The third island in our “three island tour” was the largest and most populated, and had the most variety of things we could do. I chose not to take the island bus tour, or the bus to the most popular swimming beach, but to explore the port area on foot.
If I been traveling with a “significant other,” I might have opted for one of the quaint horse-drawn carriages waiting at the end of the dock. The drivers all seemed to be taking this opportunity to nap, curled into the small seats, and I wondered why they were not more actively courting the throngs that debarked from our boat. Perhaps we didn’t look like big tippers!
We could see easy access to the closest beach, and quite a few of us walked in that direction. I had to laugh at the “Captain Obvious” sign as we approached the sand. Yes, we could see it was a “Beach,” whether in English or not, but what it didn’t tell us was that if you sat at one of the lounges under the shade umbrellas, you’d soon be approached by a fellow wanting to collect money for your visit.
We’d been warned of this customary island entrepreneurship, and bypassed the chairs, choosing instead to park our bottoms on the ground in an area of coarse grass and shade from a few trees a little ways back from the beach.
On our way back, I bought some pistachios, which is apparently the main export of Aegina, as there were no less than a half dozen “booths” to buy them in many different forms, scattered along the main entrance to town.
A group of fellow travelers clustered around one particular booth, and I joined them to discover the attraction was free samples! Naturally, this guy was doing a brisker business than some of the other vendors, although I noticed that they were all using the very same plastic bags in which to wrap the pistachios, and they were all selling them at the very same price!
When we got back aboard our boat, Pat got a pretty beverage to enjoy along with our pistachios, and toasted the trip. The last leg of our long day’s journey was back to the port of Pireaus, and we remained on the top deck to watch the sun set on an amazing time spent “in the islands.”
It was only our second “full” day in Greece, and already I felt I’d gotten my money’s worth. We’d seen The Acropolis and the Donkeys in Hydra, kicked back and relaxed on the boat, and watched the world go by. I could feel myself “destressing,” and I never once “missed” my cell phone, facebook, or internet connections!
Now THAT’S what a true “vacation” is all about!