Arrived back in the afternoon and met by our kind taxi driver Aristedes. He’s a big Greek man with a scraggly pony tail and a very kind attitude. 
Checked in and I have a room with a view. THE view in Athens – of the Acropolis.

My perfect Athens view from my room

Magic view. Up to the roof top  to drink –  the view and the wine. Jill’s not feeling too good with her coughing so we didn’t stay too long. We headed out for a short walk and a very touristy type dinner. Early night

Up at a reasonable time and down to breakfast to find Jill not good at all and  has called the doctor to the hotel. So a slow start and then a little walk around the Plaka. She felt a bit better and we went along the streets towards Parliament to see the changing of the guards. Beautiful day. 
View form our coffee shop


Sadly Jill didn’t want to continue and returned to the hotel with Chris, so I went
exploring on my own. I found the upmarket area with the expensive shops and I did
some people looking – not shopping! 

Also found the local department store Aticca. It was a kind of upmarket department store spread over 6 floors. They put the men’s clothes on 1 & 2 and the ladies clothes on floors 4 & 5. So different in Australia where womens clothes are much more visible. Tried a few things on but didn’t buy! Then made my way, in a round about way, to the Acropolis area and wandered around, had a sandwich and got back to the hotel at 4 to check on Jill. She decided not to go out again. Sad news. 

So up to the roof top I went to drink – both the view and the wine and was joined by Chris. 

The perfect guard!




 Chris and I went out for a last dinner together and had what was probably one of the better dinners – certainly in Athens. 
Off to bed after packing. 
Jill and Chris are leaving at 5.45 am
I’ll be still asleep so we said are farewells tonight
It’s been a wonderful holiday having the “Wandering Wilsons” along on the holiday adventure. Swimming and island hopping. 
Up and out and felt strange again by myself. Did more wandering and people watching and went to the jewellery museum. All of Athens is a jewellery museum from what I can see there are sooooo many shops! I had people making me all sort of offers and discounts. I kept saying – after trying things on. I really like it but I’ll have to bring my husband back to see it. He has the cash. That usually ensues a further discount. Pity it’s not going to happen! 
Picked up again by Aristedes, this time accompany by his wife Maria who became my best friend by the time we had detoured around the city on a little side trip. They provided water and a pastry this time and I was out at the airport in very good time. Worth the money. 
Went to the lounge, which involved practically walking back to Athens and waited for the boarding which was on time. Had a lovely flight with an air hostess who was so trim and beautiful I thought she might be an out of work actress. 
Now sitting in Paris waiting for my flight to Singapore where I will meet up with Narelle , my Sydney school friend. Fun times ahead!


Last morning in Hydra

Our last day on the island dawned with the usual cacophony of noises starting at 7am. 
I’m sitting writing this to the echoes of a saw, dogs barking, donkeys baying, people chattering, school kids talking, a lady sweeping the terrace and a cat meowing. 
It makes it  all rather real though as if living in a little country town by the sea. 
After we pack its down to the harbour for coffee, a visit to the museum, a walk around the other headland, lunch and onto the ferry at 3. We are seriously hoping the water is not too rough today.

Views from the fort on the headland


My friend Kerrie, who recommended Hydra to me, told me when she travelled here,  everyone (but her)  was vomiting into bags being handed out by the staff – Kerrie, you didn’t mention that before!  
Really it’s not too bad and I too would recommend Hydra. 



Our arrival in Hydra was a relief. Glad to get off the boat onto this lovely little island. 

The donkeys of Hydra

It’s a little like a theatre. The small harbour sits in the middle of a very round bay. The land looks like the stalls and the water is the stage. And what a busy stage it is – boats scampering in and out, water taxis called seabirds flittering around, donkeys in various shades of donkey brown lumbering slowly with their load of bags and shops goods, tourists with sun hats perched, cats sitting to attention in front of the fishing boats hoping for a morsel, shop keepers on watch for anyone interested in their goods and the cafe sitters watching it all from the stalls.

Beautiful port of Hydra
Fishermen selling fish with a cat waiting ……
A porter met us – I was disappointed we didn’t get a donkey with our porter but we had a man with a cart. Remember there are no vehicles on Hydra! 
We walked  away from the harbour through narrow streets which opened after a short distance to a wide tree-lined paved street (no cars). and with every step I was hoping it wouldn’t be too far or steep. Chris has hurt his hip and is walking rather gingerly. I had booked a guest house which had great reviews. It’s set back a little and overlooks the harbour. It turned out to be an easy 5 min walk back which in fact almost takes you to the edge of this pretty town. Then the houses go climbing up the surrounding hills. It’s quite dramatic. 
The guest house is lovely. The stone used, a beautiful golden honey colour, is larger and has a lot of concrete around it. Our house had some steps up which gave us the view back to the water. The rooms are lovely and I’m on the same terrace as the Wilsons. 

We unpacked and headed back to the harbour for a drink. We joined the front stall sitters and enjoyed our first viewing of the theatre of Hydra. But not before having a quick look at some of the little shops dotted along the front opposite the water. The first one had some lovely things and many discounts. It’s every close to the end of the season and all prices are dropped. I suspect they are elevated before being dropped. Jill and I did our usual – “I’ll try this – you try that and we’ll swap.”  Jill had her eye on a very smart navy and white, light cotton jumper (see photo as to who bought it!  And then wore it out of the shop due to cool breezes)

Aperitif in our new jumpers
After our aperitif we headed to a little restaurant recommended by Rick Steve.
It was run by a husband and wife team who were just hilarious. He had spent the day in Athens and left most the work to her. They quickly pointed out what they had that was fresh and we ordered. He then came out of the kitchen disappeared for while and returned with meat on a plate. He buys as he goes from the very nice butcher nearby.  Very good food.  I’m getting to love the Greek starters. Each night we share one or two and tonight we shared stuffed peppers and zucchini balls. Delicious. 
And so to bed. Lovely comfy room and quiet area. 

 Until. ……..

Noise:  dogs barking, roosters crowing, someone sawing, children talking on their way to school located near the guest house. Even with earplugs in the noise was amazing. No sleeping in past 7am. 
I caught up on my photo sorting and we had a little fruit breakfast in our rooms before heading to the harbour for coffee and a little pastry. 
Then a little more browsing the shops, taking photos (this is a photographers paradise) and then a walk along the path leading away from town to the next bay. What a gorgeous walk it was. The sea is still a little rough so no one was swimming but at spots along the walk you could see where swimmers could climb down to the rocks and use some of the metal steps installed to make getting in and out of the water a little easier. Would love to have a swim but not as nice in the wind. 
We pottered around and had a light lunch  on a verandah overlooking the little bay. We watched the little seabird taxis fly into the harbour delivering mostly locals saving them the walk around the coast. They look so cute we decided to catch one back. What a hoot. They fly along, bumping and splashing and providing a great ride back into the main harbour of Hydra.

Flying seabird taxi
After more aimless wandering we headed back to our guest house to relax. 
I did some washing and then sat reading under an umbrella on the small stone terrace. Such a lovely spot and so quiet this afternoon in contrast to this morning. 
An aperitif was calling so Jill and I left Chris and headed to the Pirate Bar for our cocktail. We followed this with a simple dinner at a local taverna. 
And so to bed. 
Oh and I got hot water this afternoon after my COLD shower this morning because the hot water button in my room was turned off!  And the host forgot to turn it on