My normal drama of accommodations happened again. The flat that I was going to rent was without heat until December 15th. When it was turned on, it was for only 3 hours a day. The flat was very damp and the bedroom was in the back of flat without sunshine. On top of that the hot water couldn’t be left on because of cost. I had asked all of the questions about heat and hot water before I agreed to rent and I was told all was well.
The flat was in a great location. Luck was with me; a small hotel called Athens Studios was right across the street owned by Ozzies.
I have a lovely studio apartment. It has 2 terraces, a bedroom, a bathroom, a living room and kitchen. It is very well maintained and serviced every day, oh and with breakfast. I would recommend this place to anyone. The price is very close to what I was going to pay for a flat. It’s a good price because tourist season is over.
Athens weather is mixed; not too much rain. The temperature is 13 to 20 and most days there is sunshine, which I just love! I seem to be very social here, with friends, lots of events, (fun). I will be taking the ferry to one of the islands to see friends this week.
As I said in last blog economy is still very difficult and people are reinventing themselves and trying to stay very positive e.g . I met two Architects last week and had both lost their jobs. The cleaning staff at the hotel are from Africa and think of working here as another family.
Athens has a brand new state of the art Cultural Centre, Opera House and National Library all funded by the Stravos Niarchos Foundation for 650 million Euros and 5 years of maintenance. It has nearly 1000 employees and I was very fortunate to have a private front and backstage tour. It is just magnificent. I also got a ticket for the Opera next week, which wasn’t easy.
Next door is a major hospital funded by Mr Onassis. He was married to Jackie Kennedy, and these gentleman were in major competition in the shipping world. Now they have left legacy projects to their country. I thought it was interesting that these buildings were next door to one another!
As per usual, I have found excellent laundry and coffee. Lunch here is not until 2 or 3. I attended Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the American Republican party. It was a very interesting evening. They love Trump and think he is doing marvelous job. I decided to stay quiet, but the first course of dinner was served at 11.15.
Not sure how long I will stay here. Will be back in Toronto early March for another Bar Mitzvah. Also a lot of Leonard Cohen music here. He lived on Greek island, I think where he met Marianne.
All for now!