Once in Aegina…

This picture shows one of the narrow passages we encountered during our walk on the way to Alones.

Move Naturally

The next day of our arrival the very first thing I did was to join Tom during his 45 minutes of Move Naturally: I was really curious to understand what his “MoveNat” is all about.

The principal idea that Tom transferred to me is that human beings were not designed to sit the whole day: very much on the contrary, they were designed to move, run, jump, reach for food from trees, to climb… and of course, how could I forget about it, to crawl. During the training you are encouraged to perform such movements and more in general to find the most efficient way to perform the aforementioned actions. For example, which is the quickest and least energy consuming to get up starting from a lying position? Find out! 🙂

During the 45 minutes of natural movement we were not trying to pump our muscles up, instead we were trying to perform pretty basic movements which require coordination and balance. Trying to balance yourself is one of those activities that actually activate a lot of small muscles that we are not aware of, and that, very often, are not activated while doing repetitions of the same exercise.

Use your body… nothing else!

There is one side which I find particularly interesting and that is that no further elements beside your body are required in order to exercise. You do not need to invest in any kind of training gear. Maybe an exercise mat, should you not already have one. For the same reason I started to look into calisthenics some months ago. One disadvantage of training with your own body weight is the fact, that at the beginning you are not strong enough in order to perform the more interesting exercises of calisthenics. At least that was my case. Even now, after some months of training already, pull ups are a very difficult exercise. And pulls ups, push ups, planks, … I believe are just the basics.

If I think of me, I believe I am stuck at performing the basics exercises. The reason behind it is the fact that I am approaching some exercises that I have never done before: without someone helping to understand if you are strong enough or teaching you how to perform the correct technique I found myself giving up soon and falling back to the more common exercise.

Training by yourself needs a lot of self discipline and the aim should be absolutely clear. And both of those are lacking in my case. 😀 It still is true that, even if not the best solution, what me and some of my friends are doing is helping a lot and I am definitely very happy with it. Without our training sessions I would be so much worse in terms of physical shape (and psychological as well I believe).

How do you feel after a 45 min session?

Together with me there was Alessandro, Johanna, Sibille, Rudolf and of course Thomas who was the team leader, showing us which exercises to perform. It was a nice group, with different ages and everyone could join as the exercises were not demanding (of course they can be if you want to). Once the training was finished I was nicely warmed up, you could feel that you had been moving without being “destroyed” as it happened during the first time that I went to the fitness studio.

Of course I should try for a longer period of time and possibly with a trainer in order to have a better idea of the whole concept, still it seemed to me fun and an intelligent way of getting fit.

The “one hour” walk

After such a nice “warm up” we were ready for the “one hour walk”, as my father described it, which would take us to Alones and to our first greek meal.

The so called “one hour” walk started from Lazarides: the street, very easy to be made on foot even if not tarmacked, takes you through green meadows which are broken by clouds of yellow, white and red flowers. It is impressive how many flowers are to be seen, mostly when you know Greece mainly by the summer time, where everything is just yellow gold as in the hot season it does not rain anymore.

A cloud of yellow flowers…

After one hour of walking there was still no sign of the restaurant, nor of some kind of civilisation. If you were to stay still you would have heard only bees buzzing, birds chirping all over… which is beautiful. Still slowly, slowly we started to be hungry and Jacopo, who had slept quite a while in his stroller, was awake and started to feel annoyed.

After more than two hours of walking we finally reached the Kostas Taverna. It was definitely worth the walk and we enjoyed the lunch so much more… 🙂

One of the beautiful things about greek tavernas is that when you arrive, whatever time of the day it is, whatever the size of the group is, you will always receive to eat quality food. Maybe you have to wait some more, and making the order is quite difficult as nobody knows what is what and who wants what, but in the end you always manage to get something fine to eat. 🙂

Once we finished our launch it was already quite late in the afternoon, most of us were tired and the weather was not promising to get any better, thus we preferred to go back home and chill. 🙂 That’s how nice it is to be on holiday!

Reaching Aegina

Closed the boot, closed the doors, started the engine. With some relief we were sitting in our Celestona, ready to travel to Greece. Relieved because, finally, we were in our car, having packed and loaded everything after having discussed for so long what to take and what no to, having planned well ahead which days to take off from work, which and how many toys take with us… we made it! We were ready to go!

Already the fact of being ready and loaded made us feel as if we already had achieved something. In the truth we had not left the house yet. Awkward. The way to Aegina, a Greek island, was still long.

We managed to reach the airport on time. Even if more expensive and not that shorter, I decided to use the motorway called Pedemontana. It is expensive and the so called free flow payment system easily induces you to forget the payment: it has the advantage that there are almost no cars, therefore the risk of missing the plane because of traffic or an accident is minimal. Just remember that once used, you have 14 days to pay the toll: link. In my opinion it is very easy to forget to pay as, while you are driving to the airport, you are worried about catching the plane; when you come back, you are worried about starting to work again and get ready for the week ahead. It is true though, that after you get the first tickets for not paying you will make everything in order to remember the payment: it is my personal experience writing here! I really wonder how tourist can manage to pay such a motorway, since indications on how it works are very scarce and not always written in English. So, tourist of the world, if you ever happen to use the Pedemontana, remember that in order to avoid expensive fines being sent home, you have to pay online.

Once at the airport I just a harsh exchange of opinions with one of the employees at the security check, as in my opinion she was not paying attention to what was happening under her watch and I could not keep my mouth shut. This cost me a second passage through the security check but nothing else. I mean… if you make me prepare for a check which involves standing patiently in queue waiting for my turn, then I also want to be checked! Not that you keep talking with your colleagues about yesterday’s game of thrones episode turning your back on me and possibly letting me go without considering me. The security employee reacted at my loud sentence Tanto qui nessuno mi controlla meaning Anyhow, here nobody checks on me, turned back on me, made some acid comments and made me have a second security check. With that I had my daily shot of adrenaline.

The plane was kind of boring for Jacopo. It took about 2.5 hours, which is a duration that with some playing (toys needed), some eating and some patience from the other passengers, can be managed.

Once in Athens we met Fox and Florin, who kindly picked us up. Together with Fox we jumped on the first ferry off to Aegina: it was really nice to see Jacopo play with Fox an experienced paediatrician. Beautiful to see how Jacopo could smile and play with a totally new person.

Weather was quite cold as we got there and being on the ferry it was even more windy. Still I could not refrain from taking Jacopo outside to show him the sea and the ships waiting outside the port of Piraeus. And for once I looked at those ships with different eyes, I looked at them thinking about their role in the whole logistic chain. Suddenly some of the topics I covered during my recent studies were real: by looking at containers with Chinese writing on them I thought… Yeah, this is where your amazon stuff comes from.

I do not like Amazon. Great service, huge inventory. I believe it has grown in something way too big and way too powerful, for us human beings. 🙂 In my opinion we are not capable of managing such huge changes without exaggerating… but I will not deepen this discussion in this post, I will just leave it here more as a note for a future post than anything else.

Finally, I could see through the windows of the ship, the column of Apollo. After a whole day of travelling we were arriving to Aegina. We were both looking forward to getting on the island as already two years had passed since last time.

Quickly enough, after having left the ship as a huge herd of sheep finding our way among cars and mopeds, we were on the pier meeting my father and ready for the last piece of the trip: getting home and start unpacking. 🙂

During this holiday I have been really poor at taking pictures, so I believe this time, you will have to deal with lots of words… and imagine a bit more! Enjoy! 😀

Being pushed while sitting on the trolley is definitely fun! 🙂