Adventures in Greece as we pursue the dream of buying a boat and cruising the Mediterranean.
There’s a rhythm to living here which is dictated by sound, much more so than anywhere else we’ve stayed before. Where to start? Perhaps with the tourists as they drive so much of the life of what happens here in Psyrri.
Thursday through Sunday mornings are punctuated by the sounds of suitcases rolling over cobblestones, typically early in the morning — people arriving from their flights for their weekend getaway in Greece, or checking out to head home or early to head for the ferries for their island getaway. You don’t hear much of this Monday — Wednesday at all.
Friday is when the live music starts. The restaurants try harder to attract customers and we have the same guitar / bouzouki duo who play Friday — Sunday beneath our terrace. They are very good, but even their set has a rhythm to it that you start to recognise (Zorba the Greek roughly once an hour). Standing out on our terrace there’s a constant hum of voices from people walking the streets and eating together below us.
We are about 50 metres down the street from a local church (although to be fair, in Greece, everyone lives within 50 metres of a church!), so of course every Sunday it’s the hand-rung bell tower that sounds throughout the morning at odd times.
Sunday is the last of the big tourist evenings, come Monday it all quiets down again. On Monday morning, it’s mopeds racing up and down the pedestrian street below as people move around for work. Monday evenings are typically quite peaceful with a murmur of a few people eating but not much more than that.
At anytime during the day you can hear salesmen driving around in old pickups, playing recorded announcements shouting their wares in a very distorted voice. It could be that they are selling watermelons, or buying scrap iron. The scrap merchants block the narrow streets as they pull over to scavenge the bins, which adds the sound of frustrated drivers tooting horns wanting to get by.
By Thursday, the neighborhood is starting to pickup again, this time mostly with locals out for a drink and a meals together. And by Friday, the sound of suitcases start filling the streets again.
Our weeks are taking a rhythm of their own too, quiet moments in the afternoons, punctuated by various activities throughout the day. There is rarely a dull moment. I don’t know where I used to find the time to actually do work before!
Tourist wise this week, we spent a lot of time wandering the streets, watched the changing of the guard and spent another day at the beach which we enjoyed. I found a Mini Moke, which I obsessed over (it was for sale and yes I was tempted!), saw more ruins (to be fair they are kind of everywhere), and did an Ice Cream tour of downtown.
The Ice Cream tour was a lot of fun, not least because of the excellent Ice Cream, but also because of the company. Karina joined a local meetup group for “Independent Travelers” and we had a lovely time chatting with the two other people on the tour. Although we all have very different backgrounds, it’s that love of travel that brings you together and creates a common ground to connect on. It also reminded us how important it is to get out there and meet new people, we’re obviously very comfortable in each others company, but it’s also a lot of fun to meet and interact with others too.
I also met up with a local VC on Thursday which was great, not only to learn a bit about the local eco-system, but to “talk shop” with someone and discover a new area of the city as well. We’re hoping to get in touch with a few startups to share experiences — not because of any desire to work, but just to learn and explore other facets of life here too. A consistent theme has been that everyone we’ve met up with has been very generous with their time and generally happy to have us here and enjoying being Greece, we always feel very welcomed.
We took Rosie to the vet on Wednesday, not because she was sick, but because we wanted to check up on any local vaccinations that she might need. Turns out it was a good move! She doesn’t have to continue her Heart Worm medication (although the Vet recommends she does as it’s starting to become more common here now), but there is a vaccination for a parasite in Greece that we don’t have in the US which she needed — it’s some sort of worm that lives in all the stagnant water and is passed around by the cats I believe. Anyway, she was vaccinated against that which is great. She also got her EU Pet Passport, which allows her to travel with us throughout Europe easily if needed.
While there, we inquired about Pet Insurance (which is fairly essential in the US) and the Vet basically laughed at us. Her comment? “I can’t believe how much they were charging you in the US, you don’t need such a thing here”.
Finally, we were back at Alimos Marina again to tour another boat. This time a Cranchi Atlantique 48 (I say “cran-chee” but the broker pronounced it “cranky”, but I also think they don’t have that “ch” sound in Greek, so I have no idea which is correct — I think Cranky is funnier though!). This was exciting as it’s the first boat we’ve looked at where we went “yes, this one would do”. The same broker has another boat (Fairline Phantom 48) which we’ll view tomorrow that’s a little newer, but on paper seems to be an even better fit. It’s nice to view boats that we feel like “this could be the one” instead of the last couple, which we immediately knew weren’t quite right.
Until next week!
Tim & Karina