I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mona's Musings

September 18th, 2010

Athens: A Day in Three Acts


Enter Mona and Dale onto the street from the hotel. They climb into a taxi and are whisked away.  Minutes later the driver delivers them to the foot of The Acropolis where they gawk and take pictures, surrounded by dozens of other tourists doing the same thing. The first observation they make facing primitive man and the birth of civilization is that they are hungry. Mona and Dale walk down the cobbled pedestrian way to the first outdoor café and sit at the first corner table because they are really hungry. Since everyone has told them that meat is what Greeks cook best, they order a meat tray for two: except what is brought them is a meat tray for four. With a prayer that their vegetarian friends will forgive them, they eat every bite of chicken, beef, lamb, sausage and pork – with nothing else. Reassuring one another that they will need the protein to climb to the top of the Acropolis, they stand up and lumber away, dropping a few Euros into the box of a boy accordion player and a few more into the hat of a strolling Greek band that have been playing the same refrain for the last several minutes.


Mona and Dale enter the Acropolis Museum, a 25,000 sq. metered modern structure. Holding hands, they carefully cross the Lucite-floored entrance, gazing down at the active excavation of a 2500 year-old Greek neighborhood (think Indian Jones and the Last Crusade “leap of faith”) and wander through marvelous stone galleries of naked men and women who used to be gods. After watching the film about the construction and history of the Acropolis, there is no reason left to not start up the sacred rock – except that it is too hot outside. Stopping near the beginning of the ascent, at the most ancient theatre in the world – the Theatre of Dionysus – Mona and Dale pay their respects to ancient thespians to whom they owe so much (having met on stage). Learning something there of the inglorious origins of the actor’s art (Dionysus was the god of vegetation, inebriation, and copulation) they wonder if they should  downplay their theatrical resumes in the future.


Mona and Dale try to romantically get lost in the picturesque Platka district, but Dale’s inner GPS won’t let them. Despite the narrow, winding atmospheric lanes, full of traditional houses, paved courtyards, Byzantine churches, shops of handmade goods and cafes sprawling out their doors, Dale always knows where they are and how to retrace their steps. This gift will come in handy however, when they decide to return to a certain spot where they, by happenstance, happened upon THE restaurant recommended by a friend, which happens to be across the lane from a rooftop Cinema which happens to be playing one of their all-time favorite black-and-whites: Casablanca. After a nap in the grass beside the Temple of Zeus, that’s exactly what they do: return to the spot to eat stuffed tomatoes (cue the mandolins), talk of deep things (cue the moon), and cuddle with a classic (cue the projector). There is a shimmering black sky and a balmy breeze. The Acropolis is lit up to their left. Hollywood’s best ending (with Greek subtitles) caps off the magic.  Only one thing left to make for a perfectly romantic finish (telos)…

A scoop of gelato with a kiss on top.

(Applause and…….CURTAIN!)

Hint of Romance

Doing something extraordinary every few thousand years is good for any romance.

What did you think of this musing?

Join the discussion!


  1. maritza Ardila says:

    Dear Mona
    The White house “Casa blanca is amazing the temple of Zeus is perfect, a Romace trip is wonderful experience. I have never been there but I am sure it will a great experience. A couple who really likes history and intersting places, Ilove it. I would recomend it to any one who would like a new experience in romantic life.

    Love Maritza Ardila

  2. Sara Lyn says:

    Pardon this not being very profound, but thanks for paying the accordion player!! An under-valued instrument, that. Your day sounds wonderful. Your turn of phrase is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Aunt Angel says:

    Lovely!!! What great memories you are making!!!!

  4. Bri Z. says:

    Now there’s a romance I would pay good money to see! One day I’ll sit in a celestial audience while you, dad, and Dionysus duke it out on stage. he he.

  5. Heidi says:

    What a fun day–and what a fun way to tell about it!

  6. Ellenor Abeln says:

    Hi my Darlings:
    About your Grandfather George–he wanted to ne aN opera star He was a good singer, but neded voice lessons. He did play a lot if Beetovans music. And Shuberts Seranade. It was beautiful.

    i will send an e mail I love you n AUNT Ellenor

  7. marzee says:

    You must be having so much fun together. Romance, romance, romance!!!!

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