Greece and the Olympics – 2004

August 13, 2004 – We have come to Athens for the one-hundredth anniversary of the modern Olympics.

We spent a week in Athens during the Summer Olympics and went to several events. We were there at the opening ceremonies, of course, and the closing ceremonies as well. It was beautiful and exciting to be there and see it all live. We decided before hand to get tickets for the events that we had participated in ourselves in school or at other times. That was how we decided on which sporting events to attend.

We walked through the main Olympic site daily and saw many interesting things. There were artistic mobiles moved by the wind, reflecting pools and throngs of people walking everywhere, and from everywhere. We watched the live news broadcasts from KNBC in the Olympic site hosted by, you know who. Yeah, that guy, and his side kick.

My wife and I both played tennis in high school. My family had often gone out to the desert to shoot guns and use our bows on targets when all of us were younger. My wife took archery in high school. A friendly note here, I do not recommend buying an archery kit for your wife if you aren’t always on your best behavior.

My wife and I have taken several recreation classes together. We took a beginning fencing class at the recreation department and enjoyed it very much. It can be a very active and exciting sport for those who continue to develop their skills. We did not do that, though we enjoyed the class immensely.

All of the local people in Greece that we came into contact with seemed very excited about the Olympics. The Greek people were friendly and polite. Do you remember the joke about the sites being finished on time? One fellow asks a Greek man, “Are you going to be ready on time?” and he responds, does it start in the morning or the afternoon?” The Greek people were rightfully proud of getting everything done as needed.

Have you ever wondered why Greece has financial woes so often. They are among the many countries who’s population do not report their income properly or pay their share of income taxes very well. Mexico is also very poor at bringing in tax revenue for the same reasons.

Sadly, my wife broke her foot on one of the first days of our trip in Athens walking on the cobble stones. We had a woman on our tour who showed my wife how to wrap her foot each day and it saved our trip. The wrap kept the swelling down and made it possible for her to walk in her water wading shoes. They were the only shoes that she could wear. Maybe that’s something worth bringing just in case on all of your trips. We do that now. My wife is a trooper and carried on for the entire trip with a broken foot.

The fireworks of the opening ceremonies were wonderful and being there with the thousands of other people from all over the world was an event of a life time.

We sat across from the Acropolis in the evening on Lykavitos Hill and watched the fireworks the night before the Olympics started. The building is lit at night and is beautiful. We watched from there as the flame arrived and was taken to the stadium.

Greece is a very important place in the history of western society and is important to visit for several reasons. Democracy comes quickly to my mind first of all. It wasn’t exactly the same as ours, but it was a good start.

Go to my friend’s Facebook page for photos at Ray-Andrea Matthews.

Check out my novels on Amazon. “The Adventures of the Smith Family” and “Grandpa Ernie’s Secrets” are a good place to start. You can read a free chapter here on my site or go to Amazon. They are free in the Kindle lending Library, also.

If you love to read and need some books for your next vacation or for a gift, call Anne at Book Carnival in Orange. Her number is 714-538-3210. Tell her that R. C. Hand gave you her number. We need to support our local economy and especially book stores.