Monday 21st September 2009
We slung the cameras around our necks and turned into tourists for the day. Taxi to the Metro, Metro to the city centre, and off to see the Acropolis. This is something Chris has wanted to see ever since seeing a photo of it in a book as a kid, and she was not disappointed. Yesterday we had seen the Parthenon from the sea, sitting atop the Acropolis above the sprawl of buildings that is Athens. Today we saw it up close, and it is awesome.
Awesome - even with scaffolding!
We did all the usual sights, had a lunch that turned out to be rather a lot larger than expected, and then sat on the tourist bus to take in the rest of the city as we were so stuffed from lunch and worn out from the trek uphill in the morning!
Back on the boat we had our last rounds of Okey, as Steve was determined to win a game before James went home, which he did - just!
Tuesday 22nd September 2009
Up early to get a taxi to Piraeus port for James to pick up the airport bus at 08:30. It should have cost 3 euros, but it turned out to be a 'leave your car at home day' and all public transport was free! As the buses run every 20 minutes we didn't have long to wait and soon James was on his way. We headed back to 'empty boat syndrome' for a day or two!
Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th September 2009
We had previously arranged for a new wind generator to be supplied and possibly fitted at Zea, and the freezer had been playing up, even though it had been 'fixed' at Lavrion, so we busied ourselves getting these jobs done. A further job arose when the locker was cleared out to expose the wiring for the wind generator - the engine exhaust pipe which was also exposed had been rubbing and almost had a hole in it. As quite a quantity of water passes out of this big pipe whilst the engine is on, it could have led to a major flood had it worn right through. We had to have a stainless steel tube elbow made and fitted in place of the damaged pipe.
George, the freezer guy, discovered that Vangelis in Lavrion had fitted a used unit to the freezer, which had just about worked long enough for us to leave before it started to play up. He had also reversed the polarity of the wires on the pump so we were lucky not to have to buy a new pump too. So, any of our yachting friends be warned - steer clear of Vangelis in Lavrion as he is not to be trusted. We had been put in touch with him by Nikos who runs the visitors' berths, so although he appears to be the yachties' friend, be wary.
The new wind generator - one of those 5-minute jobs that takes all day - was fitted by a nice chap called Petros and his son Niko. He had said there was no charge for the fitting, even though he ended up having to take the pole back to his workshop and drill out the top. We're not used to Greeks being generous in this way and thought he would hit us with a huge bill at the end of the day, but all he did was suggest we give Niko 50 euros for helping out. We were happy to do this - Niko had stayed on board when his Dad took the pole back to the workshop, and we had a long chat with him. Just back from National Service which he had put off whilst at University, he was now unemployed and looking for work. Hence his availability to help his Dad. That, and the fact that his Mum had asked him to help as she was worried that Petros was getting too old for such work!
So, whilst we were disgusted at the way we were conned in Lavrion, our view of the Greeks was much improved by meeting Petros, Niko and George, who were all friendly, helpful and genuine people.