Saturday, July 24, 2010

From Paros with Love

Sunday morning bright and early (as in 3:30am) we left Paris en route to Paros, Greece.  We had to fly into Athens first, which quite frankly doesnt even rate a mention. We thought we were in the bronx. It is a dirt hole, with rubbish strewn across every road and derelict houses and it just looks dry like a desert - but ugly. I was actually singing the whole way in the bus without knowing how this song got in my head... "U-G-L-Y, you aint got no alibi, you're ugly". Sorry parents - you probably wont know that one. We only rode from airport to ferry - but it was a good hour of us looking at each other in disgust.

After an 2 hour ferry we arrived in Paros. To be honest, the islands are still very dry and desert like (not the tropical paradise of other islands we've seen), but when we reached the village of Naoussa we were happy. It was like the postcards. Tiny laneways of white and blue buildings, with pink flowers overhanging the balconies. Just gorgeous. It is actually impossible to take a bad photo in Greece. We'll upload some soon.
We've since realised (in comparison to Santorini) that Paros is a quiet island as far as the Greek Islands go. It has enough buzz to feel like a destination, but it has a cruisy, relaxed atmosphere that suits us well as a holiday. You can walk pretty much everywhere once you're in the village and it is simply beautiful.

Our little hotel was run by two guys, George and Michael. Ha. George Michael. This made us laugh.

Day one - we headed out for a greek dinner and a couple of cocktails, but a relatively early night after a long day of travelling.

Day two - we spent the entire day lazing in the sun and around the swimming pool of our hotel. We wandered into town for lunch and shopping.. then back to the pool. This might seem wasteful on a beautiful island, but Naoussa village offered enough entertainment for us, and after a busy 3 weeks were were happy lazing about.

That night, we headed out for drinks. We had sussed out the happy hour of every bar in the village and thought we'd time it so we got to all of them for half price drinks. At the first one though, we encoutered a really lovely bartender who kept serving us bowls of nuts and fresh fruit. Maybe because we were the first ones there. After we'd ordered, he suddenly went inside and changed the music to John Farnham 'You're the voice'. Coincidence?? No. The next song was Men at Work 'I come from the land down under'.

Ok.. so this guy wanted to please us. And he wanted to chat. Turns out his name was Danny, he comes from Pakistan and works in Paros in high season. He told us all about the island and how in September / October it completely closes down. Everyone boards up their shops and leaves and they dont come back until April.. when they start painting everything blue and white again and preparing for the tourist season. Oh, he's also a massive fan of cricket and took to calling Adam "Adam Gilchrist!!' all night.

Danny was so nice that we felt bad about moving on to the next happy hour. So we made friends with a few germans and a fellow aussie.. and we made our own fun. We had them dancing round the bar and playing our catwalk game.. It was classic.

Late in the night we left for yet another yiros. And somehow stumbled home to bed. Made for a tough morning packing and leaving for Santorini the next day.. but we got through. We had time to explore a close-by beach, eat ANOTHER yiros and laze around a bit more, before jumping aboard our ferry. Ahh it is bliss just remembering it...

In summary.... GO TO PAROS! You wont regret it. It is stunning.

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