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Gournia

The next day, as we drove on along the southern coast, we came to a tiny town near the ruin of Gournia. Went into the local "supermarket" (read convenience store) for yogurt and honey, and were eating it in the car when a couple of little old ladies in black came along with a big tray of something and some bread. They knocked on the car window, and offered us some: wheat berries sweetened with cinnamon and sugar, and fresh bread. Of course we accepted, and the wheat berries were great on the yogurt. We still donít quite understand why they were doing it...

Gournia is another ancient ruin. As we walked around, a "guide" came up. Like others weíd encountered, he was obviously translating from German to English to speak to us: Germans visiting Greece are far more likely than Americans to be interested in antiquities. We could not shake him. "Here," he said, "is where Zeus (Zay-us, in Greek pronunciation) made erotic with Europa. And they had three sons: Minos, Radamanthes and Aeakos. See, the three balls of the plane tree commemorate that." I had never realized before that the "plane tree" is a sycamore or sweet gum tree. "You take picture here, please" said the guide. I obliged.

We walked further. "Here is the ancient aqueduct. You take picture please." "You come this way. I show you more." He led us across the road, across a goat pasture.

"I donít like him; I donít trust him," said daughter Jeannette. "Itís all right," I said; "my friend Susan told me about the guide at Gournia. Itís fine." And I "took picture please" of daughter posing in ruins.

As we returned to the car, I asked the guide if I could pay him for his troubles. "no," he said. "Is enough you took picture of me with Europa at the plane tree."

When I returned I mentioned the guide at Gournia to Susan. "Gournia," she said. "I didnít go there. The guide I told you about was at GORTYS!"

 

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