Last year I received an exciting invitation to the wedding of a friend I had met in Greece, several years earlier. I had seen her every year since then, at the end of each summer, when we visited a favourite spot amongst the Dodecanese Islands. She spoke Spanish, Greek and a little English but we somehow managed to communicate well, particularly over our love of Latin music and dance.
I made travel plans with my sister as everyone else was busy and we tagged on a few days’ holiday after the wedding! I was going to fulfil my dream of doing a little island-hopping in the Greek Islands. My sister did the research and we went for Hydra and Spetses. Hydra has no vehicles (just a bin lorry is allowed). It is favoured by the rich and the elite who often arrive on their luxury yachts but it was September and it seemed the glitterati would have moved on.
We had a night in Athens before the wedding and the next day took a taxi to the Catholic Church for the traditional ceremony attended by guests who had travelled in from far and wide. The evening reception was held alongside a beach, with dancing under the stars, well into the early hours.
The next day we took a short taxi-ride to Piraeus where we boarded a Catamaran to Hydra. It was a breath-taking sight, setting foot onto the picture-perfect island. We rattled our cases over the polished ancient cobblestones and found our way to our pretty hotel.
After a few days exploring Hydra by foot and by boat, we took a day trip to Spetses, a nearby island. Luckily our day away from Hydra coincided with the arrival of a swarm of day-trippers dropped off by a cruise ship.
On the last day of our holiday we made our way back to Piraeus, where we had lunch at a locally-renowned seafood restaurant at the water’s edge before taking the airport bus that took us to Athens, just in time for our flight home.
I enjoyed my first taste of island hopping and will return to explore many more Greek islands this way.