NOTE: Today is June 6, and I just realized that i did not post 24 & 25 May though I had written the journals. Here’s 24 May:
BOB’S BIRTHDAY SURPRISE
Today we decided to visit Galatas, a village on the mainland that is a short taxi ride from Poros. Our first view of it had been from the Flying Dolphin ferry on our way back to Athens last year. We decided then that if we ever returned to Greece we would check both Poros and Galates out. We never thought at the time that we would be here just six months later!
It was a rainy day–quite unusal for May we’re told–so we sought cover at one of the outdoor tavernas to have lunch and seek cover from the impending rain. The Greek Salad and Fried Calamari were excellent, as always.
Galatas is mainly residential, with very few retail establishments. We walked the length of the downtown in minutes, then decided to take the water taxi back.
That evening Katerina (www.odysseyapartmentsporos.gr) invited us to be her guests for a “very special” evening. There would be a traditional buffet dinner followed by Greek dancing lessons. Friends of theirs came by around 9:pm to begin a Greek celebration. After they ate, a young musician began to play, which seemed to signal the beginning of the party. Men got up and did line dances, just like in movies except there was no throwing of plates. Women also did similar dances. There was applause and loud whistling as everyone cheered the dancers on. Then we danced in the courtyard with Katerina and/or Rik leading us. And the wine flowed on…
I had told Katerina and Rik on our first evening there that we were here to celebrate Bob’s 65th birthday on Friday. They said they would make it memorable and they certainly did. At exactly midnight, they came out with a huge birthday cake. First everyone sang Happy Birthday in English, then the Hollanders sang to him in Dutch followed by the Greeks singing to him in Greek. Also, there was a professional photographer visiting who took pictures. He promised he would email some to us.
Bob was so surprised that for several moments he just stood there in shock. Finally, he reacted with the biggest smile I have ever seen. After the singing ended, he blew out the candles–there were six of them–and cut the cake in lots of slices to serve every one.
Sometime in the early morning hours, we retired to our unit. I’m not sure when the party actually broke up.