July is Here, Let’s Go!

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Antique anchor against stone wall of a home in Hydra, Greece. Chippy blue paint, covered public well in the foreground. Photo by TwoPlusCute.

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!

Hydra island in Greece. The promenade around the port. Photo by TwoPlusCute

 

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.

 

Promenade at Hydra island, Greece. Donkeys, the main means of land transportation are patiently waiting for tourists. Photo by TwoPlusCute.

 

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.

 

Farmhouse perfect! Interior of a house in on the Greek island of Hydra. Antique scale, rough cut wooden beams, solid wood interior shutters, antique built in cabinet. Phot by TwoPlusCute
Farmhouse perfect: Rough cut wooden beams, antique scale with a starfish propped against it, built in cabinet (see how thick are those stone walls?!), solid wooden shutters that secure against the walls with 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 Greek island of Hydra. Sun blocking tents over director's chairs. Photo by TwoPlusCute

 

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,

 

Tables and chairs on the sides of the cobblestone alley in Hydra island, Greece. Photo by TwoPlusCute
These empty chairs? They will be jam packed when night falls.

 

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?).

 

Old cobblestone alley and sunlight crisp white stone walls in Hydra, Greece. Photo by TwoPlusCute
Can you spot the sleeping cat?

 

As we walk along the cobblestone alleys,

we come across old public wells (now securely covered),

old anchors propped against stone walls,

 

Cobblastone alley, anchor propped against a house, stone well, child walking on the island of Hydra in Greece. Photo by TwoPlusCute
Love the beautiful stonework over the windows. These walls are about 2-3 feet thick, all real rocks.

 

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.)

 

Enormous bougainvillea at the island of Hydra, in Greece. Photo by TwoPlusCute

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!).

 

Bougainvillea spilling over the 2nd floor of a house in Hydra, Greece. Enormous grape vines fill the foreground of the picture. Photo by TwoPlusCute

 

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!

 

Small beach near Hydra Greece, with pines, access only by boat. It even has a cave to swim to! Photo by TwoPlusCute
The arrow points to the cave. The Cute (on the right) had a blast that day.

 

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.

 

The Cute at Hydra, Greece. Photo by TwoPlusCute
The Cute observing the scenery. Top left, that’s a sea-bus.

 

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:

 

Man beating a freshly caught octopus, at a cove near Hydra, Greece. Photo by TwoPlusCute
Freshly caught octopus, getting “beaten” on the rocks, a process that softens the octopus and makes it – way – easier to chew.

 

(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!)

Cannons over the blue sea. Hydra island, Greece. Photo by TwoPlusCute

 

As the sun gets ready to set,

it is time to go back home, have a shower and…

get ready to go out again!

 

Late afternoon on the island of Hydra, Greece. Sun sparkling sea, a boat sailing away. Photo by TwoPlusCute

 

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!

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4 thoughts on “July is Here, Let’s Go!

  • July 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm
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    Your photography is stunning! Of course, it helps that you have good material to work with and the best model in the world. I can only imagine the great time little Cute must have had in Greece. I hope you guys have a chance to come back soon.

    Reply
    • July 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm
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      We hope so, too. To be honest though, I (really) hope I have help during the long flights.
      And you are so right: the island of Hydra is so beautiful, it’s hard to take bad shots!

      Reply
  • July 7, 2016 at 6:56 am
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    Wow! LOVED your photos and tour! You make me want to board a plane and take off for Greece! What a lovely town and your eye for photos is outstanding. I think my wall would be full of holiday photos in a huge montage. Looking forward to more:)
    Wendi @ H2OBungalow posted…How to Build A Hammock Stand From Posts

    Reply
    • July 8, 2016 at 1:31 pm
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      You know, that’s a great idea: printing some of those photos and creating a gallery wall with them. 🙂

      Reply

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