Today was our anniversary, and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate that to spend the day on the enchanting island of Hydra! We took a hydrofoil ferry from Ermioni in the late morning for the 20-minute ride–The trip reminded us of flying in a turboprop plane except that the wings are in the water and the cabin is only about 20 feet above the waves.
No motorized vehicles are allowed on Hydra, not even bicycles (except the garbage truck and a fuel delivery truck we spotted later in the day). So upon arrival we were greeted by donkeys and their handlers, which serve as the only transportation other than by foot.
The harbor is tiny and packed with fishing boats and cruising yachts. Most of the boats were stern tied against the seawall, but we did watch one boat try to poke its bow in between two big cats. They ended up rafting together and coming ashore across their neighbor’s deck.
The town is built around the harbor, but the hills are so steep that the houses march up the hill and look like they are sitting on top of one another. Understandably, donkeys are used to transport both people and their stuff up the hillsides.
We walked around the harbor checking out shops and restaurants. For lunch, we chose a place that featured crepes and shared a wonderful salad and a huge chicken/mushroom crepe that was almost too big for the plate in was served on.
After lunch we walked up the steep road leading past the harbor entrance and out of town. Once we had the steep hill behind us, the road was easy and the views were spectacular. We spotted a beautiful swimming beach but decided that the 200 ft climb back up to the road would take most of the fun out of a swim.
There were feral cats everywhere and met a woman from Australia working with a non-profit trying to improve their health and get them neutered. Check out their website at www.hydraark.org
We walked back through town and went to check out the fort that was on the other side of the harbor. The view was great. It faced west and there were cloud formations that almost guaranteed a memorable sunset. So we sat down and unpacked our drawing material while waiting for the sun to drop. Can’t say much for our drawings, but the sunset was spectacular, certainly worth the wait!
We stopped to admire some local art on our way back, then found our way back to the café where we had started the day with a great cup of coffee. This time we sampled some amazing grilled mushrooms along with our Ouzo apperitif while we watched the waning sunset and waited for the ferry that would take us back to Ermioni.
It was an idyllic day, one of the best of the trip.