Monday, December 2, 2013

AEGINA ISLANDS: JEWEL OF THE SARONIC GULF


Words and Photos by Anthony Parcon

The last full day of my Greek odyssey fell on a Sunday. Unlike any other cosmopolitan capital where it doesn't differ much from any other days of the week, Sundays in Greece is a traditional day for the family, a day to attend a church service, take a rest on indulge in a certain recreational pursuit . Here, malls and some shops are closed to give in to such observance. On an early morning hour after my breakfast, I tried walking to the paralia (beach) to take some photos and I passed a small old church filled with faithful churchgoers,   although I have observed that fewer younger people were present during mass.  It is also during this time of the week, when good friends meet, dine and drink on a fine taverna in Plaka or Kolonaki Square. Walking along the lovely streets of Athens on a Sunday could be a soothing experience with a parade of street musicians playing various musical instruments like violin, saxophone, harmonica, electric guitar or even just a simple flute serenading non-stop that will leave a passerby blown away by the wonderful music. 

Travelling to Greece is never complete without going to one of its captivating islands that could offer a scenic landscape of natural beauty so after, sitting and sipping a cup of coffee for the nth time in one of the chic area of Athens, we decided to visit one of the nearby islands, Aegina.


Aegina is a forty minute ride via a fast craft (Flying Dolphin) costing 13.50 euro or an  hour and fifteen minutes by a regular boat (Hellenic Seaways) with a cost of  9.50 euro from the Port of Pireaus, Greece's main port and the getway to the islands.




Each Greek island has its own delight with a fusion of natural charm, enchanting culture and fascinating history and Aegina is no exception. The largest along the three islands (Poros and Hydra being the other two) in the Argo-Saronic Gulf, it has much to offer to wandering tourists visiting its lovely shore. Upon arrival on its busy port, one can find a cluster of elegant yachts and fishing boats lining its beach line.

Within a walking distance, one can easily find seafront caf├ęs/tavernas unadulterated with advertisements catering to commercialized tourists. It had maintained its Greek identity and hasn't given in to the global fast food industries yearning of putting one in the island so a visitor can still enjoy an authentic local Greek cuisine and drinks.


CHURCH OF AGIOS NECTARIOS & THE MONASTERY OF AGIA TRIADA (HOLY TRINITY)

Located six kilometers from the town port of Aegina, the church and monastery can be reached by bus or taxi. The monastery has been standing for more than a century and today, fourteen nuns are altruistically spending their life of religious service there. The grand church on a nearby side with an impressive and magnificent architecture has two high bell towers and four series of windows, all covered with red bows.  Adding to its striking beauty is the scenic mountain and verdant landscape controlling the area.

2 comments :

  1. Nice post. Came to know about aegina islands first time through your site.

    Thanks for that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. you're very much welcome and thank you too for your comment.

    ReplyDelete

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