Before our journey oversees, I had a distinct picture in my mind of what Greece would be like. I thought I would leave the airport and come face to face with little Greek yayas living in quaint houses on a backdrop of clear blue water, sand for miles, and a never ending sky. When I found out Athens was a giant metropolis filled with angry drivers, English speaking adolescents, smog filled skies, slippery streets and many other pieces of the modern world I was a little surprised. Although I love my new home in Athens, it was nice to visit the small island of Aegina to match my preconceived notions with reality.
On Saturday morning, our journey to Aegina began. I was fully equipped with only a backpack of necessities and my sunglasses on my face. Being someone who has been known to overpack, this made me a little anxious. We rode on the metro until we arrived at the port of Piraeus, which was only about a 20 minute ride. Aegina was only a short 40 minutes away on the "Flying Dolphin". I enjoyed the ride which is not something i can say for some of my other companions. Poor Myste! Arriving at Aegina, we were met with a beautiful sight. The port was filled with boats and the streets were filled with pistachio vendors, which, by the way, is Aegina's main export. This first glance only made us more excited to see what the rest of the weekend would bring.
One thing that seems to be a constant in my life in Greece is crazy driving. Whether I'm scared for my life because I am a vulnerable pedestrian or because I am a passenger in one of these accidents waiting to happen, I am always terrified. I am trying to become accustomed to this situation, but for now I am having no such luck. We took a frightenging but short bus ride to our beautiful hotel, Moondy Bay Resort. Located right on the Saronic Gulf, these accomodations are more than I had anticipated. We spent the day lounging by the ocean and soaking up the warm sun. Surrounded by good people, good food and good drinks, this was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. However, there was one incident that occured that I am less than happy about. While trying to get into the water, I found someone sititng on the ladder putting on snorkel gear. Being the water lover that I am, I could not wait and decided to climb down the rocks. Bad Idea. I slipped and fell and sprained my little pinky toe. Lesson learned: If there are stairs, wait your turn and take them.
On Saturday night, we decided to venture into town. At just about 2 miles, it sounds longer than it really is. With the beautiful view that you are faced with the whole way, the time goes by quickly. Once in town, we had a variety of restaurants to choose from. Some of the others in our group went to one restaurant where they had feasted on delicous fresh fish. I should know because I had to snag a bite! Caitie, Jess, Misty and myself decided to try another restaurant on the strip. We indulged in fried zuchini, mousaka, and souvlaki. All of these proved to be good choices. We enjoyed our surroundings into the wee hours and slept well in our beautiful suites.
The next day we awoke early and took another frightening bus ride on the long winding road leading to the Temple of Aphaia. On the way, we passed the second largest Greek Orthodox in the world. It was a stunning sight. This could not compare, however, to the Temple. I was surprised at how much was left of the ruins. The beautiful limestone which had been painted with beautiful colors before was now a sandy white. Despite the loss of color, much of this temple has held strong. We took a glance at some of the pieces that have fallen apart in the temple's nearby museum which was truly fascinating. Afterwards we had an opportunity to take some pictures with a spectacular view of the island in our backdrop. This was definitely a worth whiel excursion.
Afterwards, some of the others in our group took in opportunity to visit another museum on the island. However with the condition of my foot, I did not feel up to it. So i rested under a tree and took in the local beauty of Aegina. At the end of the day, we traveled the short journey back to Sina street. Although our trip was short, it was a good opportunity to get out of Athens and experience another side of Greece. I look forward to seeing all that Greece has to offer. This upcoming week, we will venture to Paros, Santorini, Crete and some other Greek islands. I'm anxious and excited for what will surely prove to be another adventure.