As the faded blue ATV took a quick spin I grappled tightly for Kyle’s shirt and quickly saw my life flash before my eyes. We were on a one way trek across Greece’s Aegina Island on rented four-wheelers. The four-wheelers seemed almost as ancient as the temples we passed by, “quick one on the left! Another on the right!.” Bounding over mountains and slipping down dirt hills, security was the last thing on our minds as movie like images of greenery and scenery flew by us. Sitting on the back of the ATV with Kyle, my Rhode Island boyfriend, I was in bliss as I experienced this unplanned day.
Only hours before was I waking up slowly at 6am to catch a ferry ride to the island, with plans to go to a few museums, sit on the beach, and just hang at the port area. “For you, only 30 euro,” said a typical dark skinned Greek man in a “Green Earth” t-shirt renting ATV’s. 30 euro later, Kyle and I were zipping around beaches trying to find the most picturesque swimming spot; with high rocky cliffs, white sandy beaches, and crystal clear glimmering blue water. On our journey to this paradise we ended up finding the temple of Aphaia, a perfect example of ancient Greece with a mythological story of infatuation and love. We also flew by the temple of Apollo with its one and only pillar standing amidst dozens of the remains of its ancient sanctuary.
The hills seemed to swallow our little ATV but then would suddenly open to the most glorious scenes of mountains and ocean, with islands looming in the misty distance. We followed signs for the Marina, and found ourselves driving by broken down houses, million dollar mansions, and abandoned hotels, where only the shell of these great resorts were left. It seemed almost like our attempt to leave behind temples of our existence. I couldn’t help but wonder, what people will think thousands of years from now when they come across these stone shells. A jerk to the right, as Kyle’s Rhode Island driving skills woke me from my dream state and the Marina was directly in front of us with its perfect white sandy beach and warm luscious water.
The 30 euro ATV was ours for the day, but we needed to be back to the docks around four to disembark back to the city of Athens. A quick dip in the ocean calmed my helmet hair and let me again slip into my dream state, I felt like I was in a movie, I was Alice in her Wonderland, everything was so surreal. The time had come to make our way back across the island, to our port and to turn in our ATV. Quickly cleaning off sand, we would let the wind on the four-wheeler dry our skin, as we plummeted down hills and drifted around turns we came across one more wonder, The Agia Triada Monastery.
The wonderment of this ancient place floored us, and we had to stop to snap a few pictures. Back on the ATV we were back in our movie setting and turning down streets, passing older men and women with grey hair protruding underneath their helmets. After we turned in our keys, we continued to smile about the unexpected day we had, and how these were the best 30 euro’s every spent.
KelseyKeegan, Athens Scholar
Pierce Arrow Blogger