Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Amalia Does Hydra, Greece

When you return to places where you were happy in the past, you want them to be unchanged.  I've been visiting and photographing the island of Hydra, Greece, for 45 years, and love that it remains the same, with its patient donkeys (no vehicles on the winding, stair-step streets) and dozens of cats waiting for handouts in the tavernas

Visiting it now with granddaughter Amalia, only 22 months old,  made it all better--seeing her delight in everything.

The donkeys were still waiting to take our bags up the hill.

and to deliver them to our hotel, the Bratsera, which used to be a  sponge factory.

The cobbled streets were still filled with art and cats.

This taverna window with its ship and beautiful curtains has never changed over the years.

We had lunch in a nearby taverna, the "Dry Olive Tree" (Xsera Elia) where Amalia  discovered the joy of Greek tomatoes

As well as the only-in-Greece fish the Barbounia (red mullet)

In the Bratsera pool she played with her Nemo characters

Walking along the harbor, some shops had closed but Loulaki was still there.

Amalia got an ice cream on the harbor.

And passed the old sailors watching the ships come in.

The next day we took a boat to a beach called the Four Seasons, where the changing booth said it all.

We chose lunch from the taverna's menu.

Amalia took a nap after lunch.

That night we walked to our favorite sunset bar, the Hydronetta, 
where we saw several tourists leap from the wall to the sea far, far, below.

Then we continued along the water to the next little town, Kameni, where 
we had a wonderful meal of seafood before Amalia fell asleep.

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