Why Aegina? Maybe because I was in a terrible state of health at that time and all I needed was a dull, unattractive island where you can do nothing. I did not want to visit, chase, run with my tongue hanging out and my backpack. But when I was looking for a place, I was guided by the style of the rented house, not by the surroundings. I didn’t want to go by myself, and I wanted someone who knows how to do things in silence. That is why I took a long-time friend – Agnieszka.
But from choosing a place, booking a house, buying flights to coming to the island, my life has changed a lot…
I was fresh out of treatment for HCV, I noticed that my mood was deteriorating from week to week, and I understood that my thyroid gland had died entirely. I was depressed, gained a lot of weight and lost energy in my daily life. I needed silence, peace and proximity to the sun, the sea and nature. That’s why the Airbnb website was a natural choice, which offered a bunch of cottages with gardens/possessions of different types.
And that’s the kind of cottage that came to Aegina. The photos looked encouraging. Okay.
The following few weeks were hectic. Someone appeared in my life and gave me a hand to help with my thyroid. I didn’t wait long for the results. Just after a month, I was crisp, full of energy and wonderfully rested. I was delighted with my body and the feeling of my soul waking up from the lethargy of the winter numerological winter.
That’s why I began to wonder if Aegina wouldn’t turn out to be too boring… After all, I had so much energy!
Agnieszka was waiting for me in Athens. We did not see each other for about a year and a half or more. But that did not affect our relationship. We decided to make this holiday symbolic in many personal aspects. The Aegina became the gateway where I waved my karmic past and greeted a yet unknown my self in a new being.
After the settling down and endless raptures over the cottage (there will be more at the end of the post), we went to the town to eat. That is what we came here for.
The photos below are not arranged chronologically, but thematically it is good. Don’t worry; it will be fun to read and watch. Anyway, from the very beginning of my trip, I have been doing daily reports on Instagram, and I felt great about it.
First, visiting the city of Aegina – different days, different times, different places.
The sunset had to be. We put on water shoes because of the stones and the splash! The feet in the warm water… Oh my… Then we were coming back from Marathonas beach, and more salt and sweat did not make any difference.
And that on the first day. We had one or two minutes to the sea from the cottage, so we enjoyed this blessing.
City sightseeing. Small, narrow streets, full of scooters. But relatively calm, quiet, empty in time of siesta. The pandemic has done its job. And the end of the season.
We found ourselves in a beautiful alley. We were looking for the one with umbrellas, but apparently, they were taken off because of the recent storm.
Cats in Greece are great. It is known that in the Arab countries they are worshipped and fed and taken care of. In Greece, sterilisation is very expensive, and there are wild cats here that have been carved out for tourists. We have had this purr about several hundred perspectives. The whisker did not even move.
We also went to Bouza lighthouse. We did not rent scooters; we used our legs. We used to walk around 10-23 kilometres a day.
And there, playing with the waves.
And taming them as I’d be a witch.
We have spent one whole day lying and lazying. The Internet helped us to find a „Maldivian” place, and we rushed to Marathonas beach. We found a restaurant that had deck chairs on the shore. There were still before noon and very few tourists. In the evening, there was a wedding, and I watched their guests, including the young couple, walking barefoot around the restaurant (the tables were also on the beach).
I used to solve crosswords and stare ahead, sometimes diving and swimming. Agnieszka was reading albums about icons and frescos (ancient murals). We ordered dinner – classic Greek food which was insane.
The stress from work was still holding me back; I could not relax or calm down. I did not manage to do so until the third day when I had a mental crisis, and everything irritated me. That is why I spent that day thinking, letting go, arranging, closing and planning.
The other day, it was some hardcore. I did not know what was ahead of me. We took a bus to Aphaia Temple. Finally, some photos like Akropol had to be brought from Greece. I felt no energy there, nothing, null, zero.
We have gone further. Agnieszka had the route planned, and I followed it. Because we had to walk another 20 kilometres in very different, sometimes technically demanding, terrain. The first stop was the monastery Agios Minas. And here I felt incredible energy!
But the nun didn’t care about my feelings, because she made me pull out my skirt from the drawer. In their culture, it is not appropriate for a woman to enter sacred places in her trousers. Apart from the dress – a pandemic mask. On the open ground. Cool.
