Easy exit off Sea Dream, where we weren’t cruising, we were…. Gretchen’s new friends pressed their email and Facebook information upon her. Lots of ‘good-byes.’ Our taxi to the airport stopped on a very high cliff and we gazed down at Dubrovnik and the sea. The best way to see that city in these days of mega tourism.
The year Gretchen was 14 she lived in in Italy with her Aunt Gretchen’s family. They vacationed in the former Yugoslavia and wandered the, then, empty streets of Dubrovnik. There was no need for her to ever see it again; Rick and I had a dinner there three years ago. What Gretchen remembers most about her time in Yugoslavia was swimming at a beach that didn’t allow bathing suits. She has been firmly and empathically modest since that day.
Too long in the Dubrovnik airport, but Laina had arranged a lovely drive into Athens in a nice black car with a courteous, non-English speaking, driver. Gretchen and I kept our heads low in the Athens airport, fearing a Scary Steve Sighting. We arrived too late to make it to the truly wonderful Museum of The Acropolis, which was three blocks away. But we LOVED the small hotel where Laina booked us. Two blocks from the ancient Gate of Athens (behind there the crumbling Temple of Dionysius); we were across the street from the entrance to old town where we wandered happily after our magical dinner. Laina had reserved a table on the terrace of our hotel, the table rimmed by flower boxes. We had an uncluttered view overlooking the Acropolis. We watched the sun set there and then the Parthenon, and other hilltop temples, light up. A full moon was rising in the east and the meal was fantastic. O Blessed Last Night in Greece.