Emmy Trussell, a junior at the University of Alabama, took advantage of an optional excursion offered by GoGlobal to Hydra Island!
A group from our program signed up for a trip to Hydra and we all went on Sunday afternoon. I was really excited because I was with all my new friends and we didn’t know what to expect. The only thing I had heard about Hydra was that there was no motorized transportation and the only way people got around the island, besides walking, was riding a donkey. We grabbed our bathing suits, jumped on the ferry, and then arrived to paradise!
As a group, we were free to do whatever we wanted in Hydra for just a few hours until we had to head back to Athens. When I got off the ferry I immediately noticed all the donkeys hanging out by the dock. There was no question that I was going to ride one right then and there. “Oh my gosh, let’s ride donkeys to the beach!” I said out loud and luckily Suzanne loved this idea! I asked the donkey man, Nicholas, how much it cost and he barely understood any English at all but finally said 10 euro, what a deal! I jumped on the white donkey, Suzanne jumped on the brown donkey, and we headed through Hydra with Nicholas’ guidance.
The donkey ride was fantastic. We didn’t even have to lead ourselves because the donkeys knew exactly which path to take. Suzanne whipped out her phone and started playing some songs for our journey. Nicholas, walking aside of us, liked when she played “Cheerleader” by Omi. Even though we had some trouble communicating, you could tell he thought we were quite entertaining by the way he smoked his cigarettes and tried to sing along.
One thing Nicholas knew in English was “Photo!” spoken in a demand, not a question. Every time we came to a beautiful spot, (which was very often) he stopped us to take our picture with our donkey buddies. We eventually got off at this restaurant right on the beach! We said our goodbyes to our donkeys and to Nicholas. I’ll never forget this beautiful day in Hydra and I hope to go back to see my donkey friends again!