The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Monday, August 4, 2014


Hi from Athens, Greece.

I took some great pictures on the overnight ferry that brought me here from Crete, but I lost them. I guess the picture gremlins go into my camera and deleted the entire group. I can't figure out where they went. I am especially disappointed because I wanted to show you a picture of Odysseus, my motorcycle, parked on the steep street just outside the apartment we are renting here.

"You mean you lost the only picture of me you took all day long, Ron?"

"Yeah. Sorry about that Odysseus."

I had my GPS programmed to take me from the ferry to the apartment. It can't always find street addresses, especially not in a foreign language, but it did just great this time. It got me to the apartment without a hitch. And thank goodness for the GPS because the Greeks, for a reason known only to themselves, have a tendency to cover up their street signs with foliage and stickers.

Covered up signs can make navigating pretty difficult, I can tell you.

One of the first things I wanted to do when I got here to Athebs was go to the Acropolis Hill and get myself oriented. The bus and subway systems here are very good and quite easy to use, so I had no trouble getting where I wanted to go..

Jessica and Renaud will not get here until after midnight tonight, so I have all kinds of time to get oriented in this busy, touristy town. I thought about taking a bus tour, but there is something I've wanted to do for ages and that is ride a Segway. This is a great opportunity for doing that. I spotted Marco who was riding around on a Segway and  handing out brochures, and he told me how to get to the Office of Atherns Segway Tours.

This next picture shows Marco who comes from Minnesota of all places, He said I have an "twang" to my accent that made him think at first that I came from Norway or Sweden. Hmmmm. I thought I had no accent at all. I guess you learn something new about yourself sometimes.

To Marco's left is Alex, Gabriela, and Konstantina (Tina). Thanks, Tina, for teaching me how to ride. You were an excellent teacher.

And thanks Gabriela for being such a careful and interesting and fun tour guide. Gabriela may be small, but she sure has that Segway under control. She is a graphic designer in her second life, and she designs logos for companies.

Jessica and Renaud got to the apartment a little after midnight, just as they had thought they would. They came by ferry from the island of Peros where they had been trying their hand at sailboarding. I had learned enough on my Segway tour that I was able to show them around town a little. We took this next picture from the top of Mar's Hill where the Apostle Paul debated with the philosophers of Athens, starting off with with those famous lines from the Bible about the Athenian statue to "The Unknown God".

I think we are going to have fun exploring this city for the next four days.

Hey. Look. Some wildlife. These tortoises are very common around the Acropolis.

Just down from the Acropolis and from Mar's Hill, is the Agora, the ancient marketplace. The Apostle Paul used to preach here every day. It is all ruins now, but there is one temple still standing. It is the most intact example in the world.

I can just imagine Paul standing up there, preaching away to the people of Athens, most of whom thought he was just a little bit nuts.

This building in the market place was a sort of Mall. It had a bunch of stores opening out into the columned porch. You can see the openings for them on the right. People used to come walk in the shade here. Again, I can picture Paul strolling among these columns and talking with his converts.

Time for our evening meal. Thank goodness for picture book menus because reading Greek is quite a challenge. I learned the Greek alphabet in college, but I certainly have trouble converting it over into real words. For example, what do you think this says: Καλημέρα αγαπημένες μου φίλες και φίλοι Google translates it as "Good morning my dearest favorite" but I think that is probably not what it says at all.

Jessica, the attorney, work at night through the internet while her American customers are awake. That suits me just fine. It means we can stay up late, sleep in the next morning, and  explore Athens during the cool part of the evening. Life is good.

I wonder what we will go see this evening.