Our plan was to go to Athens( which we did )and then travel around the different islands of Greece but it turned out that you either couldn’t get a ferry from Athens to the islands we wanted to go to or it was more than 8-12 hour journeys by boat and I’m not keen on enclosed, bouncy ferry rides. As it was still classed as winter the sea was rougher than usual too. So in the end we took a taxi to the harbour
and had a 1 hour and a half ferry journey to the island of Aegina. The island is about 87 km2 and was located in the Saronic gulf.
They grow some olives, figs, cotton but the main crop is pistachio. Pistachio has got to be one of my favourite types of nuts, so we bought a couple of packets (they sold them everywhere) and I bought some sort of pistachio ” nutella ” which was delicious. First we walked around town which was a traditional, beautiful and peaceful town.
We ordered a taxi to the ancient temple of Aphaea. This temple is located on a 160 m peak so it came with fantastic views of the island.
Aphaea was a Greek goddess associated with fertility and the agricultural cycle. When we arrived there wasn’t a soul around apart from the ticket woman who was further down from the site, so even though there were barriers we still went onto the actual temple.
It actually felt more impressive in some ways than the Parthenon, because it was so remote and we could touch it and the setting was simply stunning. Well worth the trip.
After a look around we walked right down the other side of the hill, on the steep main road to the village of Agia Marina. It took us around 20 minutes to get there, on the way eating all the pistachio nuts.
The village had closed shutters and locked doors as most of the people that live here go away for winter and come back in summer to greet the tourists. We didn’t really go into the village but onto the beach which was clean and tranquil.
We stayed here until the sun was low in the sky
and found a couple of lovely Greek men to ring us a taxi back to the harbour. Ended the day with some food and drink in a nice sea front restaurant and then took the ferry back to Athens.
That was my first Greek island and hopefully not my last!