Introduction: We had been to Greece three times before (1963, 1973, 1983), and to Turkey once (1973). But all those trips were while I was still working and didn't have much time. So now we were going back on a 27-day trip. We would be traveling on our own, no tours and no reservations. Well, we did have one ace in the hole: while in the Athens-Glyfada area, we could stay with our friends, the Rodenbergs (parents of our Greek daughter-in-law, Mina).
Sunday, September 24: We had dinner at our son Randall's in Culpeper on the way from our home in Massanutten, Virginia, to Dulles Airport. Although our flight wasn't scheduled to leave until 11:30 p.m., we had to be at the airport by 7:30 to pick up our tickets to Argentina (our next trip) before the United Airlines desk closed. After checking our luggage with Northwest and picking up the tickets at United, we drove to the Hampton Inn, left our car there, and caught their shuttle back to the airport. The KLM flight to Amsterdam was late, but we finally took off about 12:30 a.m.
Monday, September 25: They served dinner in the middle of the night, showed a movie (which we didn't watch), and served breakfast before we arrived at Schiphol Airport around noon. It is a huge, modern facility. We put our carry-on bags in a locker and took the train into Amsterdam to make the most of our seven-hour layover. We caught an excursion boat right in front of the Central Station and took a one hour tour through the canals.
Later we took the bus to Waterloo Plein (Square) and walked through the flea market. Next we walked to Rembrandt's house and went through it. It houses 90% of his 270-some sketches and prints, but none of his paintings. We took the train back to the airport and caught the 7:30 p.m. flight to Athens. With the one hour time change, it was nearly midnight when we arrived. Charlie and Ore Rodenberg met us and drove us to their new condominium in Glifada.
Tuesday, September 26: Jane's birthday! We were exhausted and slept late. After breakfast Charlie took us to the bank to change some money, then to Damos Travel. They were not very helpful, but we did get some maps. Charlie drove us around Glifada. We could still recognize the area near the beach, but not much else. It had been built up so much since our last visit 12 years earlier. We spent a relaxing day. Mina's cousin, Olympia, stopped by with her 5-year old daughter, Marialena. Later her husband, Yanni, stopped by, too.