I bought a lot of souvenirs there – white sage, Byzantine scents, pendants, keyrings, crosses and so on. I liked everything there. I thought for a moment that if there are a lot of Arabic influences here and my soul has Arabic roots, there must be something here.
We went on. The trail was empty, a wide road, full of tiny stones. I had water boots, with a thin sole, and walking along the route was very difficult.
In the middle of the picture, Agia Marina was visible.
Our goal was Paleochora mountain. There are more than 20 churches around the summit and ruins from old houses below. The islanders wanted to protect their inhabitants in this way, and they have embossed everything on this mountain. Respect.
Along the way we pass letterboxes for DHL and Amazon.
Tiny chapels can often be seen by the roads. Very charming and ingenious!
We have the map, we have the route. Let’s go.
In every church, you will find paintings, pictures, books, frescos, illustrations, icons, chairs, candle racks. Nothing here is robbed, taken away, not gnawed on the walls A+M=Love Forever. Not all of them had „my” energy, and we know that feeling is subjective. Agnieszka was resonating where I felt nothing, and vice versa. But she felt it with madness in her eyes and artistic knowledge of the university.
Some wall paintings were really delighted and impressed with the accuracy of facial features.
I often tossed in small coins, took a wonderful-smelling honey candle and lit it with different intentions. I had a great need to do this, so I was fulfilling it.
This is what happens when you have a friend, who is fully sinking in these subjects and has to be stripped of her photo camera. This is a story that is several hundred years old, if not several thousand years old, ladies and gentlemen, and we will not come back here.
Some glass bookcases in churches „giving out” very mixed feelings. For example, this wedding photo.
Or a bishop with silver gloves? Prosthetic? That is the only icon I have seen. Will somebody explain the mystery of his hand? (Probably St Nektarios)
We have met a couple of older people altogether. „Hello!” – we waved our hands.
The trail surprised me much. It turned out to be technically demanding, and there were a few missing chains to hold on to something. It was not marked; the location of the churches guided us. Anyway, it was probably the most challenging mountain trail I had ever walked. And I was surprised by my condition.
That is what it looks like from above. On the left, the monastery of St. Nektario (red roofs).
I have to add some information about our shoes on this massacre track. I had water shoes, with a thin „barefoot” sole, and although I was swearing a lot on the stones, these shoes turned out to be surprisingly very adhesive. I didn’t swing my ankle, and I didn’t lose my balance, the balance was much better than if I had my mountain boots. I was very positively surprised. Agnieszka had her immortal Converse trainers. She did not fall off the trail either.
It was hot, with hot wind, I was wet from the effort and high temperature, but I was not tired, I did not have breathlessness, my muscles were not tired or hurt. This also surprised me and proved the power of restoring the body with Chinese five elements.
In crying and moaning, we went down to the cool monastery of St. Nektario, where we filled our bottles with spring, healing water. The water on Aegina from the taps is not drinkable, which was a significant inconvenience; that is why clean water was highly desired. The church did not delight us. No energy. We quickly knocked out of there.
Another day, planned for the early morning, we were sailing to Agistri by hydrofoil. In masks, of course, and you weren’t allowed to sit next to each other. But ten minutes went fast. The island of Agistri is smaller than Aegina and much calmer, prettier. But I remind you again – end of season plus pandemic.
On the way to the town of Skala such views – clean water, beach chairs with umbrellas, bars and cats.
And the beach is empty. We found a piece of shade under two small pine trees. It was quiet, beautiful and perfect. Anyway, every day we did like that – perfect. Agnieszka and I got along very well in this field. Each of us gave each other a lot of space..
I sat in the water a lot and a long time.
On our way back, we entered the streets there.
Unfortunately, the church was closed. Agnieszka kissed the handle with an anointing.
Another day, another island – Moni. This time sailed out of the town of Perdika by small boat on demand. Lack of tourists caused only one boat to run. Open boat, of course, few people, of course, masks. You know, just for appearances, because you could feel and see that nobody „believes” in Covid.
The views are beautifully soothing.
On the island of Moni, we were greeted by its indigenous inhabitants – peacocks with children and deer (they did not fit in the photo frame). This is what makes Moni unique – no people are living here, camping at night is forbidden. There are only one bar and a tiny beach.
