gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery
Hydra

Please allow me to illustrate how birthdays are spent when the arrangements are made by a genie:

They begin with an early wake up in a Sunday morning under an abnormal pressure to dress quickly, because you "…have to get going by 09:00". You hit the road that leads to the port of Piraeus, park the car and get dragged in a flying dolphin that heads for the islands of Argosaronikos, unsure of your final destination. Take your pick: Poros? Hydra? Or maybe Spetses?
I secretly longed for the second. And, boy, that was it!

I hadn't visited Hydra since my teenage years, some solid 20 years ago. Considering the raw beauty of the island and the proximity to Athens, I keep asking myself for the reasons. A lady that was sitting next to us in a tavern had traveled solo from Austria and she just couldn't accept our excuses for being able to visit for a daily excursion and not doing so.

The first thing you notice about Hydra is that it's completely pasteurized from cars. Donkeys, water-taxis and your own two feet are the only transportation options, except if you're lucky to own or have rented an inflatable boat. The other thing you mention is cats. The locals are obsessed with them, despite the fact that in terms of sheer beauty and royal attitude none of them managed to meet the standards of the stray black panther that rules our garden.

The weather in late September was close to perfect, temperature around 30 degrees combined with ideal humidity, making it a bliss to walk in the trails under the sunshine. A panama hat, though, was necessary. Our only "problem" proved to be the sea water, that was more inviting than the apple of Eve. We hadn't brought swimsuits as the whole scenario was a surprise. A little research, though, lead us to a magical little shop that provided us with two "killer design" swimsuits for less than 20€. Problem solved. We jumped on a boat that visited the beaches, got salted, desalinated through a shower, grabbed something to eat and then watched the sun diving in the sea in 0.25x speed while waiting for the night flying dolphin to arrive.

And then yet another surprise: two candles on a tiny profiterole cup, somewhere in a half-lit street. The best birthday kept getting better! As we were waiting, we heard a couple discussing how fabulous "Bisti" beach is during the sunset. As if the reasons for a return weren't already enough, we suddenly felt there was something more to check. And made a promise to come back, sooner than 20-years-later this time...-
© 2017 Hidden Cellar