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By SUEP
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August 27, 2006 – A journey to Saronic Gulf Islands, Greece in Europe


Island Hopping, Quickly

Originally was planning to go down to the Peloponnese first to visit some more ruins before spending the last few days on a couple of Greek islands. But the plan got switched around. The bus from Litohoro to Athens stopped at a different terminal from where other buses can be caught to the Peloponnese towns.

Tried getting on a taxi to the other terminal, but either the taxi driver couldn't understand us or didn't have time to go to the other terminal (taxis work like buses in Greece, but for a bigger fare of course - they go only in a certain direction and you can hop on one with other strangers [and no, you don't split the cost]). So as a result, Rick and I went back to Syntagma Square in Athens via local bus. Then we metroed to Piraeus, the ferry port and gateway to the islands.

For the next couple of days, went island hopping quickly around the Saronics, which are the closest islands to Athens. As it was getting close to the end of August, crossed our fingers for smaller crowds and more plentiful and reasonable accommodations.

Aegina Town, Aegina
Busily crowded but beautiful with many waterfront restaurants and cafes, Aegina Town's harbor is filled with boats of all sorts. Can even dine on a boat restaurant. Aegina is known for tasty rose-pink pistachio nuts. Temple of Apollo and Temple of Aphaia ruins are nearby as well.



many boats in the harbor


Temple of Apollo


As for accommodations, Rick got approached by a nice elderly man, who retired from making a living as a fisherman. Spent the night in a domatia (which is a basic room with a bath in a local's home) for 30 Euros.

Poros Town, Poros
Wasn't planning to stop here actually. But the ferry had some mechanical problems and dropped us off in Poros Town for a few hours. Everyone got upgraded to a hydrofoil. In the meantime, wandered around this cute little harbor town. Tasty gelato/ice cream in a large variety of flavors can be enjoyed all over the main strip!



main street in Poros Town - across the channel is the seaside town of Galata


Hydra Town, Hydra
Loved Hydra. No cumbersome cars, no loud mopeds, no transportation noise! The main mode of transportation besides your feet are donkeys and mules. Enjoyed wandering around the narrow cobblestone streets in medium-sized Hydra Town.

The town is full of little surprises. Just beyond the town, left of the harbor front, can go for a dip in clear blue waters that are actually filled with sea life (in comparison, the Turkish coast didn't seem to have too much). Went for my first and last refreshing swim in Greek waters in the hot afternoon.

Another funny little surprise - had a pleasant dinner at a very fresh seafood restaurant (Ostria Restaurant) ran by a Grecian Antonio Banderas chef and his Grecian Melanie Griffith wife.



an old man with his donkeys going up a narrow cobblestone street in Hydra Town


crystal-clear blue water with rock reefs covered and surrounded by sea life


views of the harbor and town


Rick, approached by another elderly man again, planted us in a cute pension hidden on a small cobblestone street close to the small ferry port. 40 Euros/night.

Thankful that accommodations weren't too hard to find. Even more thankful that the Saronic Gulf Islands, being so close to Athens, turned out to be the most fabulous little islands to visit.




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