Here we are, safely back from our Greek Island Honeymoon. Well, the honeymoon was ours but the Greeks own the island.
The weather was fine for the most part, storms delayed our journey, causing us to make a stopover at a port, on the mainland, called Kimi which was very pleasant and to sample a quite startling local wine which was not. We gained by being able to have a good look at the Parthenon, much of Athens and several other bits of Ancient Greece. We saw the various high prestige buildings, including the Prime Ministers' house, outside which the soldiers, who have a special name, prevent boredom and cramp with the most amazing march I've ever seen, straight out of the ministry of silly walks. John Cleese must have copied it straight from the life.
The most striking thing about the average Greek building is that it's not finished yet. As far as I can tell, the Greek householder does not have to pay all his or her house construction taxes until the building is complete, so if he says he hasn't finished yet then he doesn't have to pay yet. It appears that this applies to hotels as well, or ours at least, there are often little bits incomplete for no obvious reason. (Anybody seeing an influence of Greek philosophy in my house D.I.Y is invited to keep it to themselves). Also the weather is so mild that upper floors can be designated roofs simply by a bit of waterproofing. The result is that almost any building can be extended upwards, and is therefore unfinished, and can be lived in meantime, as long as the owner does not mind a few reinforcing rods sticking out of his roof. Almost all constructions less than 10 years old are like this. It also accounts for the state of the Parthenon. It's not finished yet.
The oddity is that the buildings do not look unfinished or messy. This is because there isn't a square room in the country. They don't see the point of making rooms square, so there isn't the uniformity to highlight the unfinished bits.
Our village on the island, also called Skiros, is the only significant collection of buildings on it, and the south half only has a Military air and sea base.
We spent the bulk of the holiday following various courses. Yoga, Chi gon, Massage and Dream analysis for Jim and Yoga, Chi Gon, Dreams and Music for Fiona.
Much of each day was free however, for trips to local sites and areas of interest so we kept busy, doing our own thing, and got by Christmas and the New Year/Millennium without much fuss. The weather held fine throughout, but for some rain on the last Sunday.
We had to leave a day early because the weather was closing in and the ferry captain rightly thought he wouldn't get out of port if he waited for the next day. However we did get a bit more of Athens. and a really good look around the Acropolis and the Parthenon, Being the low season and a little cool out of the sun, the place was almost deserted by normal standards and that lack of crowding made all the difference.