Greece-Hydra Island

Hydra (ĺdra) is one of very few islands which has managed to avoid the influence of modern times and to hold on to its character unchanged.  The city is built like an amphitheater, and is an example of impressive aesthetic architecture.  The first image that meets the visitor’s eye as he enters the harbor is one that has become a subject for the canvases of great painters.


The ramparts and cannons that dominate the left and right sides of the harbor entrance bring to mind the glorious past of the island during the Greek War of Liberation (1821-1829).  Transporation on the island is limited to donkeys and bicycles, as the use of motor vehicles is prohibited by law.  The overriding element of the island is stone.  The stone-paved alleyways of Hydra meet seemlessly with the flowers pouring over the courtyards of the houses and the old stone mansions of the island.  The aesthetic enjoyment of Hydra is unique.  Perhaps this image is one of the reasons that Hydra was for many years Leonard Cohen’s refuge and the source of inspiration for many of his works.  Hydra is a magnet for the international jet set, while at the same time one of the favorite destinations of Athenians for romantic getaways and a few breaths of fresh air.

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