Well, today is the day of the “Concert of the Decade” in London at the Knebworth House. Pink Floyd, Tears for Fears, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Ray Cooper, Robert Plant (with guest Jimmy Page), Status Quo and Phil Collins with Genesis were all set to appear. Unfortunately, there was absolutely no way I could make it. However, I just happen to be on deck of a cruise ship heading toward Athens, Greece (a fine consolation). I’ll see the concert on MTV when I get home.
We spent another day and night in Capri – the most fantastic island I’ve seen yet. Danny and I went to the Grottos Azure (the Blue Grotto) – one of the wonders of the Mediterranean world. The Grotto was a cave with a tiny opening at the waterline where the sun shines through the water/entrance and bounces off the white sand inside the cave. The reflected light illuminates the cave to a majestic royal blue. The water was so clean, that you could see to the bottom of the entire cave.
At the Grotto, we met 4 of the coolest, funniest comedians from New York. These guys went to Albany and we decided to travel to Greece together. Let me tell you that since Danny and I met these guys, we haven’t stopped laughing for a minute! It’s like traveling with 4 Billy Crystals – they’re a riot.
Ok, the boat to Athens is killin’ me. From Capri to the Greek Islands takes 2 full days (48 hours of non-stop travel). What a pain! I didn’t anticipate this part of the trip. We had to take a mini-bus down to the port, then a hydrofoil bak to Naples, then a cap to the train station, then a 2 trains to the port in Brindisi (the tip of Italy), then we had to take a cruise (with no seats, I slept on the deck in 45 degree freezing weather with no blankets), then after the cruise ship, we had to take a train to Athens and then a plane to Mykinos Island and then another boat to Santorini Island.
Ok, let me recap for you:
Mini-bus, boat, taxi, train, train, boat, train, plane, boat.
It hasn’t been all that bad because of our new friends Steve, Jay, Keith and Mike from Albany, but all that travel gives you alot of time to just think. The sunshine in Capri gave me a nice suntan base, but once in the Greek Islands I should be looking fiercely dark. I’m excited to explore the islands and the black sand and ancient ruins, and lots of celebrating.
One of the brief highlights on our overnight Ferry to the Islands was a full RED moon rising over the horizon.
Sunday July 2, 1990
Jim Beam Cola tv commerical- so many commercials in Europe are all alcohol ads! Imagine walking into a 7-11 in America and picking up a six-pack of Jim Beam and Coke as if it were a half-gallon of milk! All the ads in Europe are hilarious. Goofy ads, but I guess they work. I could simply sit in front of the TV and watch these crazy commercials for an hour – pure entertainment. If your wondering why I’ve been writing about television ads, it’s because we’ve been watching the World Cup every night – everything in Europe revolves around the games.
Anyway, after the hellish 20 hour boat ride, we arrived in Athens and were swarmed by Athenian Hotel shysters. Each person tried to get us to stay at “their ” hotel and the competition was hilariously fierce. This drove the price down. Me and the boys stayed in a place for $4! When we finally laid down to sleep in the sweltering heat, without any working air conditioning, it must have been 110 degrees. We laughed if all off – as we all shared the room!
The next morning we woke to see the Acropolis, but by the time we got to see it (or rather, by the time we found it), it closed! So me and Steve snuck over the gate to try to climb to the Parhenon. However, not more than 20 feet into the journey, we were attacked by a pack of vicious German sheppards that probably haven’t eaten for days! Next thing I knew, I was flying through the air – I had never jumped so high and fast in my entire life. We barely escaped with our lives and decided maybe we should come back when the open. It was an incredible sight fro the bottom, though. Just think the Acropolis was the Manhattan of 200 BC. I was cool to imagine the ruins covered with fabulous marble and active with Greek philosophers – Socrates, Plato and so many others.
That afternoon, we took another hilarious boat ride (10 hours this time). The reason I keep using the word hilarious is because these guys with Danny and I are really killin’ me with their wacky comedic ways. I’ve never had so much fun with friends I barely know – but at the same time I felt like I’ve known them my whole life. Anyone who can keep me in stitches all day and all night is definitely ok in my book!
We arrived in Santorini in the heat of the mid-morning and were shystered by a Greek selling shlock. He said he had a great hotel by the beach – and took us to the middle of the dessert. We refused to pay him and pointed to the beach 5 miles away! He dropped us in the middle of nowhere and we had to wonder the deserted part of the island in 110 degree heat with our packs. Oy – this was not the Greek Island Paradise I had been dreaming of!
We wondered aimlessly through the heat with our packs until, get this, an 11 year kid pulls up in a mini-van! I don’t think I’ve seen anything so funny. He goes, “I’ve got room 4 you, by beach, no problem.” He shystered us too – and we had to get his father to drive us to Kamari Beach on the other side of the island. FINALLY, we were where we wanted to be. We got an amazing place on the waterfront for $8.
We rented mopeds and had absolute the best days I’ve ever had in my life! We rode all over the island. It’s impossible to describe the raw beauty of this island. There is little or no vegetation, but the mountains and landscape are formed by molten lava from a volcano (that is still active and just recently erupted only 30 years ago).