Aug. 30, 2017

A Lazy Day

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We awakened on our last day in Kamena Vourla, where we stayed at the Galini Hotel and Spa, to find that it was raining heavily. One cannot even see the mountain range that is across the bay and the mountain behind the hotel has its top ridge hidden in the clouds. This is our last day before having to make the final drive into Athens, to catch our flight home the next day.

We arose slowly and decided not to shower but to simply get dressed and head downstairs for breakfast. Just as we left our room, a power failure occurred. We locked up and went downstairs anyway, to where they serve the buffet breakfast and dinner, an all-inclusive arrangement. There were several other parties sitting in the dark eating their breakfast. I was lucky to grab the last two fried eggs and stuck them on top of a cold piece of toast...and managed to find a few sausages that were still warm. Our coffee was lukewarm too, and there was no cream, I was told ~ but I think the lady was just not in the mood to go back to the kitchen to take a look...I knew they must have some because I had some yesterday!

The experience here has been very nice, and I was happy for my husband that he did not have to do any driving for a whole day. We swam in the pool and got a lot of sun, and I visited the Spa as well, to get my toenails redone - they had survived for 30 days and many many steps and could finally use an overhaul. We also visited the Thermal Waters located in the Spa and were permitted to spend 20 minutes in the hot mineralized water, apparently containing traces of Radon and Radiation. Hmm! Nevertheless, we went in and enjoyed our soak. It did not miraculously cure all that ailed me but it sure did feel good to have that heat in our bones. There was also an outdoor pool behind the hotel but it did not have any water in it on the first day, but on the second day it was full so we enjoyed another dip in the hot spring water again. I think being outdoors, it could not retain the heat as well but it was still quite lovely.

I am thinking about how some people rate their Hotel stays and Restaurant experiences. I believe it is rather like critiquing a singer and never giving them another chance. What I mean to say is, that many relay their 'rating' and allow a cold cup of coffee to lower the rating to 1 out of 5, when in fact this is the smallest technicality and the 'performance' would have otherwise been enjoyable.

We found this place, Galini Hotel & Spa, to be quite lovely and exactly what we needed after our long and busy travel adventures. The staff were very friendly and as accommodating as they could be, except the lady who would not bring cream. The facilities themselves are in need of some repairs, as I noticed building cracks, peeled exterior paint, loose wallpaper, half installed lighting, and wrinkled broadloom carpet, however the bed was comfortable, which was an anomaly from the rest of our experience, even in England. Even with Facility Manager and Interior Design experience, I can forgive all of the above, because the comfort of the bed wins my approval hands down. My tired hip and sore quads and calves and aching heels deserved and needed it, and I was very grateful. A power failure was the least of our worries and all we have left to do is to shower and pack up. (I was happy there was still some hot water by the time I got around to hopping in, but I showered in the dark, even managing to shave my legs!)

We are cognizant too, that in Greece's recent troubled economy, that there likely has not been much focus on Capital improvements, and we learned that some hotel employees in Corinth even had a period wherein they were not paid at all for two months, and recently had had another 6 month unpaid period, yet they still continued to work there. One could not afford to quit because there may not be another job to be found.

Now, we are on the bed, my husband closing his eyes and I am typing. I should be resting my eyes and not looking at a screen though, since my right eye is fluttering with a twitch and has been like this for a couple of days now. I am hoping it is only a minor lack of sleep that is causing this, and that it will go away once I've slept a full night, when we get home.

It is a two hour drive to Athens from here so we will not be leaving until Noon, since we cannot check in to our next Hotel until 2pm. So we are in no hurry to pack and in fact, packing will be a chore to do properly, one which we are leaving for our final day. We are bringing back some tins of honey from the village and this of course weighs quite a bit so we will have to redistribute our belongings to make sure each bag is within limits, and we may need to check more than the one big suitcase this time, for our trip home.

Our next Hotel is not right downtown in Athens, but apparently has a rooftop pool and dining area, so we hope to enjoy this at least for a bit this afternoon - and then venture down into Plaka for a romantic dinner. We fly at 2pm tomorrow, so it will not be an ungodly time of day to have to pack up and check out, but rather, we can do it at our leisure. This planning is all Aris's idea and he seems to have the drill carefully figured out to minimize effort and retain energy, thereby keeping his wife happy. <3

I now can say that I miss the comfort of our own home, and I am bubbling over with the new experiences that are ahead of me, in starting school! Right off the bat, I will have rehearals, recording time to schedule, final design for our CD cover to approve, and then our launch at the end of October! It is less than two months away now and I must work hard at my Russian lyrics and diction. Also in October will be an extremely fun Canadian Children's Opera Chorus Anniversary Concert to be part of, marking the first time I will actually sing inside the Four Seasons Centre. Hurrah! Not only that, but it will be wonderful to see some of the friends I made as a youngster, nearly 42 years ago. But on top of this, I will be attending my first classes at York University and I expect the learning curve will be steep, yet fulfilling. I look at it as a 'Project', and if I can manage a $10m dollar endeavour, I can certainly manage this.

Now, our first order of business in Athens will be to get a good cup of coffee, since I didn't finish mine at Galini Hotel, as there was no cream to be had. ;)