The Fledgling Flâneurs have landed in Greece!

Following an overnight flight to Athens, a scary cab ride with the Athenian version of Grandpa Simpson behind the wheel and a 45-minute trip on a ferry, we have arrived on Aegina, a 34-square mile Greek island. Aegina is about as different from Dublin as you can get. It’s hot, sunny and semi-arid. It’s situated near Athens in the Saronic Gulf.

As Greece was not part of our original Fledgling Flâneurs itinerary, this feels like a vacation within a vacation. We are staying in a pretty traditional Greek villa near the sea, and the sea breezes make it livable even in August. Yesterday afternoon, Steve and I walked across the street to the water, went for a swim, then had dinner on the terrace at a waterside restaurant while the sun set and the almost full moon rose. Talk about finding your happy place!

From what we have seen so far, it looks like this island is one big pistachio grove. Apparently, the fistiki aeginis are a BFD and are considered superior to most other pistachios. Our villa is surrounded by pistachio trees, and the owner, Polyxeni, told me yesterday that the fruit, with the nuts (seeds) inside, is not maturing properly this year and she is worried about the harvest. She doesn’t know what is wrong. Her trees and the fruit growing on them look exactly like all the other ones we have seen, so I don’t think it’s her. She also has some grape vines and huge rosemary bushes, along with palm trees and lots of gorgeous bougainvillea. Like I said, happy place!

Aegina was formed by a now-dormant volcano and first inhabited circa 2,000 B.C. We are planning to rent a car at some point and drive around. I really want to rent scooters, but Polyxeni said, “Absolutely not!” Steve and I went for an exploratory walk earlier today, and the roads are narrow, with no shoulders or sidewalks, so perhaps she is right. I did see one little Greek grandma on a three-wheeled scooter that looked pretty safe, so maybe I’ll try one of those. We would also like to explore at least a couple of the other Greek Isles, though we will have to ferry back to Athens first. You can’t really go anywhere else from here. I love being on just about any boat, so that’s fine by me.

This is our second visit to Greece, and I hope to keep coming back for many years to come.