If you haven’t read the first part of my Greece trip, you can take a look at it here: http://www.anatoliannomad.com/en/country-of-abondoned-houses-greece/
The windy ferry trip to Aegina was not long at all. I suggest everyone to take it if you have a day to spend in a beautiful Greek Island. Aegina is a rather small island with not much going on. I mean you do not see a lot of people outside of the tourism season which we were not in. The streets were almost all empty, occasionally we saw some trucks selling food or transporting some goods but outside of that, we did not see any 4 wheel cars, mostly mopeds were using the small streets of Aegina. After walking through the port of Aegina, we saw maybe 10 different moped rental companies.
I do not remember which one we chose (I would not write it even if I remembered, you will understand why.) but I believe all of them have pretty much the same prices. I really wanted to rent one for the day so we do not have to climb up with bikes. Not that we do not enjoy bike rides, we just did not want to spend our 10-12 hours on the island trying to climb up the hills under the sun. Elsa did not want to spend any time with trying to get a moped as we both did not have our licenses with us. I already felt like home in Athens but the island looked even more like Turkey. I was sure that I could find a compromise with one of the rental companies. While looking at the prices withouth hope to get a moped that day, I started the conversation with some chitchat. I just started to talk with the guy at the rental company and how I almost lost my wallet and how bad it was. He could emphatise me and asked if we wanted to get a moped. I told him “Yeah sure, but we left our licenses home after the incident”. I guess he wanted to help us out and earn some money during off season. At the same time just wanted to get a moped. His suggestion for us was to find some pictures of our licences so that he could just put the information to his folder after printing them out. I think that was the best thing that I heard that they. I mean normally I would not do such thing but you would understand our position as there is not a real public transportation system there and somehow the motorbike is the only mean of the transportation. We sure were not planning to spend our time on the Island only at the port.
After taking our roughly used, one mirrored, broken tachometer Moped, we wanted to fill the tank before taking off. Not being able to move on just because of fuel would have been stupid, right?. The rental guy warned that the island had only 2 gas stations and they were both in the central area. It costed only 6€ to fill the tank. But the problem was that next to our tachometer, the fuel gauge was also broken. Again I used my instincts and went to the store at the gas station to ask for an empty bottle to fill with backup fuel. It was very smooth and we could get extra liter of gas in our backpack. I find it very useful for motorcycles especially for mopeds as you can ride some ten kilometers with a liter of fuel. After spending a day in Aegina, we spent our last day in Athens with doing the worst walking tour ever. I really do not expect a lot from a free walking tour (which I find very nice to have a general idea about the city and culture while traveling). They normally take around 2.5 hours but this one took a lot more than that. When you travel for short periods of time, every minute is precious. The guides mostly talk about the man attractions and a brief history of the city but our tour guide on the other hand, decided to show us what kind of souvenirs to buy from Greece. We actually spent around an hour about talking about what to buy! I personally do not buy many souvenirs except postcards and patches for my backpack. I find them fake and useless mostly. Therefore I was extremely bored and upset with the time we spent with that tour. I do not want to point out who it was but if you write free walking tour Athens in google, it is the first website you find which has a blue webpage.
We took the train to Thessaloniki from Athens. I have read that they received a lot of money in order to build a fast track between Thessaloniki and Athens but unfortunately and fortunately it is not yet finished. Unfortunately, because it takes longer than bus and fortunately because after half of the trip, a perfect landscape is awaiting for you. Small villages, hills, sea, lakes, valleys on the way are very nice to observe along the way.
Originally we wanted to stay only 2 days in Thessaloniki but because of a strike in Berlin airports, we “had” to stay another 2 days. At the end we spent more time in Thessaloniki than in Athens. I actually do not mind such occasions but I was a bit stressed because of my exams. Despite the perfect weather in Athens, the rain did not stop for a moment in Thessaloniki for the time we were there. Luckily there were many museums to visit in the city, which made our trip very educative. The museums are very cheap for students in Greece. The free walking tour we did where was opposite of the one in Athens. Our guide was an educated local with lots of knowledge about the city and the culture. If you are interested in the Greek-Turkish population exchange after the first world war I suggest you to read it if you decide to visit Thessaloniki, even Greece (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_exchange_between_Greece_and_Turkey). Among all others, Thessaloniki is the most affected city from that in Greece. Unfortunately the fires and the unfortunate events of vandalism destroyed almost all the turkish influence in the city. The only remaining Turkish religious building is a small graveyard for an important religious person. Which was saved thanks to a family who had to move to Thessaloniki from Turkey during the population exchange. We stayed with an old Greek couple through Airbnb. Both of their grandparents had to immigrate from Turkey. We spent some time with watching Turkish series with Greek subtitles, they cooked for us and made us feel like home. I can easily say that Greek people are generally happy to see a visitor and try to help you if you are in need.
I hope that this small article made you more interested to visit this beautiful country. Even if you only want to relax at the beach in one of the islands, do consider spending some days in Athens.
Last but not least, here is a video that I put together from our journey in Greece. I hope you will enjoy it.
Here are some more pictures from my and Elsa’s camera: