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Trip Report So glad we went to Greece (and London always)

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Resting in the sunshine on top of the Acropolis, my daughter asked me what I thought the theme of this vacation should be. How about : It’s Good To Be a Regular, and It’s Good To Try New Things.
It had never occurred to me to go to Greece, my daughter’s first choice for our Reading Week trip. It was late February, so not The Best Time per guidebooks. My only bits of Greek were a few ancient root words and suffixes. Also, that part of the world has gotten some bad press lately. Altogether, too daunting.

But, on the other hand, why the heck not? Aided by EasyJet and Fodorite tips, Greece began to seem possible. It turned out that February was a perfect time to go, the Greek people were warm, fun, and happy to communicate, and we had sunshine almost the entire time.

First, a few days in London. I stayed at the Celtic Hotel, an homey favorite that happens to be a couple of blocks from Hannah’s dorm. The desk man recognized me from previous visits, and since things were a little slow he upgraded me to a lower floor with in-room shower. Darling Mrs. Marazzi is still at her post, or as she brightly said: "Still working!" So nice.

The previous morning just before leaving I had added one too many apps to my mobile phone (Greek language! TFL info! Maps!) when it made a piteous cry. The whole trip it held onto life by a thread, sometimes working barely when it had been plugged in for 24 hrs, sometimes not. Luckily I had the little blue £10 Nokia I’d used a couple of years ago, and though it made the nice young man at the Holborn Carphone Warehouse chuckle when I pulled it out, I got a SIM so Hannah and I could text. The internet and I parted ways for the duration of the trip, and I got along just fine.

Hannah and I had breakfast that morning at fine little 49 Café on Marchmont St. across from Brunswick Centre. Fortified with their good cappuccino, we walked down to Two Temple Place www.twotempleplace.org , tucked between Middle Temple Gardens and her College. The exhibit, Beyond Beauty, will run until 24 April, and then the house closes again for the year. The Egyptian exhibit was fairly interesting, but paled beside the mansion itself, built as offices for the Beyond Rich and Beyond Quirky American William Waldorf Astor. I enjoyed eavesdropping as a docent told some of the particulars of his overly-self-protective life, like his castle in Kent where houseguests had to sleep in the model village outside the moat and drawbridge.

Thursday and Friday: museums, the Temple of Apple Technology at Covent Garden, a NT play I hated and a ROH opera we loved.

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