I arrived in Athens after a long and not particularly arduous flight (SFO to Paris, short layover, Paris to Athens) at around 10:30 p.m. The airport was empty and I retrieved my luggage almost immediately, found a cab for the ride to the Electra Palace Hotel in the Plaka section of Athens.
The cabbie spoke no English, and I spoke no Greek, but he got me to my hotel in good time.
The Electra Palace is a luxurious hotel, set on a small street below the Acropolis, in fact my room had of view of the ancient temple!
I got settled, called Carol to let her know that I’d arrived, got washed up, and started to settle in. There was a knock at the door, and it was Ted – owner of Diamond Wine Imports and my host for the next ten days.
Ted and I stood on the balcony overlooking the hotel garden, looking out to the Parthenon, and he shared with me a short history of modern Greece, as well as an overview of contemporary regional issues. The conversation lasted over an hour, lubricated by a simple Greek red. Ted is a charming, intelligent guy, and a passionate supporter of Greek culture.
This was going to be a fantastic trip!