27 April, 2010

Day Trip to Aegina

We went to Aegina this Sunday.



Actually we wanted to go to Nafplio, but an unfortunate incident stopped us to go there. We were planning to get a bus to go to Kifissou Bus Terminal, but the bus that should have taken us there was running a different route as usual because of the Sunday Market and we did not know that. Here in Greece this kind of information is something you should know a priori, even though there is no way of learning it except from kindly neighbours.

Anyway, so we gave up going to the Bus Terminal and caught a boat to Aegina instead. One way ticket costs 9.50 euros on Hellenic Seaways ferries and it takes 65 min. It was 6.50 euros in 2006, up about 30%. There is a cheaper ticket of 7 euros on Agios Nectarios (it is the name of the ship and I don't know the name of the shipping company). There are also speed boats (Flying Dolphin), but you can save only 20 min or so for paying 4.5 euros more.

Eventually we had a quite pleasant time in Aegina town. We did no go anywhere else, having already visited in the past Saint Nectarios Church, Aphaia Temple, and Agia Marina.

Although passing tourists tend not to realise, Aegina town is quite beautiful with all these Neo-Classical buildings and bright colours. We enjoyed coffee by the sea and beautiful lunch again by the sea (where else!?)

And of course we bought pistachio nuts, famous produce of the island. In Greece pistachio nuts are called 'peanuts of Aegina' (φιστίκια Αιγίνης). But you are fooled if you believe that all the pistachio nuts sold in Aegina are from Aegina. As the tourists seek after pistachio nuts there, there are shops that sell pistachio from elsewhere.

I don't doubt that the pistachio from other parts of Greece (and of the world) can be tasty as well, so far as the quality is high. But if you want to try pistachio from Aegina - reputed to be the best in Greece - it is better to go to the Aegina Agricultural Association's booth in the port. The price is higher than in other shops around, but not much more than the ones in Skravenitis Supermarket and, above all, you can be sure that their nuts are produce of Aegina. I think we paid €6.70 for half a kilo (the bag in the photo above). They are actually very good, although they are smaller and the shells are darker in colour than the standard ones. Try by yourself. You can buy from 100g package.

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