Aegina or Egina is the tip of an extinct volcano, and one of the closest Greek islands to the capital
It has a history stretching back over four thousand years, and is today a popular day trip
from the capital. The key local crop is pistachio nuts, so of course we came away with a bag each, delicious!
It was a slightly rainy and rough journey by hydrofoil from Pireas port in Athens, which perhaps contributed
to the island being peacefully quiet for our visit. It was one of several candidates for a day
trip, but we chose Aegina as it appeared to be the most interesting of the selection. We rented scooters
to explore the island, and had gyros for lunch - it doesn't get much more Greek than that.
The Temple of Aphaia, although largely in ruins, is still one of the most popular attractions on Aegina.
It dates back to 500 BC, and is of simple Doric form. Parts of the pediment friezes and other
artefacts can be seen at the local museum, with other objects being in Athens or further afield.
Saint Nectarios of Aegina was one of the island's more famous residents, living there for his final
years up until 1920. He leaves a monastery as his legacy, with this associated cathedral next door,
easily the most impressive on the island.
A pretty walkway connects the monastery to the cathedral, the perfect photo opportunity.
There is even a mini-monastery, if that's what you're in the market for.
Scooting around on a scooter was the obvious way to travel around the island in style, although mine
was provided with an almost empty tank, and petrol stations weren't that easy to spot.
Many more ancient little churches were scattered around the hillsides around the Nectarios monastery.
Aegina town is a pleasant little port, our point of arrival and departure, selling delicious gyros and
plenty of pistachios!
The harbourside is dominated by a large Greek Orthodox church.
Our ride back to Athens, on the good ship "Flying Dolphin". My only previous hydrofoil experience had
been on the Saigon River in
but crossing the open sea was quite a different matter. It was like being in a car wash.