So the Scottish winter, much like the Scottish summer can be cold and wet and sometimes a little break in the sunshine is all that you need. This year I had the perfect excuse for a break for the sun...a wedding!
My friend's Athina and Sam (now resident in Melbourne) were getting married on the beautiful island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf. So not only did I get to see the sun, swim in the sea and eat some amazing food, I also got to attend a beautiful wedding of 2 great people, make new friends and new memories.
Aegina is only 17 miles from Athens so a quick journey on he hydrofoil or ferry... and you are away from the bustle of the city and to the small but perfectly formed port of Aegina...lined with waterfront restaurants, overlooked by the remains of a Greek Temple and with beautiful views of the Peloponnese Peninsula.
A few of us were staying a lovely little hotel just on the edge of the town called Hotel Rastoni. Only 14 rooms, 10 with balconies with a sea view and a great garden....the perfect place to escape.
This is the view from our balcony over the garden where we ate breakfast every morning.
Our lunch spot on the first day....right on the water.
My toes in the water.....the rest of me also went in...I think the locals thought we were mad, but the water was warmer in March than at any time in Scotland!
Even the derelict buildings looked beautiful.
Fishing boats and fishing nets along the harbour.
Fish in the local market.
One afternoon between the hen night and the wedding four of us hired bikes and cycled from Aegina Town along the coast to the little village of Perdika (about 20km round trip) where we ate lunch overlooking the sea.....just glorious.
The view from lunch....
The weather was a glorious 22 to 23 degrees and sunny for most of the 4 days we were there.....and the flowers and trees were in full bloom.
Lemon trees all over the island.
The island is famous for its pistachios - these are the pistachio trees...as we were there the first signs of buds were appearing on the trees.
The wedding was on the Friday, with the ceremony in the Mayor's office and the reception at a nearby hotel. It was a daytime wedding, the ceremony at 1230pm and the reception at 2pm. By 830pm the reception and dancing were winding down and we were winding up for a night in one of the local bars, where the dancing and drinking continued until about 2am.
The wedding was perfect, small with only about 65 guests from Greece, Australia, Scotland and Norway - the bride and groom looked fantastic and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves - there was Greek dancing, good food and lots of smiles. It was a delight to be able to share such a special day with Sam and Athina and even though they live all the way in Melbourne these days I really hope it is not too long until we catch up again.
The morning after the wedding my room-mate Martha and I headed to Athens (a number of us were flying home that evening) for the afternoon.
We took aim for the Acropolis....which can be seem from across the city....finding our way there was more of a challenge. However, in our meanderings we came across some beautiful little streets right below the Acropolis which could easily lead you to believe you were on a Greek island rather than in the middle of the city.
I didn't visit the Acropolis as I have been before and baulked at the 20 Euro entrance charge.
Syntagma Square, at the heart of Athens.
It was undeniably hard to return to rainy and cold Scotland after such a lovely sojourn in the sun....