Happy Birthday, Anita Thompson
Yesterday, when Anita and I arrived at the Athens airport, we were told that a general strike was in full swing and that there was no way we were going to get into the city. We eventually found a limo driver brave enought to attempt it. By the time we arrived in Athens that peaceful general strike had turned violent when some protesters began hurling Molotov cocktails at the police and the driver dropped us off several hundred meters from the hotel, refusing to go any closer.
Anita commented on the "smog", which was actually tear gas, and it was melting my eyeballs. While I was near-blind and in excruciating pain, Anita pulled her Canon out and began shooting photos of the police in full riot gear, protest signs, spent tear gas canisters littering the street, and tens of thousands of protesters held back behind police barricades. She also took a photo of me at the front desk with blood-red eyes and tears streaming down my face from the tear gas, while I held a wet towel to my face.
By sunrise today, however, everything was back to normal, with no signs of yesterday's street warfare, and we walked up to the top of the Acropolis for a close look at the Parthenon, which was founded in honor of Athena, the goddess of courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Athena is also the goddess of wisdon and war.
This evening, we celebrated Anita's birthday 0ver dinner on the open-air rooftop restaurant at the Grand Bretagne Hotel with the most amazing view of the Acropolis and Parthenon lighted up against the evening sky, and idyllic Mediterranean weather. And tonight, that same Canon camera was used to shoot pics of a happy couple here in the cradle of Western Civilization.
Happy Birthday, Anita. I love you!
Your friend in Athens,