Thursday, November 4, 2010

David and Julia's Visit Part 1

Friday, 29 October

Julia and David arrived in the late morning; we watched their jet land, from the restaurant on the top floor of the airport, and rejoiced to see them again.

They’d had hardly any sleep the night before and neither had I. So we made it a very low-key day. We checked them into their hotel, the Queen Olga, and made sure they had the best room there, which was still below their normal standard, but still acceptable for so short a visit. Its main assets are its proximity to us and its view of the sea. (I’ve threatened, next time they come, to check them into the Imaret in Kavala, where the least expensive room, a couple of years ago, was 1500 Euros a night.)

Here are some views from their hotel balcony.

Church of Saints Cyril and Methodios, Who Were From Thessaloniki

Sunset Over the Harbor.  Mt. Olympos in Left Background

Then we had lunch at our favorite nearby eatery, again nothing like their usual standard, but then nothing here is. There must be some restaurant in town as elegant as the Swan Inn near Ormskirk, but if so, we don’t know it yet. Anyway, the food is good, although it wasn’t the moussaka we were hoping for.

Then naptimes, then supper at a taverna, and back to sleep rather early.

Saturday, 30 October

This was sightseeing day. We went downtown and showed Julia and David various Byzantine ruins, plus one small church, plus the university where Demetrios studied medicine.

Pictures courtesy of Julia and David; click to enlarge.  More later.

Triumphal Arch of Galerius
Views of the Roman Forum

The best part of the day was the midday feast at Mena’s house. She had invited most of our closest friends and had spent four days cooking. She did have moussaka, among a dozen or so other dishes.

There were many funny stories. Kostas and Mena and Theodosios and Rena reminisced about their visits to England – and to David and Julia’s house there. Julia brought out a photograph taken at the time; Kostas found a duplicate in one of his albums, plus several other pictures.

There were songs, as always. I’ve mentioned before that Greeks are apt to break into song at any moment, without notice, and today was no exception.

When the Greeks had sung several of their songs, there was a popular demand for David to sing something in English. Being the good sport he is, he obliged with “When You Walk Through a Storm,” in which Demetrios and I accompanied him, with some help from Julia, who prompted us when we forgot the words. Then we sang, “Daisy, Daisy.” David earned a big applause.

It was late afternoon before we all adjourned for siesta.

Then in the evening, we met Julia and David at their hotel for a walk along the waterfront, followed by a snack of bougatsa. Just to introduce them to one of our favorite foods.