Art of the Aegean Sea

by Samantha Bacchus McLeod

Sailing the Aegean Sea on a Blue Star Ferry when in Greece is a memorable experience never to be forgotten…oh the adventure, like a fairytale full of magical moments.

Travelling Greece will make you dislike your camera, you will be consumed by the visual banquet laid out all around you.

I was so taken by the picture-perfect moments all around me that I could not bear to look away, or look through camera lenses, but there were so many stunning moments that lasted forever that I did find the time to capture a few images (okay like a few hundred but beside my point).

One of the best thing you can do for yourself while in Greece is to take the ferry and just go somewhere, just do it. The ferry ride is an adventure waiting to take you to amazing destinations.

Alladin may have had a green and gold jewel studded carpet to sail across seas but his magic pales in comparison to a Blue Star Ferry’s painted in pristine white and blue. I love sailing upon a sea that dances in little waves catching the sun’s rays in caplets of sparkling diamonds.

Let me tell you about a ferry ride that should be on every bucket list, taking Blue Star Ferries across the Aegean sea. You leave places feeling heartbroken to go, and arrive at places you never dreamed could be so beautiful.

The ferry will depart a port from a place you fell in love with, it will sail by bustling island villages that seem to float on thin air. You will see rugged-lonely mountainous islands with well-preserved churches perched precariously on the peaks, built centuries ago yet as new as yesterday.

The excitement starts building from the moment you wake up intent on going on an adventure. Let’s say you are leaving from Athens? Then, take Metro line 1 towards Piraeus (from 5 am till just after midnight). The terminal station is just across the street from the port. If you’re coming from or going to the airport, change lines at Monastiraki station.

Piraeus is Greece’s main port – the largest in Europe. It is the hub of Greece’s maritime industries and the base for its merchant navy. Facilities at the port include ATM’s, bureau de change, restaurants, cafes, bars and a number of travel agencies selling ferry tickets. Destinations served by the port include the island of Crete, the Cyclades Islands, the Dodecanese Islands, the eastern parts of Greece and parts of the northern and eastern Aegean Sea.

Get there at least an hour before departure so you can get your ticket at the port entrance.

Now head back across the street and get yourself a Cheese pie (A Greek Cheese Pie is a savoury pie that is made with phyllo dough. Either homemade or ready-made phyllo pastry sheets. It is filled with a creamy feta cheese filling and cooked until golden and crispy. It’s utterly delicious and packed with cheesy goodness).

Pair the cheese pie with a Greek frappé  and sit at a cafe on the port and watch the going ons around you. Families lugging huge suitcases filled with city gifts for their country relatives, tourists looking frazzled and excited all at once, young men and women off for their end-of-exams bacchanalia on some party island I know nothing about, and seniors taking grandchildren back to the villages for the summer break.

Ferries in Greece are massive, in the true sense of the word. These blue and white wonders fascinate me. Watching the way they come into a port is like watching an intricate sport, one that displays brawn and pirouettes in stunning synchronicity.

A ferry will approach from the horizon at a fast clip, as it gets close to port it will drop the anchor while making a reverse U-turn towards the dock, the bridge glides down as the ferry turns. Smooth and perfectly executed, like a ballerina’s Tour en l’air, the ferry will spin until it slows to a halt the bridge resting on the dock, and just like a ballerina it will stand still, awaiting its thunderous applause.

I am in awe.

Meanwhile Greeks are unimpressed in their normal fashion of “great expectations met…and found wanting.”

Once you are boarded, ever so efficiently – I am truly stunned by the Greeks ability to process so many passengers so very quickly and effortlessly. You will walk onto the bridge in no particular order, be greeted with smiles and nods from the ushers pointing you to the escalator, and before you know it you will find a vantage spot on the deck and will ignore your cabin/air seats/or indoors. I have spent 7 hours on every trip back and forth on the decks. I can’t bear to leave the balmy, sunny outdoors, the serene sailing of the sea makes me feel like a pioneering explorer.

Cruising the Aegean Sea is a veritable visual feast of which my gluttony for beautiful scenery hold no limits. When you go, look around, look up, and look down. Feel and see the art of the Aegean Sea.


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