Greece | A week on a boat

Oh Greece, I certainly miss you. After two days in Athens, my dad and me took the tram to the harbour to begin the second part of our trip, a week of sailing. We actually ran into my uncle on the way because he happened to take the same tram (what a coincidence?!) and we were very glad that we did because I don’t think we would have found the boat otherwise, the harbour was quite big. Arriving at the boat, we met my auntie and finally my American family. It was amazing seeing my ‘sister’ again, we hadn’t seen each other in nearly 2 years and literally spent the rest of the day just talking and catching up. The weather wasn’t great so for dinner we picked the restaurant closest to the boat and had some chips and wine to celebrate the beginning of our trip. The next day the weather was even worse but we didn’t let that stop us and sailed all the way to a small island called Poros where we would stay the night. The journey wasn’t exactly smooth and I really wished I had packed a raincoat (regrets) but oh well, we finally made it to the harbour by about 6 o clock and by that time the rain had disappeared and we were greeted with sunshine and 20 degrees. One of the best things about sailing in Greece is that you’re very likely to be greeted with a jug of wine as people are trying to convince you to dine at their taverna. Which we always did because we’re loyal like that. Also, all of the tavernas had amazing food. That evening, I opted for grilled veggies and certainly wasn’t disappointed. And Greek wine, no words for that. But before I get carried away, let me continue talking about this trip.

The next day, we got up really early to go grocery shopping before we left the island. We had wanted to do that the day before but it was Sunday and well, none of us had thought that far but everything was closed. So Monday morning, me and Desra headed to the local supermarket and I have to admit, we got a bit carried away and bought all the ingredients for guacamole which we never ended up making because we couldn’t find any tortilla chips that weren’t cheese flavoured. Oh well, the thought is what counts. After our shopping trip we had breakfast and set off towards Hydra, a beautiful little island where cars aren’t allowed. Now that the weather was beautiful, we were very keen on going swimming so we anchored in a beautiful bay, blew up the flamingo and went for a swim. Nope, this post isn’t sponsored by Primark but this flamingo was definitely one of the best purchases I had done in a while. Especially after a had originally ordered a doughnut from amazon and they failed to deliver it despite me being at home the entire time. Twice. One of my favourite things about Greece was the water, is was so clear and the colour was a stunning blue/turquoise. So we spent the afternoon on the boat, drinking wine, eating salad, reading and sunbathing. Not a way of life I could ever complain about. Later, we set off again and due to the wind, we decided to go to Emerioni, a little village on the mainland, instead of Hydra. The village was small but absolutely beautiful and the food was on point. After dinner we walked to the other side of the village and did a nature walk – in the end we ended up walking as fast as possible because we were afraid of getting stung by mosquitos. Update: we succeeded and didn’t get any mosquito bites.

On Tuesday, we finally made it to Hydra. But on our way there we went swimming again and the area was as stunning as on the day before. I haven’t included photos from all the bays we went to but you can trust me, all of them very charming and I kinda wished we could stay there forever. Arriving in Hydra, I was simply blown away, the island was that beautiful. One of my favourite thing was the lack of cars (the only one I saw all day being an ambulance) and it made me realise how used we are to being surrounded by cars and a constant stream of traffic all day, especially in a big city like London. Spending the day in Hydra was a nice break from that and we really enjoyed the peace and quiet. Although it wasn’t that quiet after all, Hydra is full of little cafés, shops and restaurants. When we first arrived me and Desra just wandered around for a bit, taking photos and petting all the cats (because how could you not?). We later had dinner at a very cute restaurant and I decided to try fava, a traditional Greek dish made of beans. It doesn’t sound that interesting, but let me tell you, it is delicious and I ended up eating it nearly everyday from that point onwards. The next morning my sis and me went on a mule ride. As a person whose entire childhood pretty much consisted of horse riding I really appreciated the feeling of being on the back of mule, it reminded me of old times and it was definitely an experience. And the mules were so lovely and gentle.

On Wednesday we made our way back to Poros, again stopping in a beautiful bay and enjoying some champagne and pasta (what a combo!). At first I wasn’t too excited about the prospect of going back to Poros because I’d rather seen an island we hadn’t been to but when we arrived in Poros my thoughts completely changed. This time we went to the harbour on the other side of the island and we suddenly found ourselves in the loveliest area, right opposite a little square with a church. We wandered around for a while and came across more beautiful little churches, shops, bakeries and restaurants. In the evening we went on a very long walk along the coast and it was magical, you could see so many stars and it was so nice and quiet. When we walked past the place where we had anchored last time, we greeted it like an old friend. That night in Poros was my favourite one of all and it made me realise something – as much as I liked island hopping, I liked having the opportunity to spend more time in a place and to be able to fully explore it. Do you know that feeling you get when you stay in one place for a week and after that time the streets feel familiar and you have a local café and your local grocery store? That’s the feeling I love. This post is very long already but oh well, I could talk about Greece for ages.

On Thursday we made our way to Egina and stopped in a very beautiful place again where I tried snorkelling for the first time. I didn’t know what was missing in my life until then – snorkelling was an incredible experience, there were so many different fishes and at that time, I really wished I had a GoPro. The underwater life was absolutely breathtaking and even though I couldn’t capture it on film, it was something I will never forget. Whilst we were drying in the sunshine, drinking champagne and eating snacks, I thought about how good life can be and how good it was to see my family again. I hope that this time, we will manage not to let two years pass by. It is crazy how much of a difference being surrounded by the right people can make. In Egina we came across the cutest Cretan restaurant and decided to have dinner there. I had potatoes and Cretan pies that were made ‘by grandma Georgia’ – how cute is that? It definitely tasted amazing and after dinner we had a spontaneous dancing session to Greek music. On our very last day we made our way back to Athens – of course we stopped to go swimming and snorkelling again – and in Athens we ended up going to the same restaurant we went to on the first day. This time it was really hot outside and we were grateful for some cold wine and freshly squeezed orange juice. And that was the end of our sailing trip. Saying goodbye to my (American) family wasn’t easy, just like it wasn’t easy to say goodbye to Athens, a place that now seemed strangely familiar to us. The only thing making it easier was the prospect of taking the ship to Santorini the next day, so more about that in the next travel post. x

Where are you going this summer? xx