This was my final day in Greece, and what a final day it was! I joined an optional tour to visit three of the Greek Islands.
We started with a three-hour journey on a fancified ferry to Hydra. Of the islands we visited today, this was the one that most wanted to make me hang out for a couple of weeks. I know that it is big tourist spot, but I can imagine that it is a nice, little home town when everyone else leaves; and I can totally get down with that. I spent my time wandering around some of the back roads.
There are no cars allowed on Hydra, so transportation is either foot or donkey. Can you imagine having to run to the grocery store, so you quickly saddle up your donkey?
I took some time to walk around the rampart at the mouth of the port, and fell in love with the old windmills across the way.
Also, the water was such an incredible color. Here’s the thing, when I see big bodies of water, I just want to jump in; it’s a weird, almost uncontrollable impulse. And then to see a big body of water that’s crystal blue… oh man, if it wasn’t February, I would have been in the drink for sure!
We had a much shorter cruise to our next island, Poros. The highlight of this island is the clock tower.
The town itself is pretty small. I walked down the back streets here as well. It was a short visit on this island, so not a lot to do except explore for a bit before heading back to the boat.
Our last stop was Aegina. Now this island is known for pistachios, and if I’m nuts for anything, it’s pistachios! I had the goal of finding not only pistachio, but also pistachio ice cream. I told our escort about my goals so as soon as we got off the boat he led us right over to the best stand in the town. The stand is the farm’s stand, so you’re buying products from the people who actually grow the plants. The ice cream was SO amazing. I really wanted to buy a second one to take back on the boat with me, but instead just ended up with a big bag of pistachios. We’ll have to see how far into my journey they make it.
Today is also the last day of Carnival in Greece, so we got to watch part of a local parade. It was loud, and crazy, and everyone was just having a good time!
I had spent most of the day with some ladies from my tour, and after pistachios, parade, and walking around we happened upon a little store that sold locally made items. The ladies I was with had been looking to buy some jewelry and this stuff was not only beautiful but reasonably priced. And because it was all locally made it was original and not something you’ll see in every shop. I did end up spending fifteen whole euros on a bronze flower of life necklace.
Then the ladies wanted to stop back by the pistachio stand for a bit more pistachios. Frankly, I can’t blame them.
Once we were back on the ship there was a demonstration of different Greek dances; I watched a few minutes of this, but then I wanted to head up and enjoy my last bit of time on the water. So, I sat outside and froze my face off until my face could take it no more! It was a lovely time.
You know, I noticed a couple things about the islands; first, fishing is a big deal. (As it would be on any island.) And second, the islands were all full of happy, fat cats.
When we got back to the hotel I joined some of the ladies from my tour for a quick dinner. You know, there are some bad things about tours; for instance, I feel like I never get enough time at one place to really experience it. But there are also wonderful things about tours, and meeting people is a huge plus! You get to spend time with many like-minded people who see the value in travel, and love to do it. I have met so many wonderful people on this tour, it has really been a joy.
Tomorrow I leave Greece and head to London. Another stop in this great adventure!