Lindos & Greek Dancing

July 09, 2007


Go Zorba! How could we leave Greece, without seeing traditional Greek folk dancing? Okay, maybe it was not DaVinci’s favorite cup of tea, but we girls really enjoyed the show under the stars and I think he found it more entertaining than he expected. The live musicians playing with traditional instruments also added to the enjoyment. We have a Greek church in our hometown and participate in a cultural festival there every year, so it was rewarding to witness all the dances and traditional costumes here in Greece.

We enjoyed strolling around the streets and listening to more Greek music at a nearby restaurant where we had a late dinner and some Greek diners got up spontaneously and started dancing. Perhaps the ouzo was flowing as one even ended up dancing with his pretty Cocker Spaniel which made Mozart laugh.

Alas, we were out too late, so we missed our good intentions of seeing the beautiful nearby island of Symi by sleeping in past the ferry departure times. Thus we ended up with plan B which entailed a bus ride to nearby Lindos, Rhodes’ most important ancient city that has an Acropolis spectacularly perched on top of a 116 meter rocky point.

The temperature was well over hundred, so we did not climb to the top, but enjoyed the beautiful harbor from the white village just below the Acropolis that looked very similar to the white villages in Spain. It is quite a touristy area and we wandered the warren of ancient streets looking for shade as we eyed the endless souvenirs and gold jewelry shops. The harbor and town are quite beautiful as you approach them, looking like they come out of no where in a rocky area.

We were happy to find an air conditioned restaurant to eat lunch in and laughed as group after group of diners followed the sign up to the terrace with the sea views, only to return moments later after concluding that the air conditioning on the viewless main floor trumped the view in this heat. I think it was the hottest day that I had ever experienced in my life.

The trouble began after we left the town and had to wait for the bus back  for an inordinate amount of time in the heat. I was well aware that this is the kind of heat that people die in and spotted a pool not too far away that said open to all, so I sent Mozart up there with her dad. She was complaining and I worried about her, but the steep climb up in the sun looked like more than what I wanted to endure. She thought it was quite clever that she could swim in her underwear since we did not have a bathing suit with us.

I waited in the shade, but while they were gone, I started to feel more and more ill and more and more hot. I ended up pouring the bottled water right on my head to try to cool myself down and it seemed to evaporate instantly. When DaVinci came back, he found me a spot near some ice cream in a store nearby and we camped out there, letting Mozart gobble some popsicles until the bus finally came.

I was having strange chest pain that entire day and I also had one episode on a hot day in Santorini, so this made me nervous about going into Turkey. I suppose there is no good place to have a heart attack, but I remember thinking as the pain started out of the blue in Santorini, “what a horrible place to have a heart attack” and Turkey seemed like even a worse place, especially in the rural areas we planned to visit.

I did not think it was anything serious, as I had a thorough physical, including a work up by a cardiologist, not long ago and my heart looked great, but my instincts said to check this out before leaving for Turkey. I thought it was better to error on the cautious side. We were advised that it would be best to just go
to the emergency room at the hospital, so we did.

DaVinci pointed to my heart in a sign language form and the kind taxi driver must have understood as he took us to the hospital in the new town that looks just like the equivalent of ours at home. I don’t like being a patient in my own country and was even more uncomfortable being one in a foreign land where I do not speak the language and it was made even worse because Mozart was not allowed in, so DaVinci could not be by my side.

I felt very alone and frightened as they closed the curtain around me and had me get up on the gurney, but grateful too that I was not in the condition of some of those who were moaning and crying around me. I said a little prayer for all.

The male attendant did an EKG on me and then a handsome young doctor came in and asked me some questions. I was very happy to hear that my heart was good with no problems and he thought it was a combination of food (my body not being used to the bacteria here) and heat. I loved the yogurt, tziki, olives, feta cheese dishes and such foods which abound in Greece (and Turkey), but it seems the natural bacteria in them did not like me as much as I liked them.

Unlike the hospitals at home, I was out of the emergency room in no time and the doctor REFUSED to take any money. DaVinci and I were both blown away by that and also so happy to know that we were not dealing with anything serious. As we left a young man came in with a bleeding head and I was so grateful
for the blessing of health and aware again just how fragile that line is.

We now felt ready to start our “Turkey leg” and we were curious and excited to get to know this new country ourselves. These days few Americans go to Turkey, but it is a favorite destination of many Europeans. I have not heard of one person who has been there who did not love and rave about it, so we were looking forward to this complex and diverse country that has more Greek ruins than Greece and more Roman ruins than Italy!













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