Relaxing and Visiting in Greece

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July 31st 2010
Published: September 12th 2010
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Kavala, Greece

Ashley and EmmyAshley and EmmyAshley and Emmy

Walking home after drinks downtown on our first night.
The next bunch of days in Greece were very relaxing. The first day we were there (the one where we arrived so early) we took a nap right away. While we did that Emmy and Litsa went down to the fish market to get the next couple days’ dinners. Dan woke once our hosts had returned (probably sometime around 1000 hrs). Ashley followed not too long after. Dan learned that if you have a fishy smelling fish or a floopy fish, it ain’t a fresh fish. We both learned how to clean fish, but Dan was the only one with enough guts to do it (excuse the terrible pun). For the small fish (Sardines me thinks) it was rather simple. You just pop off the whole head and pull. For the big fish (Mackerel) it was mostly grab the gills and pull; the head remained attached. You may need to drag your finger through to make sure you got everything, but that was about it. Also while Ashley dozed the melon man came around. Since Kavala is a hill town, and most everyone walks, carrying melons from the supermarket is a pain. Instead the melon man drives his truck around to

Told you they were crazy... (and they're not the only things).
all the neighbourhoods and announces himself over the loud speaker. Emmy and Dan ran down the stairs to get the melons. To our dismay there were no watermelons, but they did have a small truck load of the striped, sweeter cousin of the honeydew; unfortunately I can’t remember what they’re called.

Eventually we all woke up and had some dinner. Afterwards Emmy took us out for a drink. We headed downtown and took a long walk along the harbour to one of the several bars there. One thing that we really appreciated about the bars in Kavala was that for every drink you order, you also get a small snack. Similar to bar nuts, but with more variety; we had a nut and bolts mix, crisps, and pickled veggies.

The next day was our first beach day. We planned on being there early and leaving before the heat of the day, but Grecian time (which is any time except on time) dictated that we didn’t leave the house until 1100 hrs. The beach was wonderful. We sat at one of the cafes; meaning that we had to order something, then we could sit under their beach umbrellas and
The Tree of Good HealthThe Tree of Good HealthThe Tree of Good Health

This is the tree we tied pieces of hair to for a healthy next year.
on their beach chairs the rest of the day. We enjoyed floating and sunning and were warned of the dangers of the ocean; jellies, sea urchins, dark water, and sharp rocks. We headed back to the house and had siesta; something we have adopted whole heartedly and will likely have a hard time breaking if the time comes.

The 26th was raining and not so good for the beach so we went shopping instead. Dan had torn his pants beyond salvation and desperately needed new ones. It was really funny seeing all the English signage for sales and deals. We were successful despite the tight fitting nature of most Grecian pants, and even found some good linen shorts. This was followed by the standard siesta and visiting. We also partook in a local tradition; we went to a local church to wish for health for the coming year. This is an annual event during which many residents of Kavala walk up to a church on the hill and offer a piece of themselves, such as a piece of hair, in exchange for good health next year.

The 27th was anything but a normal beach day. It was the
Ashley and Dan on the HillAshley and Dan on the HillAshley and Dan on the Hill

Overlooking Kavala and down to the glorious sea.
standard later start and we made it to the beach and enjoyed floating about. Dan really wanted to do some cliff jumping (it was really just a rock). We could see where others were heading over and jumping; what Dan unfortunately did not make note of was where they were climbing onto the rocks. Where he decided to try turned out to be the wrong spot. He felt a pain on his foot (probably a sharp rock) and in an attempt to hold himself up he put his hands down, a lull in the waves dropped him on the rocks more. A surprised yell warned Ashley and Emmy that something was not all good. Dan swam back out into the water and watched one of the locals climb up and followed suit. Up on the rock he sat down and actually started pulling sea urchin spines out of his feet, hands, and shin. After assuring Ashley and Emmy that he was fine, he jumped from the rock; good fun, but could have done without the spines. Back at the beach the girls were allowed to see the wounds only on the condition that they didn’t dote too much; they held
Here he isHere he isHere he is

The only shot of injured Dan; disabled but still a functioning member of society. Note: he can still use a straw.
back sufficiently well. Emmy insisted that he go to the first aid station; Dan worried that sea urchins required something weird he didn’t know about to ease the pain (like the peeing on jelly fish stings). Dan hobbled along. Naturally the Grecian nurse spoke only Greek so Emmy had to translate. The nurse put some iodine on the wounds and then proceeded to dissect Dan’s hand with only the best intentions. She only worked on three of the spines in his hand, using a syringe tip (just the needle part) and tweezers (or small pliers depending on how you look at it). After several of her attempts, and Dan’s winces, she told Emmy that he was in pain and that the best option was to soak his wounds in warm oil to help ease the spines out and tweeze them out over the next three days. While they were talking Dan could feel shock setting in (most definitely from the excavation done on his hand) and had to lie down. The rest of the day Dan was visiting, siesta-ing and trying to get the spines out of his hands with tweezers, (naturally).

The 27th was pretty exhausting for Dan so we stayed in the following day and relaxed a bit. However, on the 29th we were getting antsy and decided to go for a walk before Emmy and Litsa returned to the house from their early morning appointment. Amazingly enough we ran into Emmy and Litsa downtown during our walk; not an easy task in an unfamiliar city with plenty of small, winding streets. What was originally a short walk turned into a day long walk. We shopped around downtown for a while and then we went to the posh part of town. We went to this insanely fancy hotel in Kavala and had a tasty lemonade. This may sound weird but the lemonade was amazing. They brought each of us lemon juice and simple syrup and we mixed the lemon juice and syrup to our desired tartness or sweetness. Then we walked around the harbour and admired the sharp cliffs meeting the clear blue water; it was absolutely stunning! From so high it looked like the bottom was only inches deep, but we’re sure it would have been several meters.

The next day the two of us went back to the beach one last time before we left Kavala on Saturday. We stayed for hours sunning ourselves and splashing around in the water. It was blissful. Never underestimate the power of relaxing on the beach for a week. Kavala is a beautiful town and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to get away and enjoy the beach. It does take a lot of time to get there so make sure you have a couple weeks vacation to really take advantage.


13th September 2010

Oooo! Ouch!
So that's the rest of the story. A little pokey, eh, Daniel? And that's why I'm just fine staying on the prairies. Love to you both.
14th September 2010

So are the little spines out now? Who was worse off, you or the little urchin? Isaac wants to know what kind it was, and how big, and was it venomous!
15th September 2010

What's with the third degree
I think most of them are out now but I also thought that 3 days ago. It was the pokey, mean kind but I don't know how big. It didn't seem to be venomous. Maybe that's why I was lazy for the rest of the day. I think I was way worse off than the urchin; well, maybe having a 190 lbs guy fall on you would be pretty rough, but we're not staying in touch so I don't really know.

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