Sailing to Greece
Mary and Philip Kotsios of Chelmsford MA joined two other couples to sail the York River in a brisk breeze off Yorktown. We wound up sailing to Greece.
“We are Greek-Americans and like to travel there,” Philip told us. “I hired a driver once who wanted $300 Euro for a tour. He asked if I spoke Greek, and I did. He cut the price to $150 Euro and took us all over the island, even to his family home.”
“There are 4,000 islands in Greece,” Philip continued. “American celebrities like to buy them for their unique privacy. Johnny Depp bought one for $2 or $3 million. One you should visit is Naxos, a little gem of an island that isn’t overrun with tourists. We stayed in a wonderful villa for a week. Guess how much it cost: $350 for the entire week.” Mary added, “That’s one that we would definitely go back to. Americans are completely unaware of it.”
Philip explained the Greek fiscal crisis with clarity. “Goldman Sachs told them in 2003 that Greece couldn’t get conventional loans but Goldman could develop derivatives for them. That was the start of the debt crisis, which was exacerbated by the Olympics because that cost $8 billion that Greece didn’t have. If the government declares bankruptcy and leaves the European Union, the old drachma currency will be devalued badly and everything will cost more. It’s very painful either way, very bad.”
We sailed along, each in our own way contemplating Greece and how fortunate we have it here in the United States.