Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fly me

We had a great vacation, a cruise to Greece on Mano lines from Haifa with all our family (10 people) for a week. The mini-van collected us early and drove us to Haifa and we were on board ship by noon. As I was outside our cabin I noticed a large black fly and as I entered the cabin it followed me right in. I looked for it but it was hidden, so I closed the door, put my bag in the corner and went to try the bed. As I did the fly zoomed past me towards the door, so I executed a fast turn in order to open the door and let it out, but the maneuver did not work, my foot caught between the bed and the bag, and I fell over on my right side, hitting my backside on the corner of the bed. It was agony and I thought I would have a big bruise, but after a hot shower I felt Ok, so I had a rest. But, when I woke up my back was killing me, I must have torn a muscle inside. Ironically the last time I went on a cruise in January to Mexico I had a similar incident on my left side. What is it with me? The doctor then assured me it was "only" a torn muscle and suggested hot showers, take ibuprofen and a muscle relaxant and sure enough it cleared up in a few days. So I dosed myself up with ibuprofen and applied voltaren, but the pain persisted. Sometime later I was lying in bed when I felt something crawling on my forehead. I quickly slapped it, but could see nothing. Later I found the fly dead on the floor. Victory over the forces of evil represented by Beelzebub, Lord of the flies ("Ba'al" means Lord and "zvuv" means fly in Hebrew).

My bad back did not stop me climbing the Acropolis and seeing the Parthenon, eating great meals and watching the Evzones doing their weird marching step-dance. Athens was practically empty since most people are on holiday in August. We hired a mini-van and driver who drove us from place to place and it was quick and without the usual pollution. We visited the new Parthenon museum that was very impressive. Then the boat sailed to the island of Lesbos. There we walked around the town of Mitilene sightseeing and stopped in a park and sat at a nice cafe and had ice-cream. Everything seemed perfect, but the flies came and attacked me. They must have been sand-flies from the nearby children's sand-pit, and they bit ferociously. My daughter got one bite, noone else complained, but I got ten bites around my ankles. They were seeking revenge and they got it, for the bites irritated ferociously. Luckily I had a cortisone-antibiotic cream from my previous spate of bites (why me?). So chalk one up to the flies. I found the best relief was to wrap a wet handkerchief around my ankles, that gave me relief and allowed me to sleep.

The tour continued with visits to the islands of Mykonos, all blue and white, and Samos. We walked a lot in the intense heat, but enjoyed sightseeing tremendously. Everyone got along very well and the children played games and swam and the adults ate a lot and watched the shows with the leggy dancing girls and the familiar show tunes. Altogether a great vacation, and I didn't touch a computer all week.


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