The upside

On Saturday, just two days after the ‘monsoon’, the day dawned bright and beautiful. Fishing boats bobbed about in the port of Rafina, near Athens,



overlooked by a picturesque chapel, white against a pure blue sky.



Motor boats and yatchs waited for their owners to take them out.



A short boat ride away is the large and beautiful island of Euboea. Euboea (or Evia, as we call it), is the second largest island in area and population in Greece, after Crete, and separated from the mainland by the narrow Euripus straight. It has stunning mountains as well as lovely beaches.



Here we indulged in a freezing but invigorating swim in the turquoise waters.



Then lunch in a nearby taverna called Platanos,


Where the tables were set under the plane trees.



The owner had caught this fish (a type of grouper) himself that very morning. He’s a keen fisherman and regaled us with the story of his other catch, which weighed 14 kilos! Ours was preceded by his deliciously crispy cheese pies, salad with tomatoes and feta cheese, was accompanied by hand-cut fries, and followed by yoghurt drizzled with honey.



The port of Rafina is around 30′ from the centre of Athens. For the boatless, there is a regular ferry-boat and this taverna, remote as it looks on the photos, is a few minutes away from landing.

An easily accessible day out and one of many such options for escape from Athens. It beats being downtown where two out of every three shops are shut. I suppose that’s one of the reasons why we can bear to stick it out.  (Sigh…)