Blog No. 3
We were met at the main port of Paros by a phalanx of accommodation hustlers, at least two of them with the same name – Jimmy and Jimmie – offering deals on rooms. We were looking for Mike’s, recommended in the guide book, but succumbed to the offer of a no-commitment ride on behalf of one of the Jimmy’s to look at a room. It wasn’t bad at 35 Euros a night, but not what we were looking for. He drove us back to a second hotel that had no rooms, so we decided we’d go back to our time-honoured method of finding our own.
And we found a the perfect place, Hotel Paros, an older, renovated hotel, blue and white, and immaculate, right opposite the calm inviting Sapphired colored sea. Jenny, an Australian Greek and her husband, an American Greek from Chicago took over her family’s hotel six years ago and come from Athens every year for the tourist season, May to end of October. They have done a splendid job renovating and maintaining this haven of tranquility and beauty, protecting it from the salt water, and they do it all! They also run the Beach Café which fronts the hotel serving all manner of international snacks and salads, including Margaritas and Tacos and full list of breakfasts. Their kitchen, which you can view in all its glory when you walk in the front door, is huge and inviting and so is their hospitality. Jenny kindly made room for us when we decided to stay more than our typical two days. In fact we are so in love with this little stretch of paradise, we have hardly left the area and are planning on staying a total of five days.
As we sit on our balcony with a lovely view of the sea, we thank our intuition and Jenny, whom we knew upon first site was the hostess with the mostess. We shop for our salad and morning yogurt with almonds at the nearby grocery open till 3 am. Next door is a terrific fish restaurant where ate last night, sampling tasty lightly fried calamari and equally light zucchini which we dipped into our tzatziki and savored along with the local fish filet with garlic sauce.
As soon as we dipped our limp bodies into the sea, we knew we had found the paradise, at least on earth. This was not a two-dayer, or even a three-dayer – at least a four-or-more, we both agreed. The water is so clean and calm and the air so fresh, the wind so soothingly gentle. You have only to avoid stepping on the sea urchins, which look like small rocks but inflict painful strings when stepped upon. And who can blame them? Their presence is a sign of clean water, because they cannot survive if there is any filth. We were advised to walk 50 metres to the left to avoid it entirely.