August 26 – We started with a hearty buffet breakfast at the hotel then made our way to the lobby. A short bus ride through Athens to the port gave us quick glimpses of some of the Olympic stadium and up the hill to the Acropolis.
We boarded the ship for a full day cruise of the Greek islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina. It was early but already really warm. It seemed like the perfect day to be out on the water. The early departure time made sense once we realized it was a 3 hour tour to the first island. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself as the “Gilligans Island” theme song rolled around in my head. Thankfully the weather didn’t get rough and I enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing trip to our first stop.
We didn’t get a lot of time in Hydra. It appeared the only transportation on the island was the donkeys that were loaded up with supplies from incoming ships. With the exception of the chatter of locals and tourists the island was very peaceful. Jennifer had been coughing since her arrival in Paris so when as we browsed through one of the shops we took an opportunity to ask the clerk about a pharmacy. We completed our purchase and headed up the hill. We patiently waited as the pharmacist chatted with someone he clearly knew. Fortunately for us they were speaking in English and the conversation was quite hilarious. Good natured ribbing and I couldn’t help but insert myself. We had some good laughs, Jennifer got some advice and medicine, and we rolled back down the hill. We walked to the opposite end of the bay, snapped some pictures and started to make our way back toward the dock.
Our second stop was Poros. It was another short stop but there was gelato! We wandered down the street along the water looking for a place where we might be able to dip our toes into the water. No such luck.
Aegina was our last and longest stop with an optional excursion to the Temple of Aphaia. Off the boat and on to a bus that squeezed through some narrow streets and up the hill to the Temple site. It was beautiful. The view of the gulf and surrounding area was as incredible as the temple itself.
The cruise back to Athens was shorter than the trip out but was still delightful. We disembarked the ship and the bus returned us to the hotel. We opted to keep things simple by having dinner at the hotel. Again, it did not disappoint!