We decided to explore a little bit, because the islet is also famous for its wonderful, pine scents.
We sat on the cliffs for a while, listened to the waves and did some „stillness”.
We have got our legs wet, too. You don’t have to bathe everywhere like „I was here.„
I collect selfies from the bathrooms from my travels. The bathroom from Tajikistan is placed in the first place; the bathroom from Moni is in the second place. Congratulations!
In many places on the island, there are a’la feeders for animals.
All right, here in the Athens lift. Athens is not a nice place for me. I was not too fond of its suburban type of energy – depressing and pulling down. I have already noticed such dependence in other cities, and I think there is something about it. I will write more about this in another post.
In the very centre of Athens, among the luxurious shops, there is a church. As soon as I entered it, I immediately found myself in a different world, like 'at home', like a safe cave, a shelter.
As we approached the Acropolis, the energy changed to a more friendly and calm one. We didn’t go in there. I didn’t need to, and Agnieszka had already gone all the way every ruin before.
And another topic – CATS. There were a lot of them. Every day some meow, a leg huggable purr, a whiskered neighbourhood guard. The one below it is wandering under the Acropolis.
This one is probably the most famous cat on the island of Aegina. He should have his own account on Instagram, if not hashtag. Fabulous, fluffy fur.
And this one is our regular one; she used to come into the garden every day and bite and scratch and aggressively encourage to play with her. Such a teenager with hormones.
The second regular is probably her mum or older sister. Green and blue eyes. She hugged us a lot.
That one you already know.
Here a cat on the island of Agistri. Blind. Well cared, a full stomach, he was snooping around on the beach umbrellas. He reacted to my voice and smells, which was an exciting experience.
And yet from our property this pretty girl.
Such mornings were everyday routine.
Before leaving Aegina, we went to buy our cakes and say goodbye to this cat.
This one is from Perdika.
And that one – so beautiful… Big eyes, like Nefretete’s, agile and shapely. In Athens.
And we are moving on with the next topic – EATING.
A lot was going on in this field, dense and colourful. The basis of each of our breakfasts was Greek yoghurt with at least 5% fat content. They were also lactose-free, but I wasn’t looking at it there, here is the version with grapes and nuts. Such a meal filled our bellies for the whole day. And the background was excellent too. This fabulous garden…
Greek salads and baked/fried courgette slices were standard for us. Because tomatoes, because cucumbers, because cheese, because olive oil and all that…
And local fish. The most crunchy are petioles.
Our host from Airbnb recommended a few places to „eat”, including a confectionery. It offered homemade pistachio ice cream and millions of different cookies. For a little money, that is why we kept buying a lot of cakes now and for later. Here my chosen icecream was pistachio-flavoured, banoffee and ekmek (traditional Greek cake).
And my favourite little ones. I took two from the bottom row in bulk on the return ferry.
And we have an Emek – a cake with a tiny „noodle”, i.e. a shattered filo cake/pastry, soaked in various sweet syrups. Based on this „pasta” they make a billion versions of other little ones.
I also retook the pistachio icecream on my way back to Athens. I forgot to mention that Aegina is famous for pistachios and olives. Pistachio groves dry out the island, which makes it dehydrate from year to year, but the nuts of the isle are famous all over the world, which gives work to the people there. And while the water theme is still on – the sewage system, there is also sensitive and unusual. Toilet paper must not be thrown into the toilet; there are special, dedicated baskets by the toilet seats.
On Marathonas fabulous Greek delicacies – for Agnieszka shrimps, for me, dolmades („rollmops” from grape leaves), baked courgette and Greek salad. The best thing was that despite vast portions of food we didn’t feel overeating or cracking at all.
A standard and free addition to every lunch in the restaurant are tiny, charming desserts of various types. In one restaurant we got a jar of walnut cream with walnuts, but usually, we met different versions of „apple pie” – pudding with rice? apples? and other similar, unknown ingredients. These desserts were a lovely cherry on the cake.
Under St. Nectarios church we had a salad of green leaves, fruit and nuts, fish soup and courgette fried balls.
