Included here are a few highlights of our first adventures on Paros.
These excerpts are mostly taken from emails home to our son and other friends. Karin uses her literary talents with some editing by Michael. There are more pictures in our Photo Gallery.
The most current information is found in our Paros Paradise blog.
We went snorkelling
Michael wanted to walk out to the end of the peninsula where the sea meets the bay. It was very clear, but very very deep. I did not have the courage to go in....he did and enjoyed it. Said he saw different fish than in the bay also that the depth made it more dramatic...so when he finished I went into the bay and snorkeled in shallower water. I also saw fish, and a huge school of tiny fish. It was fun to swim through them, they don't seem to mind! Michael said he went through a school of fish that the sunlight made look purple.
Tonight's sunset was spectacular...an ultra-light was flying through the picture perfect scene...red sunset with a glittery path across the lavender and pinkish water...islands dark purple in the background, a ferry boat catches the sun and shines golden...a scattering of little fishing boats...on the island across from us lights starting to twinkle like distant stars...but wait! Am I in heaven or Paros? My guess is - it is both!!!
Kolimbithres Mycenean SiteThis is the site we climbed to early one morning before it got too hot! (We had seen it earlier in the week but were tired from swimming and beer)
This site is Mycenaean about 1500-1200 BC. It was called an Acropolis because it was built on a high site overlooking the area. Below us but out of view is a smallish plateau where the foundations of houses are, but it was impossible to climb down and the only way was blocked intentionally I think to keep people from going down and digging for antiquities. What I am resting on is a reconstruction of a pillar base or wall. It is impossible to know what is what because it is so old. The view in the photo is totally washed out but you can get an idea anyway of the edge of the bay where we swim. This site is about 25 minutes from where we live....by old roads.
is part of the beach where we swim...it is sandy a long ways out, then gets
deeper, then shallow again, so it is funny to be in the deep part and see people
further out standing up! These rocks are surrounding the beach on one end making
it dramatic. The water is crystal clear in my picture, but perhaps it does not
come out so in yours! The rocks are sandstone and wind sculpted into weird
shapes. After swimming we go to the taverna which is just over the rocks. A
hotel appears up on the side of the hill in the trees, and the Mycenaean site is
also just up on the hills above this picture.
Fish: Yesterday when
swimming at Aliki, I saw my first brightly colored fish. Usually they are
pale almost transparent, but interesting designs on them. Also some are
quite large. Well, yesterday I got braver and went with my snorkel over
some rocks. There it was...lime green, peacock blue and rust!!!!
Beautiful markings....he was quite big about 10 inches long. He was
chasing the other fish from the area and then would rub his side fins on
the rocks and other stuff that grows there. (looks like flowery
mushrooms). I think he was marking his territory or maybe it was a
she....I don't know about fish life! Anyway, it was amazing and I followed
it quite awhile. Later on a school of large normal fish came through. They
cast shadows that made it look like twice as many! Tiny fish come close to
the shore at ankle height - Dad said to be careful of the black spiny
things (they live on rocks) as they leave their stingers in you,
thankfully they seem to stay in bunches in deeper water and I do not like
to swim near them. Last night we went to a new beach called Parosporos...for
a quick swim....beautifully sandy far out and far wide!!! No fear of black
spiny things there! Warmer currents are now starting to appear....bath tub
is amazingly fun....wow, so many types ranging from the good, the bad and the
ugly. From all classes, from all religions, from all cultures. An amazing amount
of very young looking backpackers....I wonder if their mothers know where they
are? in fact almost everyone looks young and beautiful! (especially on the
beaches). When we first started out in Crete in early May, a lot of tourists
appeared to be our age....so I did not look or feel out of place on the
beaches.....But when it gets into full swing...well the beautiful young topless,
and body perfect nudes will send me into spasms of realizing I am indeed old
even if I think young! Oh well....as I keep reminding myself over and over....I
had my hay day! And still am!
Food vs. Cooking.....Obviously eating out is more versatile, but unfortunately not as economical - not even in Greece! The restaurants here have different levels of eating...same as anywhere. We enjoy eating a quick bite at the outside cafes. They can come in a variety of price ranges.....also the tavernas which have the ouzo and other drinks plus really good food. Almost all restaurants are outside, even when you go inside and eat between 4 walls, just look up and the ceiling is missing!! Usually it is covered with vines of flowers, or grapes, or rush mats, and often you can see the stars at night! It can be on the sea literally on the beach, or just about anywhere. One interesting aspect is that you are encouraged to go into the kitchen to see the food prepared...in fact, they often insist you go look! Looking sells....it is hard not to drool over the pots cooking away. Tavernas usually have a good variety to choose from, but it would be cooked by the owner's wife in the kitchen. (not a chef, or even a hired cook...more home cooked).
These are some of the foods we seem to eat: gyros or souvlaki's in pitta, (pork or chicken); greek salads (cucumber, tomato, green peppers, olives, feta cheese with olive oil and vinegar; tost (toasted sandwiches made with baguettes - squished down pretty flat with just about anything in it....usually ham, tomato, etc.); omelettes; moussaka; grilled squid (which Michael likes); some other fish dinners which I can't think of the names of. These are the cheaper foods. Oh yes, a starter that I love, and have tried to make is made from gigantic white beans in a tomato sauce, and sometimes some sausage tucked in. The added spices make it a truly wonderful meal even in itself. And we also like the dolmatha's (stuffed vine leaves.) Read about a Culinary Discovery here.
Paros has their own local wine that is reasonably good. Both red and white. We drink it more at home than in a restaurant. Of course we drink ouzo. And the cold coffees, Frappe. Everyone and I mean everyone carries around water to drink....because the sun is relentless, and you sweat a lot, leaving you dying of thirst. It is probably the no. 1 best seller!! We have found no difference in the taste vs. price. All water is cheap....a 500 ml bottle in Ireland costs 65 pence, here it costs the equivalent of 28 pence! Our 6 packs are water, not beer! Michael drinks Amstel beer because it is reasonably priced. I have found a recipe for lemonade that is very good and the lemons here are cheap. Oh yes, we bought a big bottle of ouzo. Dad figured out each glass (normal restaurant serving size) costs us about 25 cents each serving (30 cents USD)!!! It is about 1.50 Euro in the restaurants...still making it a nice affordable daily drink!!!
Please see our Table of Contents for more of interest.
Newsletter Archive for more of our personal story
Paros Paradise Blog -- An almost daily dose of island life
Was there something Greek that you wanted to buy but didn't? We can recommend Greek Shops. They have high quality merchandise at reasonable prices as well as separate delivery centers for both Europe and the USA. Just like browsing the Plaka in Athens without the air fare.