Delma's Greek Adventures
I wanted to share some information about my recent trip to Greece with you - a few blurbs about my own personal experiences in Greece and to explain how Greece has captivated my heart with its people and it's beauty.

I had a few unique experiences truly worth telling! I can't cover them all but here are a few highlights:

The Peloponnese
I hired a taxi one day to take me to the ruins and museum at Epidavros. This is the site of one of the best preserved theaters in Greece. It was also a healing and religious centre dedicated to the healing god Asklepios. I was to meet a tour guide here early one Saturday morning and I showed up an hour early right as the site opened. As this site is fairly remote (about 25 minutes from the seaside city of Nafplio), it was quiet there that morning. The tour buses bringing loads of people for their guided tours were still about 30 minutes away. I was enjoying the quiet and the solitude and decided to take a walk to explore on my own and return in time for my guided tour.

About ten minutes into it, I encountered a large dog trotting at a fairly fast clip down the path. I had never seen a dog like this before and I started to think he was a wild dog. He had unusual fur and had a wild look to his eyes and a large scrape over the top of his nose. He got within 10 feet of me and just sat down in the center of the path and stared at me. I have always been a dog owner and I found myself stopping and talking to him. He cocked his head but didn't move... staring directly at me. Slowly, I decided to pass him by but as I passed, he turned as if to follow me. I turned to face him and he slowed with me. He WAS following me! OK…..I turned and started off again, with him at my heels, and then I felt him LICK my left calf! What? Strange. I turned, talking to him again and said, "Stop that!" but I decided that I needed public record of this very unusual dog and turned away from him to get my camera out of my purse. 3 seconds later, camera in hand, I turned to photograph him but he was GONE! Vanished off the face of the earth! I looked all around…..open ground everywhere around…. but I saw not one trace of that dog. I struggled for a bit, trying to make my mind understand what had just happened, questioned the whole episode for a bit, and then decided that the incident HAD happened, and there was just no sensible explanation for it. After I got over my chills, I continued on my merry way. I am not sure what happened there. All I know is that the next 8 days in Greece were a charmed existence. Perhaps I received my own special blessing of the gods that live there or their spirits. It is said to be a site of much power and healing. I lost my beloved Labrador retriever, Dozer, about 2 ˝ years ago. He was my heart and soul. Maybe he lives in Greece now and has been waiting for me to come to see him all this time. Many maybes……..


Nafplio and Santorini
Every night I dined alone, but something extra always came to my table. Dessert, wine I did not order. Taxis I hired there took me, unbidden, to places I had not hired them for, stopping to let me take pictures, becoming my own personal tour guides. One taxi driver stopped and bought ME some water. Amazing. Gracious people everywhere. When I left my camera charger in a hotel in Nafplio, the hotel asked for the name of the hotel I was traveling to, and then arranged to have it sent there. I didn't even have to give an explanation about what I was calling for. Upon hearing my name, the guy at the front desk immediately said I had left a "Sony" thing in my room and asked how he could best get it to me. Wow! Truly no worries. It showed up right on time.

Mykonos
We journey next to Mykonos where the owner of the Hotel Eleni, Niko, showed remarkable kindness to me. Having been through much native vegetation, sand, and WAY too much sun, I wound up with too much sun exposure and an allergic reaction to who knows what. Having been cursed all my life, though dark-skinned, with the world's most sensitive skin, I arrived in Mykonos itchy and miserable with a rash pretty much all over me. Niko said not to worry….he had medicine for "the itch". He showed up at my room with some kind of cortisone cream and I eagerly rubbed it all over me but it was no use. A doctor was needed by the next morning. This gracious man took time out of his busy day to take me to the doctor, wait for me in the waiting room, translate for me, take me to the pharmacy, and later take me to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions and do further translating. While most people speak English there, it was still nice to have a more thorough understanding of what was going on. Niko used to live in the states so his English is really good. When I tried to give him extra compensation, gas money, ANYTHING, for all his extra efforts, on what was a very busy day for him, he informed me that he did these things from his heart! This country has stolen my heart! I did get him to accept a few cherries!

Santorini
On my last day in Greece, I am in Santorini on the Oia side, land of the magnificent volcanic sunsets. I have to get up at 4:00 in the morning on this day. I am scheduled to fly out of Santorini to Athens at 6:55, connecting in Athens at 12:30 to Atlanta, then on to Austin. The hotel I stayed at there sent a porter at 5:00 a.m. to carry my luggage up what seems like 150 steps to the parking lot where a taxi is picking me up at 5:15. I get into the front seat of the taxi as the back seat holds two lovely people from Philadelphia also on their way to the airport. As soon as we find out we are both Americans (it is questionable……people in Greece wonder if I am Greek, Italian, or maybe South American and are shocked when I tell them I am a Native Texan!), we start talking about the fabulous sunsets. We arrive at the airport and the taxi driver, a young man in his twenties, motions for me to stay in the car. I am at the wrong terminal, I think. He gets the couple their luggage and gets back in the car. I ask him then if we are at the wrong terminal. He says no….we are at the right terminal but that seeing as how this is my last day in Greece and hearing about how much I loved the sunset and how I still have a few minutes, he wants very much to take a beautiful girl to watch the beautiful sunrise that is occurring in just 10 minutes so I can see both before I leave Greece. I am stunned silent. He just met me a mere 15 minutes ago! We drive to a cliff high above the beach and sit and talk. As promised, in 10 minutes I am rewarded with a fabulous sunrise. He then starts the car again and safely delivers me to the terminal just in time for my flight back home. Unbelievable.

I can't wait to return to this gracious, gorgeous, and generous country that has so very much heart!

Delma

Santorini Sunset


Delma


Palamedi at Nafplio


Ruins in the Peleponnese

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