September 27, 2012
After breakfast we loaded the bus with our luggage and headed to the last of the Greek ruins we would see as part of the tour--Epidavros. Again, Patti was our tour guide at the ancient healing center. She showed us the ruins of a huge hotel, bath house, stadium and theater. By far my favorite part was the acoustics of the theater. To demonstrate how sound is carried Patti stood in the center of the stage on an embedded rock and began clapping her hands. We heard the echo bounce back to us. Colin gave us an hour to explore on our own. Before I left the theater a school group of teenage girls from Australia sat down next to me. As part of a school project two of the girls got up and sang Ave Marie. I was overcome with emotion and tears spilled down my checks as their voices filled the theater.
What a magical moment.
A couple hours later we had lunch at another sea harbor.
The next stretch of driving would be our last with our driver Yannis and big purple bus. We arrived at a tiny port and a boat was waiting to take us to Hydra. Good-byes were said to Yannis and the boat was loaded with our luggage. I was so excited to visit my very first Greek island! No
motorized vehicles are allowed on the island except a garbage truck or two. Donkeys and water taxis provide public transportation. From the harbor we rolled our luggage a couple blocks to Hotel Leto. At 5:00 P.M. Colin gave an orientation to the island and we had free time until tomorrow’s group dinner. Dad and I walked around taking pictures before settling in at one of the harbor front restaurants for dinner.
September 28, 2012
Today is another "vacation from our vacation" day. A free day on a Greek island, does life get any better! After breakfast Dad and I headed out to go swimming. As Dad climbed a ladder into the water he ran into a mother and daughter from Stockholm, Sweden. Soon Swedish was the only language I could hear. Swimming and sunbathing was a wonderful way to spend a day. On the way back to the hotel we found several tour mates enjoying some food and drink at an outdoor café. We joined them for some drinks.
Wouldn’t you know there was a family sitting a few tables away speaking Swedish? Dad started talking with them and found out they live in a town less than 30 miles from where he grew up. What a small world it becomes when you travel!
At 6:45 P.M. Colin had set up a cocktail hour out on the courtyard of our hotel before we headed out for one of our last dinners together. We ate under moonlight at Taverna Leonidas. Dad and I had slow roasted goat a first for both of us. No, it didn’t taste like chicken. Rather it tasted like pot roast. Looking around the table with everyone laughing and talking I knew I was going to miss our tour group.
I still can’t believe how fast 14 days have gone.
September 29, 2012
Woke up feeling a bit melancholy knowing today is our last day. I’ve shared a trip of a lifetime with such a delightful group of people. It will be difficult to say good-bye tonight.
Around 10:00 A.M. with bags packed we headed down to the harbor to catch a hydrofoil back to Athens.
Back on land we loaded up onto a bus to return to our first hotel of the trip Acropolis Select Hotel. I washed some clothes which quickly dried in the hot weather. Dad as usual found some soccer matches to watch on TV.
In the evening we met in the lobby and Colin led the way to Filistron a restaurant with a rooftop terrace with an unbelievable view of the Acropolis. What a perfect night to end a magical two week tour of Greece. Twilight moved into night and a full moon rose above the Acropolis. It was absolutely spectacular. Another ‘pinch me am I really seeing this’ moment. Wine was flowing and plates after plate of delicious mezethes were brought to our
tables. As with all our group dinners there was a lot of laughing and sharing of stories during our meal. Dessert was a decadent sinful bliss made of nut filled plums placed into a bowl of warm hot fudge topped with whipped cream. Colin gave a short saying in Scottish as his farewell to us.
In turn Trevor made a toast to Colin on behalf of our group.
Many pictures were taken, a few tears shed and a lot of hugs given as we said our good-byes.