Exhaustion and Glee. These are the first two emotions that come to mind when I think back to the last day of my study tour in the beautiful country of Greece. We were finally going to enjoy our time not encumbered with tourists attractions, climbing various hills, which seemed to make up Europe’s geography, and most important walking around with headphones connected to our little radio’s that allowed us to here the profé’s as they lectured us on the historic importance of where we were.
Instead, we all were going to board a boat that would take us to three Greek islands, Hydra, Poros, and Aegina. Ever since I was in high school, I dreamed of the day that I’d get to visit one of the many beautiful Greek islands. Especially after my sister, who had the luxury of going on a school trip back then, came back to New York bragging about her adventure. Including visiting the island of Poros.
I boarded the bus with my roommate Megan and best friend Yuna, the three of us excited to get out on the crisp blue water. What we hadn’t expected, was the tons of people who would also be joining us on our excursion. Even worse, a majority of them smoked. Wanting to feel the sea breeze on my face and get a good view, I encouraged my friends to come up to the top of the boat with me.
As soon as we found our seats, the warning horn signaling that the boat was pushing off blared around us and we stood and stared out at the beautiful ocean. Huddled around the table, we watched as clumps of small islands rose to meet us. After about thirty minutes we were at our first destination, Hydra. The professors let us know that if we planned on swimming, this would be the place to do it. Once we disembarked and after taking a couple of pictures we made our way over to the jump-off area. The bright blazing sun shone down on us as we walked on the path overlooking the water.I, being the dubious New Yorker I was refused to get in, on the grounds that I couldn’t swim. Instead, I stared up in wonder at the small mountainous hills and houses situated across from us.
Time passed quickly and soon we boarded the boat again on to our next destination, Poros. I was on a mission to find the same jewelry store my sister visited, to buy her a ring. We were told that we wouldn’t spend much time on the island, so we were instructed to refrain from going far from where the boat docked. The sun continued to blare down on us, and the streets were painted bright colors. After stopping at one of the souvenir shops, Megan, Yuna and I found the jewelry shop! After purchasing the ring, we lazily walked back to the boat taking in the different small shops.
Finally, on our way to our final stop Aegina, the exhaustion from the entire study tour and the long day weighed heavily on my shoulders. It had also started raining and so we forced to go down to the bottom deck. Luckily the rain eased up and my friends convinced me to go out.
Aegina is the island of the Pistachio trees. And with pistachio’s being one of my favorite nuts I purchased three piles of them to bring back with me to the U.S. My time in Greece was short and may have been washed out toward the end but I knew that I’d be back one day.
Hotel: Best Western Candia Hotel
Attractions: Ydra Beach in Hydra, Daglis Jewelry Store in Poros, & Φυστικάτο (Pistachio shop) in Aegina.