So as I mentioned below, I took a day trip to Aegina, a little island about 45 minutes from Athens by ferry. I took the first ferry there and the last ferry back, and had a fun and exhausting day.
The ferry left Piraeus port at 7:00am, so I left my hostel at 5:30. It was an hour metro ride to get to the port from my hostel. The boat ride was fairly quick, and I was deposited in Aegina just after sunrise. I decided I loved it approximately six seconds after getting off the ferry. It is full of classic old Greek fishermen with moustaches sitting in colourful boats. I went for a walk around the harbour for a while and then had a delicious breakfast of an omelette and a giant fruit salad.
There was a specific beach I wanted to go to that was a 30 minute drive from the port, but the bus on the island only runs three times a day, which would have been a hassle. So, even though the only shoes I had with me were flats, I decided to rent a supremely uncomfortable bike for the day. It was a great decision, however painful it may have been, because I could easily stop whenever I saw something cool and take pictures. I took a lot that I am quite happy with. There were tons of little coves along the way, and one little whitewashed church with a bright blue door that was so pretty I wasn't sure if it was real. I reached the beach I wanted after about an hour. The Aegina website had definitely talked it up more than it was worth, but the village around it was adorable. I sat there for two hours or so and read my book, just enjoying being there. Then I continued on. I didn't want to bike back the way I had come, so I followed the road across the middle of the island back towards the port. That may have been a poor decision, as this route involved a mountain. But it was a pretty ride, and I passed through several more little villages. Mopeds seemed to be the transportation of choice, and I was passed by many. At one point, a car going the opposite direction passed me. The driver's window was open, and he was holding a rope. Attached to the rope, and trotting beside the car, was a horse. I'm not sure why this man was taking his horse for a walk, and why he didn't just ride it, but it was an amusing sight. Climbing up the mountain was worth it once I reached the top. Talk about a view. Plus, once I reached the top I didn't pedal again. I only had to brake about 15 minutes later so I wouldn't continue coasting into the ocean.
I rolled into the port again at about 2:30 and got some lunch. I checked google maps as I was eating, and determined I had ridden this crappy bike for 32km. Not bad. I figured that deserved a milkshake. After lunch I got back on my crappy bike and rode to one of the pretty coves I had passed that morning. It had gotten cloudy as the day progressed, but it seemed blasphemous to be on a Greek island and not go for a swim. The water was gorgeous, but slightly colder than I had anticipated. Not nearly cold enough for me not to go in though. There was no one else around, and I had a lovely float in the turquoise water. Afterwards I lay on the beach and listened to music, pretending my legs weren't as embarrassingly white as they were.
I took the ferry back to Athens at 6:15, and arrived back at my hostel at about 8:00. I got a quick dinner and then immediately had a shower and went to bed.
I am a little bit sad I didn't get to go to Santorini, but I still think it would be more fun to do with someone. So Greece is definitely still on the list for the future. One more post incoming, and then you can all delete this blog and just give me a call when you want to talk to me. I have cell service again! And I am very happy to be home.