The City of Aegina

Trip Start Sep 25, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Greece  , Saronic Gulf Islands,
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What is there to see in the City of Aegina!

The city of Aegina is situated on the west side of the island by the main port, and it used to be the capital of Greece from 1827 to 1829…I am sure many of you hear it for the first time.

It has a reputation of the pistachio nuts (Fystiki Aeginis) which has been cultivated on the island since 1860. Pistachio trees are in plain view all over the island and this is the reason I refer to these first. I found it hard to come during the festival because the dates would not match. The irony is that the festival started the 20th and finished the 23rd…a couple of days ago. Bad luck!

The busiest place of the island is the promenade of the city of Aegina with numerous ferries and hydrofoils docking every hour or so. What I don't like that much is the fact that it is packed from end to end with tourist shops, cafeterias and multiple restaurants. It is busy now that we visit –end of September and I can imagine the promenade during the summer months!

Sandwiched between commercial establishments are some very beautiful neo classical buildings –these are in various states of restoration…and who knows for how long they will be like this!

Luck of money might keep them for years in this condition.

There are horse carriages by the promenade and although I would love to have a ride in one, yet I believe the 15 euros for a 20 or 30 minute ride is too much. Of course in the past this price meant nothing, ...but not now!!  Rides are rare these days due to the extended economic crisis and those few rides I see are mostly from foreigners. I approach a few of these owners and I am told that there are days when they have one or two rides and days when they have none. Can you imagine the situation in winter? The people are telling me that it is hard to make ends meet.

Although the numerous lining cafeterias, restaurants and bars beautify the colourful promenade, personally I like watching this picture from a distance. I know for many it is a nice place to relax while watching the lazy motions of the yachts and boats opposite the colourful promenade yet it is not my piece of cake especially when this place is crowded.

Something that I found peculiar and I liked is seeing that in the promenade there are a couple of commercial boats docked, selling fruit and veggies. The fishing market is also somewhere among the many café restaurants and if I could cook in the room I would certainly buy some crabs to boil. The smell of weed is in the air as you walk in the market and everything is fresh here.

Beyond the busy harbour the city of Aegina is seemingly untouched by the tourist traffic that permeates the waterfront. The streets beyond the harbour are filled with local stores in narrow streets catering to the local population. Of course, those who crave a little normalcy in the course of a vacation it might be a pleasant surprise.

If you are a lover of ancient artefacts you can visit the Ancient Kolona and the archaeological museum which is on the northern end of the city. You cannot miss it because it stands out on top of a hill surrounded by pine trees right next to the coast.

Just outside the archaeological site (north of the harbour) there is this dubious quality beach ….which although we pass by each day I never decide to swim here.

On the other end to the south there is a water-parkfor kids.

Unfortunately the 4 days we are here prove NOT ENOUGH!

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anne on

looks a lovly place

greekcypriot on

It is believe me....
I can't wait to find the chance to visit it again soon.

mmbcross on

Your photos are brilliant. The last thing I think about when viewing your photos is "financial crisis". Everything looks so perfect, with the exception that I see very few people in the market, on the promenade, taking buggy rides or even driving off in those splendid Mercedes taxis.

greekcypriot on

You are so right Martin. The economic crisis is all over Greece.
Especially now that I am writing this....So much that you cannot imagine.

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