With the cramping still present, I decided to see a doctor. My hostess recommended a clinic, and I walked over there. The clinic was shiny and new inside. They pointed out that they were a private clinic. Where public health care would (in theory) be free, I would pay the private clinic and receive receipts. Greece has public health care and private health care (with associated private insurance). As the public hospital was around the corner, I decided to try that first. Although austerity measures have affected Greece’s overall healthcare system, Greece ranks roughly14th in healthcare. The US ranks far below that by almost every metric.

In this case public health care turned out to be a small hospital and ER. The waiting area … showed its age. I took a number, and waited less than five minutes. Standard medical process ensued, including BP, temp, and palpation. They also took a blood and urine sample, and asked me to wait at least 30 minutes for the results. Roughly an hour later the doctor came back with results – the bloodwork didn’t show infection or inflammation. I should watch what I eat, and come back if it persists.

The only paperwork? My name and nationality.


In many ways, if I’m to be ill, I’m better off here.

I went for a short walk afterwards, my hostess cautioning me about the sun and heat. I shortly retreated to my room to rest and wait out the heat.

I walked the city in the evening, successfully losing myself in the twisty narrow byways. I found the nearby Frankish Castle, now little more than a wall.

What I do tomorrow depends on how I feel. Return early to Athens? Wander the island? Return to the ER? So many options.