Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saronic Islands and Athens

Saronic Islands and Athens

Sailing was awesome, I would love to come back to the islands on another trip.

Each day we would find breakfast in town, sail for a few hours, wait for the engine to break + be fixed sometime that day, go swimming and then explore a town each night (Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Ermione). Hydra was my favorite island (and also the most touristy).

We walked around the island through winding streets that all look like they should be on postcards. I bought a oil painting to decorate my new apartment. We walked to the church on top of the hill where I rang the bells. (The ropes were left where you could easily reach them, I took that as an open invitation). There are a significant number of cats on Hydra (Alex, our skipper, told us its because "Greece has lots of mouses") so we saw a few cat fights and many dogs chasing cats. On Porous we made friends with a dog (which we named Franklin Hercules) at dinner and she then waited at our boat for us to come back later that night.  We had a barbeque on Ermione, and playing frisbee on the beach of Aegina after taking the dingy to shore to get gyros was also a good time.

Back in Athens, we spent the evening near the coast and had one last night on the boat before returning to the Pagration hostel we stayed at a week ago (the guy who works at reception is from Royal Oak).

We had quite a bit of trouble finding a cab back from the marina, but at least cabs in Greece are really cheap. I was not especially impressed with Athens once we returned. It was big and dirty, and had a very different atmosphere from the islands. Our first day in Athens, we hiked to the top of Lykavittos hill for a view of the entire city.

 (The rest of that day was spent getting wrong directions from the bus stop to the hostel and accidentally finding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where I watched the changing of the guard)

This time we visited the Acropolis. Its interesting to imagine what Athens looked like originally, and a neat contrast to see the marble ruins with modern architecture in the background. 

It would have been nice to sail the boat for another week and arrive in Italy, but we had to settle for a plane to Rome instead.

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