The Grand Tour - By Kevin N. Haw


Day 1 – The first day of our tour and I can’t wait to go exploring! We’re staying in a little villa near the Palace of Minos. Except for the toilet, it’s just like that bungalow in Sicily where Herman and I stayed last year. Dixie, our travel agent, warned about the plumbing in these First Circle places.

Otherwise, everything’s like the brochure said, although more run down. I know you think we’re crazy for doing the "Five Rivers of Hades Tour", but I just couldn’t stand visiting Europe again! I’ll write daily so you won’t miss anything.

Day 2 – Everything’s dirt cheap here because the economy’s a mess. It’s been like this since burying the dead with riches Egyptian style went out of fashion. With no money coming in they had to open the doors to tourists. Like Eastern Europe after the Iron Curtain fell.

Of course we’re paying in American dollars, which is great for haggling with the locals. I got you and Erwin a pair of "Go to Hades" T-shirts for a steal. For shopaholics like me, this is paradise!

Day 3 – Today was Cocytus, the River of Lamentation. Disappointing. Sure, the souls of people who died unburied wander the banks, but they weren’t lamenting at all. Mostly sitting around, playing cards. I guess after an eon or two you get bored and stop wailing. Hope tomorrow’s better.

Day 4 – Dixie said we had to see Charon, the Boatman of the Dead, ferry fresh souls across the River Acheron. Well, the ferry was closed for repairs and Charon drives a taxi these days. I’m starting to get mad.

We did look up your Uncle Gus like you asked. They’ve got him in Phlegyas, the Lake of Boiling Blood, with all the other telemarketers. He says hello.

Day 5 – Went to see the Phlegethon River today, "the river that burns but does not consume". Very dramatic, with flames leaping fifteen feet off the water. It matched the brochure, but somehow looked fake. I prefer the artificial volcano in front of the Mirage in Las Vegas. Better sound effects and the weather’s cooler.

Day 6 – The Styx, the River of Hate. And did we hate it! River of pollution and pond scum is more like it. The canals in Venice are cleaner!

Herman got his picture taken today with Cerberus, the legendary three headed watchdog. They charged ten bucks. What a rip off!

Day 7 – I hate to say it but this trip is one giant bust. Everything was so disappointing. I’m giving Dixie a piece of my mind when we get home!

For our last day, we’re seeing the Lethe, the River of Forgetfulness. I just hope it’s somewhat interesting. The tour guide says the water’s delicious and we should try a complimentary bottle.

Let’s see how good the stuff tastes when we sue to get our money back!

Day 1 – I can’t wait to go exploring! We’re staying in a little villa near the Palace of Minos…