Sunday, April 17, 2011

Goodbye Athens, Hello Aegina

We left the hotel this morning in a gentle rain. It was 12 kilometers down hill to the port of Pireas in relatively light traffic as it is Sunday. Although Athens scenery is uninspiring, it felt great to be out on the bike. What traffic there was gave us plenty of room. There was maybe only a couple of horn honks! Horn honking in Athens seems to be a form of communication akin to yodeling.

Aside from it's antiquities, Athens is a rather unlovely city with very little charm. It consists of almost entirely of concrete buildings shaped like squares or shoeboxes with no architectural art applied (or paint either). From what I have seen, I would have to say that the people of Athens are it's greatest resource. They are energetic and busily bustling. The men are manly and the women are beautiful.

The port is very busy with ferries large and small.

The ferry ride to Aegina took about an hour. Even during a storm, this part of the Mediterranean Sea seems as flat a mill pond to those of us used to the long Pacific swell and the waves whipped up by our afternoon onshore breeze. The rain however had developed into a steady downpour by the time we arrived in Aegina. It seems that we just can't start a tour without some challenging weather. In 2008 we were subjected to two days of 100+F and then it snowed on us as we crossed Carson Pass in the Sierras. I hope we won't face anything that extreme on this trip, but it is raining pretty hard.

We took a room in a funky little hotel just off the waterfront. It's old, but it's warm and dry.

We went out with lunch in mind and found a nice place where we had a delicious meal featuring what was billed as a Greek taco. Well... It wasn't anything like what we call a taco, good though!

Oh, those brown squiggly things are fried squid tentacles, mmm!

Later we took a nice walk down the waterfront and back through the alleys. Aegina looks like a nice place, though it is clear that in the summer this place is inundated with tourists from Athens, and many homes appear to be vacation homes. We speculated that with the ferry ride to Athens taking an hour, perhaps people commute back and forth daily. Tomorrow we will have to ask someone about that. Which brings us to our plans for tomorrow. If the rain lightens, we will go for a bike ride around the area. Then, at a little past 2:00 pm, we will catch the ferry to Methana on the Peloponnesus peninsula.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Diana said...

Interesting insights and great photos. Squid tentacle tacos...never thought of that.

anne said...

hope the weather is clearing as i dont think biking in the rain is as much fun as "singing in the rain"..and those are not tacos like the ones in ispired me and i am going on a day bike ride tomorrow=10-15 miles.(if it rains here i wont go though) keep the pictures coming.

Dave and Belinda said...

Thanks Diana, the food has been great here but often not what you expect when you order!

I hope you enjoyed your bike ride Anne.

Patty L. said...

Hey you two! I'm getting caught up on your blog tonight and heading up to Salinas tomorrow for Easter. Belinda - please post pics of the manly Greek men; I'm living vicariously through you! We'll miss you this weekend, stay safe!