In another restaurant – probably the best I have ever had – grilled vegetables and mushrooms. There was aubergine, potatoes, mushrooms, courgette and lots of olive oil. Anyway, there was olive oil everywhere. I could stand it…
I later tried chicken souvlaki. I missed the meat so the shashlik was perfect choice.
On the first evening after our arrival, we went to celebrate and eat at the beach. I took off my sandals and dipped my feet in the sand, enjoying the local wine. I deserved it. Officially, I was already able to drink alcohol (no HCV virus and no liver inflammation), but that didn’t mean I was drinking every day. Because it did not. They gave us here moussaka and shrimps for Agnieszka (I have a seafood allergy).
In general, restaurants are a fairy tale here. The waiters wore masks, and our requests they were pulled them down a little bit, apologized, but most of them had mini plexi shields by the chin, which was mega! Anyway, let us not exaggerate, who saw walking someone on the beach in a mask?
I bought pistachio bags, that is logical. For my M. I bought local mastic liqueur and aniseed vodka Ouzo. Because we also had something to celebrate at home.
In Athens, Agnieszka took me by the hand to the grandfather’s restaurant. That is what we call him a grandfather because I will not give the name of the restaurant here. It is a place that has no sign or advertisement. There is no sanitary/hygiene rating and Covid. Everything is just like in our childhood in communist Poland. And this place turned out to be another energetic asylum in Athens, which I do not like. Well, let us move on to eating. I am sorry to inform you that it has beaten everything I have eaten before on Aegina…
The menu is not here. You never know what you are going to find on a particular day. We have been there twice, and Agnieszka used to go there all the time before I came to Greece. At the first dinner, we got Greek chickpea soup – revithia, some soup with vegetables and baked smoked sardines.
It was customary to spill and strip the table. The tablecloths were paper, and nobody cared about that. For dessert, grandfather peeled our apples and sprinkled cinnamon on them. He threw white wine from his barrels.
The next day, still full after the previous lunch, packed in backpacks and suitcases, we went again for breakfast to grandpa. And also there was revithia and white wine (9.00 am, but shh…). He gave us a fava – a paste of peas bathed in his oil and a Greek salad. Oh boy…
I couldn’t eat more, but I pushed myself to do so. The principle of „I’m not coming back here anymore” was held strongly in my mind!
And for dessert, Grandpa brought us an apple and a knife. „Eat my children, eat” and stroke our heads.
He cooks and prepares everything by himself. His son helps him as well.
And this is what his wine barrels look like.
We got selfie with him! What a honour!
One day we had an adventure in our house. The door slammed with the keys inside, and we were locked in the garden (the gate was also for keys.) The owner wasn’t on the Aegina, but he quickly led us where to look for spare keys. His advice involved jumping over a 2.5m wall. I climbed on a little wicker chair, smashed the mattress on the other side for safety and jumped.
And here is effect of my jump.
It turned out that the keys „do not work” and friendly neighbours after a phone call with the owner (because we are deaf after all) brought a locksmith on a scooter.
And finally, we left the property.
Before entering the ferry, we entered the harbour church and lit candles – this time thanksgiving thoughts.
The view from the ferry to Aegina – a beautiful island with beautiful energy. I have been able to get a good time, a place, a time, like everything else in life.
Now a bit about where we stopped. As I mentioned at the beginning, the pictures do not make the slightest impression. When we moved the door of the gate and took our first steps in the garden, we were amazed… Without words, we both agreed that we had found our best place so far. The house was small, two beds, a kitchenette, a fridge and a TV set. A hammock in the garden, a table, cats. Various ointment of plants, pine cones and cactus. Including a vast aloe vera, which saved my shoe rubs. Everywhere and always I walked barefoot; I ignored tree needles, cones, resin balls and worms. The place is perfect for meditation, yoga, for artists of all sorts, for lovers of books and crosswords. It is ideal for everyone who wants to calm down. It is located a few minutes to the sea and 15 minutes on foot to the centre.
The place turned out to be an ideal spiritual „transition” from many stages to the next.
Thank you for this time, Universe!
In Airbnb, you will find it under the name „Wild pistachio”. Clicking on the banner below and registering for the first time, you will get the right amount of money to use there.
Agnieszka Kołodziejczak travelled with me. I advertise her because she is the genius of everything. And the author of illustrations in my ebooks.