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Published: October 3rd 2009
They came up after first autumn rains
Week 43 and 44 in Greece.
Mon 14th Sept
Neighbour Kirio George wheeled his wheel barrow to Mama's with corn cobs and some melons for our chooks from his large vegetable garden. The corn cobs were stripped down and the actual corn kernels put out to dry for the chooks to eat at a later date. Mama started them and did 20 cobs before Michael and I did the rest. I got a blister on my right hand from the repetitive action on my palm, near my thumb.
When I was returning from a walk up the street, one motorist threw some stuff out for the recycling bin and I wagged my finger at him, and he must have thought I was waving to him, so gave me a nice smile and a grin. But when he drove past, I yelled “Tebellis” ( Lazy) as he had not got out of the car to place the recyclables in the actual bin.
We visit Salonika for the final time and we walk to the OTE (Greek Phone Company) Tower with the revolving café. It takes one hour to go around. So we stayed there having our coffee and enjoying the 360 degree
Alexander the Great Statue
Taken on our final visit to Salonika
Sunday 20th Sept
George and Aleka come around 9am Niece Elizabeth and her husband David in Melbourne use Skype on the computer so we can see their 3 week old daughter Isabella for the first time. George, Elizabeth’s brother had taken his laptop to their house and set it up. Nicholas is there too and we speak to him briefly, and see him having a nurse of Isabella for a short time. ( she did not cry)
George cooks some meat on the spit for lunch but the electricity goes on and off and eventually off for about 3 hours. So George puts his car battery on the spit motor so it powers the motor and the meal cooks well. First time in eleven months the power has gone off. Thought I may have to push George’s car to get it started if the car battery was low on power, but this did not need to happen.
Monday 21st Sept
Go to the leiki ( street market ) at Pereas for the last time we are here. I am in two minds on leaving Greece- some things I really like, whilst I know all good things must come to
Cooking meat outdoors.
Connecting the car battery to the spit motor when electricity failure.
an end and I want to see Nicholas and my family and friends. The chestnuts and cabbage are on sale in the market, so winter in Greece is not too far away.
Tuesday 22nd September
We say our farewells to our good friends Thodera ( Aleka’s brother) and his wife Yirrakenna and their three children. That is the hardest thing to do- say goodbye to people you like and not know when you will be back to see them in person.
Wed 23rd September
I go down to the Post Office to ask about prices to send back stuff to Australia. 2kg packet is 22 Euro and a 5 kg box is 46 Euro.
George comes out to pick us up around 5pm to take us to their daughter Elizabeth’s shop to have tea. Mama has not seen the shop before- only on photos we had taken about 6 months ago. Elizabeth had made pizza and a delicious pineapple torte. We ate out on the balcony, as not really too cold when we first arrived, but after we had eaten, about 2 hours later, we moved inside. When George took us home, the traffic on the ring road was at
Yannis took the photo of us and the rest of the Grambi Family.
a standstill, as there was a musical festival featuring Dalaras and many other famous Greek singers at Kaftanzoglio stadium. This stadium holds about 25 thousand people . Most I think had a car and trying to go to the stadium that way, instead of using public transport. How crazy is that, as not enough parking for the local people, let alone this influx. So reckon some people would not get there even before it ended. People were parking their cars on the exit road from the freeway and walking about 2 km back to the turnoff to the stadium.
We go to Spiros and Maria for lunch. Spiros and Michael were good friends back in late teenage years. They drive us home via their steel factory. Apart from the steel factory, Spiros has some animals and garden on the factory land. There are many little piglets with the sows, and he has chooks and a large vegetable garden.
Michael and I still do some extra packing. I go down the street to put in the photos from Kythira to be developed. I also buy the little sailor man from the gift shop that has not been
Michael and Friends
Not quite the Spartans.
opened very often in August. The owners asked me if I was from Australia and I said yes. They said they were from Adelaide, so don’t know if the teenage daughter was born there, and has returned to Greece. Michael said he is not letting me go out shopping again, as I bring more things to be packed in the case. I noticed that the primary school girls have their pull along school bags with the wheels. But once they get to high school, they must think they are daggy and don’t use the wheeled school bags.
Visited Yannis and Pepe, the neighbours not too far away from Mamas and take some wine with us to wish them goodbye.
Sunday 27th September
Aleka and George come out and George cooks some fish on the grill for lunch. Aleka takes the bus back to Salonika and George stays the night to take us out to the airport. A melancholy sort of day, with so many thoughts going through your mind, as you realise that your Greek Odyssey is nearly over. We put the alarm clock on for 5am the next morning.
Monday 28th September
Our last day in Greece.
Michael and corn kernels
Taking the kernels from the corn to dry for chook food
Mama says her goodbyes and she throws a small amount of water as we are leaving, which symbolises that she wishes a good trip for us. George has the roof racks on his car and puts our overweight suitcases on the top. Glad he had them ratcheted down well, as he shot along the road to the airport pretty quickly. He drops us off at the departure stop and we say our final farewells and a big hug and he drives off to work. We wonder how will we manage with our luggage being a bit overweight, but manage to go through OK, with the luggage being tagged "Transfer", so would go straight through to Melbourne. At Athens Michael has his first McDonald's burger and realises why he hasn’t bothered to eat them before.
Flights from Athens to Singapore and then to Melbourne uneventful and we arrive half an hour earlier at Melbourne, as we had a very strong tail wind. Our son Nicholas and my sister Helen, husband Mat and daughter Emily were at the airport to welcome us home. It is great to be back on Australian soil, but we have fond memories of our Greek Odyssey and
our stay in Greece for eleven months. We want to thank all of our relatives and friends in Greece for making it a memorable and enjoyable stay. Also our Australian relatives and friends for keeping in touch during our eleven month stay in Greece.
PS I have included some photos I have not inserted into our travel blog before and thought people would enjoy them, such as the Greek Parking ones.
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