Happy July! Hurry! Put on some sunblock and comfy shoes, grab your bathing suit and come with me.
I am taking you for a photo-vacation to a small Greek island, where no cars are allowed and the main means of transportation are donkeys. And we are going swimming, too!
I am going to take you to the island of Hydra, in Greece, a little gem, full of unique quirks. For one, no motor vehicles are allowed on the island. Land transportation, including carrying all heavy duty lifts (like building materials), is done with donkeys. Even garbage collection is done with those gentle and patient creatures.
Sea transportation, includes yachts, sea taxis and sea buses (leaving at standard times). Most of the residents own some kind of boat and this is part of the island’s very long, seafaring tradition.
That seafaring tradition, includes pirates.
And pirates, is the reason you will often see old windows with antique security bars on the outside and thick wooden shutters on the inside of the house (so, if the glass of the windows broke, it wouldn’t hurt the residents) that close with old style metal bars.
Many cafeterias and restaurants are spread along the promenade or hide inside narrow alleys,
patiently waiting for the customers to return from their swimming excursions.
The houses and rest of the buildings are made of thick stone walls,
with solid wooden doors and windows.
Some buildings are left in the stones’ natural (and beautiful) neutral hues,
while others are painted crisp white, reflecting the intense sunbeams.
Look how clean the white walls look – like it never rains and no mud falls on them.
Always looking freshly painted (maybe they are?).
As we walk along the cobblestone alleys,
we come across old public wells (now securely covered),
old anchors propped against stone walls,
and a bougainvillea so gigantic,
it spills over and in the house it is leaning against.
(Notice the relatively small pot it’s planted in.)
The next image is from the inner yard of the house:
the bougainvillea has climbed over the 2nd floor’s roof.
The – also enormous – grape vine on the foreground is propped over a pergola
and provides much needed shadow during summer (and grapes!).
I will show you more of that house (in another post) but,
you didn’t bring that bathing suit along for nothing.
Let’s board a sea-bus and visit a small beach on a cove, accessible only by boat
and complete with a cave that you have to swim to it!
This is where we are going to swim today!
Calm and crystal clear waters,
enough shade (but add more sunblock)
and shallow waters for toddlers to splash around.
No worries, there are no sharks here.
Only yummy edibles, ready to be fished out.
This octopus was not the only sea food caught that day:
(By the way, this gentleman?
Can out-swim most of us!
He free dives (no oxygen bottles) and you wouldn’t believe how far,
how deep and for how long he can swim!)
As the sun gets ready to set,
it is time to go back home, have a shower and…
get ready to go out again!
All the tables and chairs you saw before sitting empty on the streets, will be packed with people, as soon as night falls.
Starting with late afternoon coffee at the promenade, on to dinner in one of the cobblestone alleys, and later on – if you can make it – clubbing and cool drinks in one of the small bars of the island.
It’s ok if you sleep late – real late – we are in Greece and we’re on vacation. 🙂
ps. Next week, come along for more snippets of inspirational decor from the houses of Hydra!
Meanwhile, check if you have any old wooden window blinds, because we are going to upcycle them!