Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rules for living in Greece

Are you a rule follower?

Katherine Hepburn said: "If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun," and Socrates: "Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down."

So rules are made to be broken, right?

Good Lord, I have no idea!
I just know that I'm always the anxious person behind the rule-breakers whispering, "Are you sure this is okay?" while biting my nails and looking over my shoulder. Which describes many of my outings in Epirus.

Below is a sign explaining the funding of six hundred thousand euros from the EU to the Greek government to keep an archeology site open. This one happens to be the ruins of an ancient city overlooking the Preveza bay.

But it appears that the money was used for a chain and lock.

So, when we arrived there after a pleasant walk through the woods, we were disappointed but not surprised, as these are hard times in Greece so for whatever reason, we've accepted closed locations that had formerly been open.

On the other side of the gate, within the archeological site we spied some movement and then a man slowly came forward with the unsure stride of a trespasser. 

"This is not a Greek person," Nick said, and Cousin Errieta who had accompanied us on our outing, agreed. They were both right. The non-Greek speaker hesitantly motioned to the fence a few feet away from the gate, until we realized what he was showing us.

Apparently, he also had wanted to see the archeological site and at first we thought it was he who had cut the hole in the wire fence, which he was directing us toward. It seemed a drastic measure because archeological sites are everywhere in this country--in household gardens, on the side of highways, next to supermarket parking lots--so why not just find another one. But perhaps this ancient city was one spectacular enough to take the time to buy wire cutters, climb up into the rocky buttress along the gate, and make an illegal entry.

Again Nick said, "This is not a Greek person." So the man probably happened on the hole in the fence, by chance.

I replied, "Are you sure this is okay?" as he held back the cut pieces of wire and crouched through the hole. 

Yes, the site was spectacular, a large city up on the side of the mountain, overlooking the bay and sea. 

It stretched far along the precipice of a cliff hanging above the far-reaching Ionian. 

Immediately when we entered the site, it was obvious who had cut the hole. There were a few small buildings that housed the ticket counter and some bathrooms and lying in the shade amid the ancient stones were several sheep.The dotted shadows of sunlight through trees and the grey stone-like color of the fleece camouflaged them so completely, we almost didn't realize they were there. The shepherd was nowhere in sight, but it was after 2:00pm, so no doubt he was enjoying his siesta somewhere nearby. 

If you have any interest in seeing the site, yourself, I feel pretty confident that the hole in the fence has not been mended. Enjoy!

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