On our trip to Greece

November 8th, 2008 by scott and becky

For the last week, the song going through Becky’s head has been the Arrogant Worms “On his trip to Greece”:

I get water in my ear (On his trip to Greece)
Which makes it kind of hard to hear (On his trip to Greece)
It isn’t bad ’cause already (On his trip to Greece)
All they say is Greek to me
He thinks this joke is so funny
That he says repeatedly (On his trip to Greece)

Becky is constantly reminded of the English expression “It’s all Greek to me!”. Until we arrived here, we had little idea what Greek sounded like. Becky is finding that it is a flatter and much faster language than Italian. Italian is much more emphatic or passionate. Greek is often spoken very fast, so we are barely able to make out the different sounds people are making and have found it very difficult to remember even a few key phrases (Efharisto – which means Thank-you – has been particularly challenging). Fortunately, we have found that many people in Greece speak at least a little bit of English, such that we do not need to use Greek to get our message across. We have also been spoiled by having Dimitris to help us order food and ask questions for us.

We were late to rise this morning, and did not leave the apartment until after noon. After a quick trip to the grocery store, we headed out on our bikes to replace a few of the items in the stolen bag (a new bag and a set of bike lights). Again we found ourselves on an adventure riding through the streets. Becky was greatly confused when we stopped for some of the stop signs and then rode through other ones. She found we were doing it yesterday on our ride as well – the rules were rather mysterious. Eventually, she noticed that there were stop signs (or yield signs) next to the traffic lights. The ones Dimitris and Scott had been leading her through were when the traffic light was green. Apparently, the signs are there to tell people what to do when the lights are out. In Canada, we are taught to always stop for a stop sign, and when a traffic light is dark, it acts as a stop sign as well.

Illegal Immigrants climbing the fence into the port

Illegal Immigrants climbing the fence into the port


After a wonderful lunch, we rode around some more and checked train and bus schedules, then rewarded ourselves with a coffee on the waterfront. We again watched as at least twenty illegal immigrants climbed over the fence towards the ferries and other ships in the port. After the sun set, we took a ride down to see the bridge across the Gulf of Patra. The bridge is 3 km long and costs 11 Euros to cross. Dimitris called it the most expensive 3 km in Europe.

We passed several parks where more refugees were preparing meals over open fires, and several beaches where they were using the free showers. Becky noticed one the men was clearly naked as he crouched down while shaving after his shower. Another experience we never imagined! We continue to feel very safe in Greece, despite not always understanding what is going on around us.

The most expensive 3 km in Europe

The most expensive 3 km in Europe

Leave a Reply