We joined a group of cats our age. Introducing ourselves, the 2 girls of the group were very good with English: 1 is an English professor & the other a lawyer. One other older guy, George, was
pretty good with English, but not as talkative as the girls. Whew, I need to make this short, or you won't read all of it. So, we had some akward moments with not being able to understand some of the conversation. That was ok; we're used to it being immersed in a Yup'ik village, right. One of the guys was being very flirty with Jenny. We had lots of clinking of wine glasses cheers, singing & dancing at the table. The ladies invited us to go to the islands with them the next day, but we wanted to go to Epidavros & so it was decided that we meet the next day for dinner, same taverna. The girls invited us.

to be called 'Hellas'When we went back, only 2 of the guys met us, the one that is Smitten with Jenny & his friend & old boss George. They are civil engineers, well Leftaris will be soon. So, even though it was akward Jenny & I had drinks with them & then met their group of 30 or so (out of 50) for dinner, music & dancing. One of the guys at our table the previous night plays the accordian & there were 2 others with a clarinet & a small drum. We ate, we drank, we danced with the big group. There were several types of dances, mostly to the beat of 3, but we only danced the one that is like a swirl of people arms raised, feet tapping, & smiles. It was loads of fun. All the while though, Jenny is being proposed affections of love & the wantin to marry, holding hands, arm around her, etc. They told us they were not like the men who hunt little beautiful fish & spear them. They invited us to stay in their homes when we are in that area. Jenny, I hope this does you justice. n She was very polite, but also pushed his hand away & moved his arm. George said that Leftaris is inexperienced, clearly. They're from a village outside of Mt. Olympus, so it kind of makes sense. It didn't feel threatening, but it was uncomfortable. They walked us home, well 1/2 way because there were too many stairs, we said goodbyes & then Jenny allowed the feminist in her to vent about how he can possibly think he can posses her by throwing his arm around her, etc. Somehow this doesn't quite capture the essence. Through this we also learned a lot about the Greek language & history from their perspective. For instance, they really prefer instead of Greeks, because that name was given to them by the Turks & refers to someone of a lower standard. George tapped the back of his neck to explain this. We had to read a lot of body language.

....to be continued.

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