Sunday, April 25, 2010

What's In a Name?

The Greek families are united generationally in an interesting way. A child is not baptized or named until around its first birthday. Before that, it is simply referred as "baby." When they are baptized, their godfather gives them their name at the ritual.

The choice of names for the first two males or femailes is a given. The first two males are named for their father's father and mother's father, respectively. Females are names with the first girl baby for the mother's mother and the second for the father's mother.

Greeks celebrate their name days which coincide with the saint's day over birthdays. This means that grandparents are together with their namesakes.

The night before last I was invited to join in the festivities of St. Elizabet (Elizabeth) day. It was a noisy happy time with lots of food and drink hosted by Maria's sister. All the Elizabets from elderly to little childen were there.

The evening would also mark the beginning of my good-byes. The family responded with their wishes that I come back next year. Were that it were possible!

See you soon, RA

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Trouble in Paradise...


As it happens, I went today to visit a friend at the local radio station. That's when I found out that the Icelandic volcano has shut down movement of airplanes for the last few days in Western Europe. So far, 18,000 flights have been cancelled.

I spoke to one couple from UK who said their children have been stuck 3 days in Athens trying to get home to England. No one seems to know what will happen next... wind may shift but it's doubtful, planes may be re-routed but how?

It seems that the particles in the cloud are such that it would tear up the plane's engine... not a good way to travel.

My itinerary has me leaving in a little over a week from Athens to Paris. As of now, no problem leaving Athens, but if you are on a flight to Paris, London, Poland. It's a matter of finding a flight that doesn't go north and over Greenland. It'd probably involve a southerly route into the U.S. If you hear anything or know of anything that would present an alternative, I'd sure be interested.

Otherwise, who knows? Could be I'm in for a very long stay....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Here I Is... Finally

Kalispera! I finally found an Internet Cafe in Naxos. (A lot of stores won't open until the tourists arrive in late May or early June.) So let's begin because I've been viewing many things with the thought of sharing with you...

FLIGHT: All was right until I arrived at Charles de Gaulle (CDG)in Paris. Talk about security and attitude... plus they won't speak except in French (Intl. Airport!) You don't understand? They just speak louder and gesture more emphatically.

You know how when we had a "shoe bomber" they started making shoe scanning part of the drill? Well, at CDG they've almost taken the "underwear bomber" seriously. All scarves, even little neck kerchiefs and every piece of loose clothing such as suit jackets, cardigan sweaters and so forth must be removed for scanning. I think the next trip through CDG, I'll wear some fancy underwear - just in case they've gone to the logical (illogical) next step!!

ATHENS: Clear and warm with a slight breeze. I didn't spend much time there, but I did take in the view of the Acropolis (I had toured it on a previous trip) and went to the new Archeological Museum. The night photo was from my hotel room. It's a little hard to distinguish, but the area that's ablaze is the view from the balcony of my room and the little sliver on the right is the moon.The other two photos are the view of the Acropolis on the path to the museum and through the window at the museum.

The first paragraph and below are photos I took at the museum of the ancient city. The digs continue under the floor of the museum which has a floor made of material you can walk over and peer down into the ruins. (Yes, the shadow in the second one is me with a big smile - just in case you couldn't tell.)

Having had a university class on the history of the Parthenon Frieze, seeing reproductions up close in the museum really gave the lectures new life. The Parthenon occupies the third floor. The pottery shards and statues have been reconstructed. It's a wonderful museum if the subject is of interest to you. Better yet, everything is labeled in Greek and English. Sorry, no photos allowed.

NAXOS: The next day I took the Blue Ferry from the port of Piraeus to Naxos. After a 5 1/2 hour journey, we arrived in Naxos. Unfortunately, it was night so no photos entering the port. Here's a photo of the Blue Ferry with people, cars, trucks, semis and even an ambulance seemingly belched out of the great beast.

That's it for now - except to thank Barb for letting me know status. Much appreciated!

Let me hear from you. Comment below.

NEXT TIME: Naxos & Friends.

Adio, R.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Irises and Spring

Even though I'm flying away tomorrow, Tuesday is usually blog time. I could say that habits die hard. That'd be partly true, but the other part is that I just finished an iris card series and I like it so much that I couldn't wait to share it with you.

A little background is in order. Many blogs ago, I mentioned that I was creating a new website. I would keep to display work for art galleries. I requested your help to name a new site where art, ceramics, and many other items would be available for purchase. The majority of you voted for "" and now construction is under way.

The choice was made for the note cards to be first pages because a lot of folks didn't really like going through Etsy. This system will simplify ordering by quite a bit.

If you click on "My Card Shop" at the upper right on this page ( below "Favorite Links"), you'll see the first pages of the new site including all 6 of the "Spring Iris"r-atencio-pink-iris series. I am very pleased with how the irises look. It was a windy day and I think it gave the irises a certain feel of movement.

(Should you be interested in ordering any card series for yourself or your Mom for Mother's Day, shipping is scheduled for April 30th.)

Future blogs will be journals of my trip to Athens and Naxos. In the meantime, please enjoy the iris.... and Happy Spring!