We were up again at 8:30a to meet the group at the pier outside the hotel for an excursion to the island of Hydra.
We boarded a quick and efficient ferry and arrived on the beautiful island and with only 15,000 people. There and no vehicles here and donkeys are their main source of transportation. The island has white houses with orange and blue doors and shutters stacked up the hill. The main dock is paved with stone walkways with little jewelry, cafes and souvenir shops lining the row. Beautiful expensive boats bob in the clear blue water and its something that was so peaceful, it was all we could do to stroll down the walkway admiring the atmosphere.
We first check out a few souvenir shops as a few members of the group pay €15 for a donkey ride around the block. We then walk around the right side of the island up the hill to find a place to lay out by the water. The most unusual thing we found on the island was that there is an insane amount of stray cats roaming about the island. Theres about 3-5 cats every few feet, and if you look close enough, you can see small piles of cat food laid out for them.
Cats and donkeys
We the found a nice place to walk down where there was a flat area near the water where we could lie down. We hiked down and after lots of sunscreen, we laid out next to the most beautiful water I’ve ever seen. The shore was clear, then light blue, in which then faded out to the most striking blue as sailboats and speedboats cruise by our location.
We layed out down on the flat area by the water
The incredibly blue water
Soon after, the rest of the group catches up with us and joins us for swimming and lying out in the sun. The brave ones tested the cold salt water and even had goggles to check out everything along the shore.
Time for swimming
After being out for 3 hours, we all walked back into town where Andreas took us into town to a darling little restaurant tucked away in the middle of the island. We sat in the shade under a lush green trellis, and along with the cats roaming about our feet, two men softly play guitars and sang sweet greek melodies.
Our food comes out quickly which consists of an outstanding greek salad, lemon chicken, rice and seasoned french fries, followed by one of the best desserts on the trip: a triangle of Semolina. It tasted like small beads and I’m told like a type of cream of wheat (?), but nevertheless it tasted of cinnamon and was a cool and refreshing treat!
We then had an hour left on the island to spend before having to leave, so Erin, Chelsea, Ciera and I made our way back down to the water and main area, all the while stopping in small jewelry shops and such along the way. As we waited for the ferry, we all gabbed about our day (some even found an area where they could dive off a small cliff into the water!) and ate ice cream.
The ferry took us back swiftly across the water back to Poros. Although we did have one mishap, in that one kid in the group fell asleep on the ferry and missed the stop to get off, so after a 4-hour roundtrip to Athens and back, and along with some frantic calls from Andreas to the ferry company, he was able to ride it back to Poros and make it back in time for dinner.
We now had 3-hours until dinner, so Erin and I grabbed some towels from the room and went around back of the hotel to the pool and laid out and chatted with our feet in the water. It wasn’t a heated pool but the cold water felt great on our now slightly sunburnt skin.
After the pool, we got dressed and headed up to the terrace for our last dinner here in Poros. We also had the 2nd tour group who is a day behind us arrive at the hotel and they joined our group outside for dinner.
This was one of the best dinner we had as we had a cucumber dip and bread, balsamic salad, greek gyro with pork, pita, tomatoes, and a coffee-flavored flan for dessert. The gyro was the best I’ve ever tasted and the cucumber dip is one I’m really going to miss. The night concluded with everyone heading to bed early as we have to be on the ferry at 6:45a (11p ohio time) to travel to our last day in Athens.