AROUND THE WORLD.ORG

travelling the seven parts of the world
Oct 3rd, 2007
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In the morning we took the train to Piraeus, which is the port of Athens. Most people think Athens is located at the seaside, but this is not so. Back in Ancient times the road to Piraeus was walled up to make sure Athens always has access to the sea.

The port was obviously fascinatingly confusing. We succeeded at finding the ticket office, but it turned out not to be THE ticket office. As far as what I could make out of it, this ticket office existed purely to tell people to go to other ticket offices, most of the time at confusing places. Ours was at dock 12. We ended up walking back and forth through the port (a distance of a couple of kilometers), only to to find that it was located between docks 4 and 5, which, might I add, is quite the usual thing in Greece.

Nevertheless, with tickets in our hands, off we were.





The first thing that hits you in the head when stepping out on Poros is just how close you are to the mainland. In reality, the island is only about a hundred meters from the Peloponnese. First, you think this cannot be true. You think the land in front of you IS ALSO the island, and you're just looking at a small bay that seems to stretch on beyond your line of vision. Then, of course, you see a map in a souvenir store (I actually bought a map - I have no idea why, there is no way of getting lost here. Its a bit like buying a map to a football field because you can't figure out where the goal is), and here comes the second phase, denial:

"Does this even count as an island? Sure, its got water all around it, but... really? Is it an island? Because all I can see from here is the mainland."

Then the third phase - contentment - comes, and you realize its actually pretty cool. You're on an island, but in case there's a plague outbreak or a giant tsunami wave coming, you can make it back in no time. If The Man wants to turn this into the Manhattan of Escape from New York, he will fail. Nobody is ever gonna stop you getting across a channel THAT narrow.

Here's a picture from a beach - the land in front is the island, the land behind that is main land.



Don't believe me? Here's the map:



We spent the evening strolling around town. Its a great, quiet place. It seemed like the kind of a spot that would be very crowded in middle of summer - there were restaurants, hotels, and souvenir shops everywhere, most now shut. When walking along the seaside, one of the waiters of an empty (but open!) restaurant started shouting across the street to come check him out, and we didn't want to leave him just hanging there. We tend to avoid empty restaurants, but all the places here were empty.

After that we were off hunting for a hotel. We wanted something on the beach, and this was not possible in town, so we took a stroll outside. There was a hotel near a beach. There wasn't a single light on, but a young guy was on duty at the reception, obviously startled at seeing people. 50 euros per room was the charge we settled on. There were 2 other people in the hotel, which I estimated had about a hundred rooms - by every meaning of the word, it was empty. For dinner we checked out another restaurant near the hotel. We were the only patrons, and it was blatantly obvious that they weren't expecting anyone. We ordered some stuff, and the waiter instead of going to the cook walked off to his motorbike and took off in the direction of the town. A couple of dozen minutes later he walked through the restaurant with sacks full of stuff - our food. Most likely we were actually eating from the same restaurant we did previously.

The rest of the evening and next morning was spent walking around the beach, swimming, and walking around town. It was nice to fully relax after the Mt. Olympus climb. We decided that the island was just too small to dedicate several days to, so we reckoned we should go to the next island - Hydra. Tickets had to be bought early to make sure the boat's not booked full, and this was done early next morning.











This is the regular greekomobile. It looks like something straight from India, but I bet its handy for these narrow streets (and stairs?)



This is our boat. NB: the picture is taken from standing on the island, and the land behind the boat in the picture is the main land, Peloponnese.



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