We managed to find a bicycle rental place in Ermoupolis today and had great fun riding through the town along the sea. We rode up the hill and went swimming again in the neo-classical “Vaporia” section of town on the quays built by rich 19th century residents to allow boat access to their houses. I was impressed by the fact that the swimming area, deep and clear, is over one vast rock giving it a swimming pool appearance.
I was taken aback when we climbed the stairs back up the street to where we had parked the bikes and I discovered that I had a flat tire. I tried in vain to re-inflate the tire with the useless pump provided. In my addled dementia I also managed to step on and crush the lens of my Ray-Bans. I had forgotten that I had set them down on the ground while working on the bike.
Maria came to the rescue. She called the bike rental woman, Popi, who proved to be very kind. She came and got the bike with her van, promising to meet us anywhere we liked after fixing the tire. I was impressed. This kind of thing would never happen in Athens.
I decided to go buy some cheap sunglasses to replace my broken Ray-Bans but Maria had a better idea. At her prodding, we found an optician who told us they could be repaired in twenty minutes with new lenses. We watched as the technician cut and installed new, darker lenses using a modern machine which cut them to size from a plastic blank. Wow.
Not long after, Popi came with the bicyle and drove us back up the hill to where Maria had left her bicyle, unlocked no less. Popi had insisted that we didn’t need to lock it. We then resumed our bike tour of the city. We rode through the posh section and then rode back down the hill to the area near the shipbuilding quarter. We finished our ride in an excellent and old school Kafeneion in a Stoa between two buildings. Maria had a raki and I a coke. They brought a plate of the Greek equivalent of Tapas with some excellent pieces of boiled pork and some cheese which was most welcome.
We dropped off the bikes and caught our bus back to Kini. What an excellent day.