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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Mad Hair Salon & Roast Duck Lunch

Aloha Everyone,

One of the few things the two of us treat ourselves is spending a few hours at a salon where we get pampered. Mad Hair Salon is located within the exclusive Athens shopping district. Following a screen shot on my iPhone, we easily found the location less than 5 minutes walk from our hotel. It is located on a pedestrians only street.

Once we explained what the two of us needed, they plunged right into action. The best feature of having my manicure and pedicure from Andriana, was that she is studying reflexology and applied the techniques on my feet and hands. I could’ve stayed in the reclining chair the entire day.

Artemis, the salon’s professional hairstylist was a charming lady. She and I talked about each other’s children and our travels.  She was very pleased how she styled my hair.

Kristina, the person the other two referred to as “the boss” was a gracious woman. The two of us basically communicated with our eyes realizing both of us lacked necessary words to ask questions and learn from each other.

I appreciate these rare opportunities to avail to special services. Once we are back in the USA, J.J. and I will forgo such luxuries.

J.J. had seen roast ducks hanging in the window. So to the Chinese Restaurant we went to have a Roast Duck lunch. The server spoke very little English and didn’t even know where Hawaii is :-/. At least the food was good. We ordered two set menus.  I was quite filled with the corn soup followed by vegetarian spring rolls. J.J. is enjoyed the second portions of duck with fried rice for his dinner.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, November 29, 2021

Blustery & Cold Day

Aloha Everyone,

Just as the weather forecast app had predicted, today turn out to be cold with blustery wind.

Our choice for lunch was based on whether or not we can find an outdoor seating, but with sufficient protection from the elements. The restaurant we spotted had seating under large, sturdy umbrellas, plastic sheets to prevent wind from blowing through plus heating elements just in case it gets too cold for comfort.

Only after we were seated and J.J. checked the menu did he realize that the establishment specializes in snack items such as souvlaki, salad and other local fast foods.

My green vegetable salad was so huge that I had them packed for my dinner.

For J.J.’s dinner, the two of us braved the wind and dropping temperature to walk to a nearby pie shop which we frequented in 2020.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Vibrant, Energetic Athens

Aloha Everyone,

The two of us were very comfortable with the slower pace of Rhodes, especially inside the Medieval Town where we walked at least 5 days a week. There, everyone spoke and walked slower. I think they even eat slower in Rhodes and the other islands.

Athens is vibrant, energetic and the pedestrian streets in the Plaka neighborhood are wall to wall people!

Advantage of being back in Athens is that the two of us know where supermarkets and pharmacies are located. As for restaurants, there are so many to choose from.

For lunch, I was happy to have a dish  consisting of a Greek specialty, giant beans cooked in olive oil, herbs and tomato sauce. J.J. asked for spaghetti with veal sauce.

For dinner tonight, J.J. opted for a sandwich while I feasted on grilled corn on the cob and freshly roasted chestnuts.  Interestingly, the vendor was the same woman during our last stay. Her large chestnuts, 12 pieces for €5, was as delicious as I remembered.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Back in Athens

Aloha Everyone,

The transformation of Athens from March 2020 to now is like day and night. Streets are packed with families compared to no pedestrians and closed stores at the start of the pandemic. Perhaps one reason is because this is the first weekend for holiday sales. Who would think that Greeks observe Black Friday. Stores advertised Black Friday prices.

J.J. and I celebrated our successful transfer day from Rhodes to Athens by dining at a Korean/Japanese restaurant.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, November 26, 2021

Sailing Day & Onboard Dining

Aloha Everyone,

On the days when we are on the move, J.J. and I eat very light meals. Before our ferry left port, we decided to check out the self service dining room. I had a mixed green vegetables salad and two tablespoonful of J.J.’s Spaghetti Bolognese.

All the rocking and shaking movements helped us get a good night’s rest. The following morning we found out that the onboard restaurants are closed. We had a cappuccino with croissant breakfast at a cafĂ©/bar before landing at Piraeus. 

We always give allowances for taxi drivers showing up late. Our driver in Rhodes failed to show up. Luckily the hotel clerk got us another taxi.

The driver of the transportation service J.J. had engaged for Athens never showed up. The ferry was about 30 minutes ahead of schedule, J.J. and I waited for an additional 15 minutes before hiring a taxi to bring us to our hotel.  Inconvenient, but no big loss.

Hernies Hotel, we will be staying for the next 5 nights, is located just 1/2 block from the hotel we stayed on our last trip to Athens. It is an older establishment and seems to cater to tour groups.

Our room “grand suite” has a king size bed, large sofa and a beautifully upgraded bathroom. I get 14 steps instead of the usual 9-10 steps when I walk the length of the room. It is colder in Athens so I plan to do at least 3 miles in our room.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Aloha Everyone,

We enjoyed an atypical Thanksgiving Day in Rhodes by going on our daily castle walk and visiting the Rhodes Archeological Museum. This impressive building was the hospital established by the Knights of St. John.  The work took over 36 years to complete during the time of the Grand Master d’Abusson (1476-1503).

Most impressive is the large hall located on the east wing of the second floor. This was the patient’s ward of the Knights’ hospital with displays of tombstones of Knights.

As with many of archeological museums we have visited, quantity of exhibits and displays are overwhelming. While J.J. stayed on the ground floor enjoying the serenity of the cool shade, I walked and climbed in and out of rooms trying to look for the featured pottery and sculpture and spent about an hour. 

Here are my breakfast selection and our Thanksgiving lunch. For dinner, we dined at the hotel’s restaurant. Their 4-course menu offering of soup, salad, main course plus dessert and choice of beverages at €12 per hotel guest was 1/2 the price compared to what the two of us spend for a comparable meals in restaurants.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Aloha -- Cathi