J.J. and I mutually experienced an unspoken sadness before leaving Athens. During the 15 days of our stay, Greece and the world changed forever. The COVID-19 pandemic emptied the streets. We couldn’t even find beggars to give our change. They too had fled the city.
Armed with masks and rubber gloves, the two of us left our hotel with air hugs to the staff who asked us to return when this is all over.
During the last 10 years, Greece had undergone economic hardships. The modern freeway, stadiums and the airport that were built for the 2004 Olympic using international loans have yet to be paid. They are sore reminders that the country has not yet recovered.
Paris, our driver, offered to take the coastline route to the airport. He said it’s more scenic. But our mind was to leave Athens with minimal disruptions.
Smooth processing at the airport. Our flight to París traversed over the Swiss Alps. After walking for about 2 miles at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, we boarded our plane to LAX.
Entry procedures at LAX were handled efficiently. Health check, immigration and customs, we were all processed speedily and cordially. The only hitch was that one of our two bag was not loaded in Athens. It was past midnight when we arrived at our hotel. J.J. and I decided to try to get some sleep, grateful that we are back on American soil.
Aloha -- Cathi