One Night at The Doge Hotel
Trip Start Apr 30, 2008
31Trip End May 31, 2008
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Where I stayed
When I return to the room around 10, it's still quite stuffy so I open all the shutters and windows, read a little by the dim light near the bed and fall asleep the sound of the crowded wharf.
Young Greeks are full of passion and brio and possibly quite a bit of beer. This is never so apparent as it is when the waterside bars close around 2.30 in the morning. Endless legions of bellowing, squealing, whistling and signing revelers pass under my window, sometimes growling on scooters, all at top volume, celebrating the pre-dawn hours of a new day. I scarcely have time to appreciate it all as the parade lasts only until 5.30 or so. Then, for another 30 minutes or so, aside from a few stragglers who need to yell even louder to compensate for their small number, it's silent again and I ind myself drifting off again. But the street can remain silent only so long and at 6 sharp, with the first light of dawn, a garbage truck groans slowly up the street, coughing, slamming and heaving its way to the end of the block before slowly backing all the way back again. Once more, I nod off as the first birds begin to sing and then wake again to the stentorian conversation of two old street cleaners.
My night's research indicates the best time for sleeping is between 10 and midnight and 6.15 to 7.30. After that, shopkeepers arrive and start clanging open the metal grates and sliding doors and dragging racks of souvenirs out from the backs of the shops amid much loud and spirited debate. When this begins I find any further attempt at sleep far too exhausting and try something else instead.
After a quick shower with dish liquid, I find myself the only guest in the little breakfast room at the bottom of the stairs. The girl who doesn't speak English brings me a cup of hot coffee. I watch her in the kitchen putting various breads on my plate while she unsuccessfully stifles a sneeze. She blows her nose into a handkerchief and retrieves my cheese and ham toast from the toaster oven, adds a small cup of yogurt and breakfast is served.