My First Greek Island

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September 3rd 2005
Published: September 15th 2005
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Our Flying DolphinOur Flying DolphinOur Flying Dolphin

In Greece, high-speed hydrofoils are called "flying dolphins"
We took a “flying dolphin,” a hydrofoil that takes half as much time as a ferry, from Piraeus (Attica’s ancient port) to Aegina, a Saronic Gulf island near to the coast of Athens. Aegina’s harbor is dotted by colorful fishing boats, and its town has numerous fruit-sellers and carts of sundried squid. For reasons unknown to me, Aegina is known for its pistachio nuts. Aegina’s pistachios are sold in many forms—glazed with honey, in jars with oil, in bars with sesame seeds, etc. For reasons also unknown to me, we found three school supply stores in Aegina, which is weird considering how small the town is.

The beaches of Aegina are few and very small, so we spent only a few minutes at the beach but enjoyed dipping our toes in the warm, blue waters of the Saronic Gulf. Then, we took a 20 minute bus uphill to the Temple of Aphaia, one of the most complete temples remaining in Greece. The Temple of Aphaia honors Aphaia, the godess who hid in a cave off the coast of Aegina to escape the amorous advances of Minos. Ancient peoples came to the temple to pray for fertility. The view from the temple is spectacular and reveals the lush, pine-covered mountains of the island.

We took the ferry back to Athens later that day, and I got ready to go with Kosta (Shelby’s boyfriend) to the Athenian seaside. Athens’ nightlife varies by season. In the summer, Athenians party mainly at the seaside, namely Glyfada and its surrounding beach towns. When the weather turns cooler, the clubs move back to the center of Athens. We went to a chic lounge called Island in Vouliagmeni, known to be frequented by the infamous “Paris and Paris.” The lounge is totally open to the sea, and the view is extraordinary.

Although I am not yet familiar with Greek celebrity, I am told that the most famous bazouka singer as well as the most famous Greek model was sitting at the next table. (Women do not generally approach men in Greek culture, so I just viewed these famous Greeks from afar!) Surprisingly, this Greek model had a build that was quite atypical of Greeks. While most Greek men are slender and of an average height, this Greek model was built like a professional football player and cleared 6’2’’. However, I was not fooled into thinking he was American. His skin-tight jeans and well-groomed appearance made it clear his roots were not American.

Unfortunately, my wonderful night was capped with the frustrating realization that my wallet had been stolen out of my bag. Boo…

Additional photos below
Photos: 7, Displayed: 7


the harborthe harbor
the harbor

colorful boats dot the harbor
temple of aphaiatemple of aphaia
temple of aphaia

ancient greeks prayed for fertility here

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