Animals

No Cars Allowed on the Island of Hydra

Nope! I’m already here in Japan, but I’m not done posting my Greece travelogues. As a matter of fact, I still have plenty more to share. I’ll try my darnest to stay or keep up this pace of posting blogs.

… And here’s one of the few unique places in Greece.

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Hydra, an island with no automobile in sight. No motorcycle. No bus. Not even a golf cart. πŸ™‚ Nada!

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Mules, donkeys, and horses are their only means of transportation.

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Thinking about it, this must be hard for a community.Β  No trucks: no concrete mixer truck, no crane truck, not even an ice truck πŸ˜€ . People here have heavy stuffs inside their places: fridge, couch, bed, chairs, tables, all the basic berthing needs. Residents here must be pro heavy-lifters πŸ˜€ .Β  They do use wagons, but it’s still hard to imagine the effort it takes to transport and carry those heavy things.

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But to really think about it, that is how they did it back in the very old days. This may look awful to some people, animals being used for labor, but this was their function when cars weren’t invented yet. The island is so tiny anyways – 52 km square. They don’t really need cars. This system is absolutely feasible for such a small area.

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A little digression …. since I’m on the topic of animals.

What I really feel bad about is how these horses are working hard while there are plenty of cats on the island that are just laying around. πŸ˜€

Just kidding. I actually had my newfangled adoration for cats from living in Greece for a year. I “adopted” three cats on my apartment while I was there.

I named them Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Bwahahahaha! πŸ˜€

Now back to Hydra …

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The only motorized vehicle allowed on the island is – are you ready? – a dump truck. I’m thinking it’s probably because of some waste management and sanitation requirements. But then again, horse poop control is constantly in place. πŸ˜€

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… And they do allow water taxis for transportation, and water vessels to the port.

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My girl happened to discover about Olympic Cruises (Β http://www.olympiccruises.gr/ ). This one-day cruise takes you to three islands: Hydra, Poros, and Aegina. It’s home port is in Athens. I’ll show more of the other two islands, talk more about Olympic Cruises, and I’ll have two Athens post in the future. I’m so glad that I had a travel researcher. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been to one of the most interesting places in Greece, and most probably the least polluted place I’ve ever been to πŸ˜‰ .

Last Call …

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To be completely honest, I don’t think I can live here. πŸ™‚ Lifting or carrying things you acquire all the time just throws me off. πŸ™‚ Plus, I don’t think I can completely give up driving. πŸ˜‰

 

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31 replies »

  1. Wonderful Hydra photos and intermedeate Means of Transport,Rommel!You probably met Gregory who is such a sweet and reliable guy!
    Gregory – Ξ“Ξ‘Ξ—Ξ“ΞŸΞ‘Ξ—Ξ£-,his name,derives from the word (γρηγορος) which means fast.Indeed,he was fast and safe.
    Here is his photo,you can delete it aftering seeing it and having fun.Thank you ~ Doda

    Intermedeate Means of Transport ... Gregory was such a sweet and reliable guy ...

    • Yup! Exactly, Santorini does this donkey-riding as a part of tourists’ “things to do”. It’s so amazing to know that the same thing is being done as a real, on-going day to day function and activity for the locals here.

      • Actually, donkeys are used in everyday life on Santorini. It’s just that so many tourists only see the ‘touristy’ side of real life – anywhere. Onward with your travels and updates, good man!

  2. Are there bicycles there? It is a unique place and it is so beautiful. Is it touristy? This reminded me of Mckinac Island in Michigan where bicycles and horse wagon are the means of transportation but a bit touristy.

    • Dang it, Mona! πŸ˜€ Very good question!!! Geez, I just found out that bicycles are not allowed on the island. I thought the ones that are not allowed are only motorized vehicles. That’s even more awesome to find out that even bicycles are not allowed!
      It was winter season when we went there. I bet people still do pile up during Summer. I’m pretty sure the coming of the ferries is pretty regulated as to not crowd this very small area with too much tourists.

  3. Wow, what an awesome place !! I had never heard of it before, it was so fascinating to read your accounts of stay there! I’d totally dig that place, must be so calm and peaceful and not to forget stunningly gorgeous ! What about other technologies? Are they up to date with all of the other stuff? πŸ™‚

  4. Love this place, even though I’ve never set foot on the Island of Hydra. It must be serene, quiet and yet from your photos so full of life. The place where I live in HK (Lantau Island) only allows golf carts (and public transportation buses), and to me that is heaven…but nothing but mules for transportation. Awesome.

    • I know Avalon in Catalina Island, California also uses golf carts and public transportation only. It’s awesome that this post got comments mentioning of similar system. Thanks for the input, Dalo.

  5. The no cars reminds me of Gili Islands in Indonesia, except for that Gilis are really small. Just 1 square kilometre or so. 52 seems like an awful lot for no motorized transport! We are headed to Japan this weekend for baby’s first trip – you’re not in Kyoto, are you?

    • My apology for the late reply. Funny, I actually signed up for a Kyoto tour that exact same date. But then, I actually had to cancel because I committed into doing something else. Oh boy! Looking forward to seeing your post on Kyoto. I’ll be going there next month.

    • I’m sure they get supplies from the ships, and store a good portion of it. There is no gas station so I’m certain that oil companies hate this place. πŸ˜€

  6. this is awesome! no cars, not even bikes? i wish there were places in the philippines were cars are not allowed. with everybody walking, theyd get more exercise lol i love the size of the town too. hail hydra!

  7. Always love trying to catch up with you, Rommel! πŸ™‚ Hydra is one that got away for me. I always planned the return visit to see Aegina, Poros and Hydra. Poor me! 😦 Beautiful through your eyes.

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