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blog no. 4

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Don’t visit Paros! We want to keep it for ourselves. But if you insist, definitely stay at the Paros Hotel. I know what you’re thinking. The Paros Hotel? It sounds so bland and kitch. But it’s actually the best accommodation we’ve ever had on these islands and perhaps off them too. Our room faces the sea. We can walk 50 meters to a pristine and calm beach. And the owners Tassos and Jenny and their children Vassili and Pella, otherwise known to me as “Cutie” are the best!

The day before yesterday (yes we have some catching up to do) we rented a car and lo and behold, a Mercedes appears. It happens to be the only automatic available. This is our first time renting a car outside North America, but we’re persuadedby Jenny that it’s worth it, She supplies us with a map and marks all the sights for swimming and eating fish and tells us to just follow the only road around the island. Well, it wasn’t quite that easy. There were some cliffs on this winding hilly road that at best is two lanes and there are decisions to be made about which turn to take at numerous points but generally it was a lot of fun and we made it round the island stopping at Aliki to swim in the most beautiful bay and then went on to visit a mountain village called Levkes which levt ua hot and tired and dying to get out of there. It seems closed down and unhappy, but very clean. Next we stopped at Kolimvythres Beach for lunch at an authentic home style resto. Then it was back to the winding road with a few wrong turns and finally home to the Paros Hotel and our friends.

The next morning (somehow we managed to keep the car from 11 am the first day until 4 pm the second day) we drove up another steep and winding road to Marcello Beach, another exquisitely clean, blue part of the bay, where we swam with abandon until it was time to return the Mercedes. There’s something about getting into your air conditioned car and driving off when you feel like it that makes renting a car worth it, at least for a day or two.

Today we decided to take a ferry to Naxos for the day, an island 45 minutes away from Paros. What can we say about Naxos. It seems to have all the Greek Island amenities, an Old City with shops, a kilometer or two of cafes and restaurants basically offering the same thing, and a swimming beach about 500 meters from the town, which was soothing after walking around in the heat, but really not as clean or magical as Paros beaches. So we left after six hours, happy to come “home” to Paros. We met two Vancouverites in Naxos at the beach, retired women who spend three months a year in Naxos, their favorite island. Choosing a favorite island is a bit like choosing an ice cream flavor and for us Paros is the right combination of our favorites, cherry and vanilla.



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