Greece

Sooooo...we had a gig in Greece last week, playing a single two hour show on a luxury cruise ship for corporate clients. In trade, we had a few days off in Athens before sightseeing off the boat in Rhodes, Crete, and Santorini. To top it off, our flight home had an extensive layover in Amsterdam. This will be some sort of personal record for blog photos, but remember--I'm working!

Monday: Atlanta to JFK to Athens.



leaving NY



dinner


Somebody a few rows behind me brought a dog, which whimpered and barked a little bit, and drove a few of the passengers nuts. Before we'd even left JFK, an Edith Bunker-sound-alike wanted to change seats because the dog "smells and he's already tried to bite me." The guy directly behind me proposed that the stewardess lock the dog in the bathroom. Nice people here in the back of the plane.

unusual airplane sleeping position
 Tuesday!

touchdown in Athens
 From the airport, we took a sprinter van to our hotel in the middle of Athens.




the view from our hotel room

more hotel rooftop views

walking the streets of Athens

Library of Hadrian: 132 AD (1,885 years ago)

lunch stop



The Gate of Athena Archegetis: 11 BC (2,028 years ago)

up the road to the Acropolis

sidewalk to the Acropolis

view of the Acropolis from the Areopagus (the rock next door)

the ol' Odeon of Herodes Atticus: 161 AD (1,856 years ago)

the Propylaea--the front gate of the Acropolis


the Erechtheion--a temple dedicated to Athena and Poseidon

the old Temple of Athena, plus two dudes

the Parthenon


puzzle pieces


Parthenon


more puzzle pieces

renovations continue

the Propylaea again

gata

walking down from the Acropolis


After a long nap, I went for a run in Athens. Isn't Greece a hotbed of distance running? I only almost got run over three times. No love for the runners.

On the way back to our hotel, I encountered a protest that was lining up.


Further down the road, I encountered 20 riot police, ready to go. No pictures of the police, as I was in a hurry to get out of the way.


an alley on our way to dinner



Wednesday: checkout time wasn't until noon, so I went for another run, heading out in the opposite direction from the night before.





just park that anywhere


Much of Athens smells like human pee.




We tried to eat lunch, but after sitting at a cafe table for an hour, the waitress finally admitted that the oven kept shutting off, and that was why it was taking forever to cook our food. Defeated, we headed back to the hotel to collect our luggage and head out.

headed to the airport

the plane to Rhodes

The Great Bencuya, baggage claim



boarded a bus to the boat

Rhodes airport

my room on the ship!



First things first: lifeboat/muster station procedures.



We finished that up at 7:45, but the boat didn't leave port until 9:30, so Kip and I went on a quick sightseeing walk inside the walls of the Old Town of Rhodes.

Gate of the Virgin

Medieval Church of the Virgin








I think it's ruined

Street of the Knights


Han Solo of the Crusades



entrance to the Rhodes Archeology Museum

Marine Gate




soup for dinner

pasta for dinner

cream puffs
Thursday: Lunch in Heraklion, Crete, Greece. 

some kind of beets, garbanzo beans, and walnuts thing; I ate some of it

I don't remember what this was; some kind of legumes and tomato. I ate it, though.

Greg's hanging pork chop thing

After lunch, Kip and I headed to the fort...



...but first, we came across this church with St. Titus' skull inside!



You could only see the very top. It looked like a fossilized ostrich egg.





To the Koules Fortress!












After that, we went to a museum, and saw room after room of clay pots and figurines.


Seen on my run this night:




guards at the port!


Dinner in my room:



Friday: Breakfast in my room!




Santorini was the final stop on this trip. After a short tender ride to the base of the cliff, you could walk up, ride a donkey up, or ride the gondola up.


just park that anywhere


In this spot, the donkeys completely blocked the path. I was too scared I'd get kicked to try and weave between them, but some old lady grabbed the saddle of one and pushed it out of the way. The opening closed behind her, leaving me no choice but to squeeze between a few by myself.

I walked up. The sad donkey faces really bummed me out, enough that I excused all of the donkey poop between me and the top (of which there was plenty).

that's our boat on the far left




Santorini is breathtakingly beautiful.

that's the volcano out there in the bay














the volcano still hasn't erupted















You could climb down there and then crawl up the back side of this thing. I did it. No big deal.

in search of: food, lost puppies, and a tail



I came back to this in my room. Ate the strawberries, left the prosecco.


traffic

the view from my balcony on board the ship


room service again! pesto pasta with green beans and chunks of potato
 You may have forgotten that we were here to play a gig. Tonight's the night! Here's the room:



surprisingly decent backline gear!


The gig was a success, as far as I could tell. I think we only played for fifty or sixty people, but they danced and demanded an encore at the end. Not a big sax night (which was fine because I'm sucking real bad right now), but my keyboards/EWI stuff sounded great in my ears--really, everything sounded great in my ears--which made the night enjoyable.

Saturday: We woke up in Athens (specifically the port city of Piraeus). I got up late and went for a walk around town.

another port dog









Imagine the worst porta potty smells ever. This smelled like that.


just...whatever...some ancient ruins in the middle of the neighborhood. 

Piraeus pooch

lining up for a parade





Saturday night, I headed out for a run to the Acropolis and back.




here's where I ate the salad and risotto the other night

here's where the oven didn't work and we missed lunch

Dude with the guitar is singing "Creep" by Radiohead, while the sax player is holding down a backbeat on the tambourine, probably driving whoever is on the other end of the phone batshit crazy.



Back on board the ship, I ate one more excellent dinner.

I had two of these
 No pictures of the main course. I forgot and ate it before I photographed it.

dessert
Our lobby call was, unfortunately, 3:15 AM. I tried to go to bed--really, I did!--but I was pretty much wide awake until after 2 AM. My alarm went off at 2:45 AM. Greece does daylight savings a week before the US, so I knew that it was only 1:45, so I set the timer for 60 minutes and lay there in the dark, waiting for my wake up call. That sucked.

bus to the airport

We flew from Athens to Amsterdam. I slept almost the entire way--three hours.

future tulips





banana pancakes for Dave






I peed in this church



Moulin Rouge--right there! I had money to spend on a show, too, but they didn't begin until 1:45, which also happened to be our meet up time to head back to the airport. No boobs for you!

train station


our KLM crew in their snazzy outfits

flying west, I watched a sunset that lasted several hours
I also watched a couple of movies

this little plane couldn't fly fast enough!

We landed at 9:20 PM in Atlanta. Consider that we left Athens at 3:15 AM (that would be 9:15 PM in Atlanta with the daylight savings change and the time zone change). That's literally an entire day of travel. Ouch.

Two days off, and then we're out again--the Impractical Jokers Cruise leaves Wednesday from New Orleans, bound for Mexico.


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