Witnessing History

We arrived in Athens this morning, and have settled into the apartment we are renting. It is nice to have our own space (and air conditioning!) again. The last few days have been busy with travel. We went from Naples to Rome, then flew from Rome this morning. 

A funny story about our stay in Naples: At the Airbnb room we stayed at (which was very nice, and very welcoming!) in a larger apartment, we saw rope, black leather gloves, and garbage bags on a table by the door when we came in. We thought that was odd and joked that maybe our host was a cat burgler. Well, we found out what that was for- it’s materials so you can lower your luggage to the ground floor rather than haul them down the 6 flights of steep stairs (see the previous post to learn more about my delightful experience with those stairs). It was so helpful! And crazy to see our bags being lowered through the center of the building from 6 stories up.

Z’s bag being lowered down.

Yeah, it’s blurry, but it’s an action shot!

We made it to the next room we rented through Airbnb, close to the airport in Rome. Our hostess was fantastic, and we ended up going to dinner with her and her husband. We went to a restaurant on a lake where the pope has his summer residence, Castel Gandolfo. It was gorgeous, and we enjoyed absolutely delicious food together. Buffalo milk mozzarella, roasted pork, lasagna, and Zac had a yummy spaghetti type dish. We rode along the lake and got some gelato afterwards. It was a wondeful evening.

Our fantastic AirBnb hosts at dinner.

But we almost didn’t go. Z and I were tired, it was a later dinner for D who usually goes to bed around 7:30, and we have been trying to eat cheap. But we decided to say yes to dinner, and it was an amazing experience that we wouldn’t of otherwise had. It also reminds me of why we travel; it’s about saying yes. Yes to meeting people, seeing, experiencing, and feeling new things. Not always positive, but they make an irrevocable impact on your life and in your thinking. So I try to remember to say yes, even when I’m tired and cranky and unsure.

We also said yes in a big way by deciding to stick with our plan to travel to Athens. As I write this, it appears that Greek citizens have voted ‘No’ in a historic referendum to reject the austerity plan to repay the nation’s debt. What this will mean for us in our travels, I’m not sure. We will find out. I do know that this will mean changes for Greece and its people. I hope changes that end up being positive by lowering the unemployment rate and helping citizens feel more secure in the economy.

Z and I think it’s important to see the things we wanted to see, and to put our money into the local economy as we had planned. We are monitoring the situation, but so far, everything seems peaceful in the neighborhood where we are staying. Many businesses were closed today (for the vote or because it’s a Sunday, I’m not sure). Tomorrow we will likely do a tourist bus to get a sense of Athens, and see some of the main sights in a controlled way, just in case things get exciting. I don’t anticipate any real problems other than the normal ones related to traveling and having an active toddler. (Who, by the way, had already figured out that it’s a blast to throw things off the balcony, so we are down one toy and almost down a fridge magnet).

I’ll update more tomorrow, and we will see if the banks do reopen as announced in Tuesday, and what the next few weeks will look like for Greece. For now, we say yes to being in the moment and enjoying the breeze from our 5th floor apartment.

A “Yes” poster with a “No” starement spraypainted over it. This is at the local bus stop by our apartment.


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