Saturday, September 9: Tonight, I join a tour with G.O. Tours called “A Night Out in Athens.” The tour costs 63 euros per person, expensive to be sure. But I feel like getting out to a Greek tavern with a group of people. So I splurge.
The tour is described as such: “Your evening begins with a short panoramic drive through the City Center and at the slope of the sacred hill you will be able to see, admire and photo the illuminated Acropolis. Next you will visit the Museum of Ancient Greek Musical Instruments, or the Hercules Museum, and discover the divine origin of Ancient Greek musical instruments and enjoy traveling in the hidden paradise of Ancient Greek music history and sounds. Explore the greatest and only collection around the Universe, or more than 60 reconstructed Ancient Greek musical instruments. Then a pleasant walk through the narrow picturesque streets of Plaka, the old city, will bring you at a Typical Greek Tavern where you will enjoy your dinner following a floor show with live music and Greek Folk Dances in traditional costumes.”
We stop at the Acropolis first, as advertised, but I don’t bother taking any photos as I’ve already taken plenty. Then we go to the Hercules Museum (Hercules Museum). Here, sadly, we are only allowed to take one photo, above. A guide gives us a tour of the small museum, telling us the history of the different types of instruments. The museum has a collection of 1,200 Greek popular musical instruments dating from 1750 to the present day, but only half of those are displayed based on their aesthetic or decorative value.
After our museum tour, we go to a Greek taverna, where a folk music show is in progress. There is already a huge crowd there; later we find out it is a school group from Serbia, along with other mixed tour groups. Dancers in traditional costumes entertain us, pulling people from the audience up on the stage. We have a great time, clapping to the music at our tables and dancing on stage. The atmosphere is lively and fun.
A couple of fun-loving young ladies from Brazil are in our group. One of the dancers flirts blatantly with the girl with long dark hair. The girls don’t speak much English, but later, as we walk together through the streets of Plakas, she jokes about her new “Greek boyfriend.”
We all take turns going up on the stage and dancing in circles, standing at our seats and clapping, and just enjoying the festivities!
The Serbian school group is having the time of their lives. They are dancing and laughing and goofing off with their friends. I remember times like this with my high school friends, back in the day.
While this flirtation between the Greek dancer and the Brazilian girl is going on, I have been flirting myself with the handsome bouzouki player, by eye contact only. At one point, when the dancers clear the floor, he gets up and sings a medley of famous Greek songs, many of which we have all heard before. I think one is “Never on Sunday” and another is “Opa!” but sadly, though many are familiar, I don’t know the names of them. I think this music is what is known as rebetiko, a term used today to designate originally disparate kinds of urban Greek folk music which have come to be grouped together since the so-called rebetika revival, which started in the 1960s and developed further from the early 1970s onwards.
We are all delighted with this performance, especially me. 🙂 I find this man incredibly attractive!
We all enjoy the show immensely. I really don’t want to leave, but at midnight or so, our tour guide is ready to take us back to our hotels. As we are leaving, I look at the bouzouki player and he smiles at me and waves goodbye. Eye contact can be a powerful aphrodisiac. I feel a little high from our eyes-only flirtation throughout the evening. As we are right in Plakas, within walking distance of our hotels, the Brazilian girls and I abandon the tour group and walk back together.
Before I left my hotel for this evening’s tour, I sent Bill Michalopoulos a text message, using the number he gave me: “Nice to meet you today, Bill… Cathy the american 🙂 ”
When I return to the Acropolis View Hotel after 11 p.m., I find this response on my phone: “MEE TOO COME TOMORROW”
I return the message at 11:24 p.m. “I am going on tour for 2 days to Delphi and Meteora, then on Wednesday to Argolis but will be back in Athens wed night and thursday morning….”
He replies at midnight: “I LIKE TO SEE U IF U WANT”
I don’t reply until the morning, because when he sends this message, I am fast asleep.