Good-bye Hydra, good-bye Greece
November 2, 2016
Our last morning in Hydra and the weather is clear, cool and still. Great weather for the ferry, not so great for the sail boat racers. We squeeze in a last morning in this tranquil place. Our hotel is a few blocks up the hill from the harbor, where the town suddenly transitions to country, and you wake to the sounds of the animals who wake up with the sunrise, crowing and barking and mewing and braying.
We walked down to the harbor then hunted for stairs that lead up to the ruins. The ruins aren't much in themselves, but they are evidence of a defensive position, so they overlook Hydra harbor and the coastline to the southwest.
Once up there we watched as the sailboats headed out into the deep sea to resume their race. The views are spectacular, with the deep wine sea and the steep brown and green hillsides here on the island and also across the water to the Peloponnese mainland. The sea is peppered with small islands, most have a small white chapel, even if the island is so small that no one could possibly live on it. I remember the port of Naxos town has a tiny island maybe forty feet from shore, and even it has a tiny chapel. Every island needs its chapel.
We had a long lunch at a harbor-side cafe where we watched the donkeys wait for their next assignment. Then we boarded the Flyingcat 6 for Piraeus and from there it was on to Athens airport for the night.
I'll miss Greece. The people are warm and welcoming. They have a long history of independence which was typified by the Hydra police officer offering Paul his choice of what to swear on (I swear on ... that this is the truth). They've been fighting for their independence for a long time, against the Ottomans, the Venetians, the Nazis. A shame they gave up their currency; my semi-informed opinion is they fit in with the EU philosophically but not economically.
The Greek scenery is so very beautiful, the seas crystal clear, and aside from Athens with its ugly buildings and graffiti the towns were pretty and clean. And such variety: super-scenic but oh-so-touristy Santorini, bucolic Hydra, medieval Monemvassia, outdoorsy Kardamyli, historic Athens, elegant Nafplio, and pretty Naxos. Greece isn't without its problems, some of which I now understand a little better, but it's a great place to visit both for its history and its present.
Well I guess it's time to go home.
Donkeys ready for another workday
View southwest from the ruins
We climbed to a ridge to see some ruins and also enjoy the views out to sea. This is looking southwest from Hydra town.
West towards the mainland
Ferry from Athens to Hydra