Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's All Greece to Me: Paros Day 1

After our short stay in Athens, we disembarked on the island of Paros and took a cab to the village of Naoussa, where we spent four nights.  Although the breakfast was lacking a bit and there was nothing special about the rooms themselves, we were really, really pleased with our stay at Hotel Christina.  The grounds were beautiful, and the family who owned it was always available and very helpful. Additionally, it was super affordable and only about a 2 minute walk to the picturesque fishing village and marina, where there were plenty of restaurants and shops to stroll through.  Since we were so close to the marina and village center, we quickly ventured out after dropping off our bags. We enjoyed dinner outside at a taverna called Romantica, and then had an after dinner drink right on the sea with the waves literally crashing into our feet.

We're getting warmer.

Looking out our balcony on the first night.

Entrance to the hotel reception office.

Patio area at Hotel Christina.

Toes in the sea.
 Our first day in Paros, we took a small boat out to Kolymbithres Beach, where we did some swimming, snorkeling and lots of reading and lounging.  Also, on many of the beaches in Greece, there were people walking around offering to give you massages right on the beach as you're lying in your lounge chair. At first, I was pretty skeptical, but then I saw several people taking advantage of the offer, and they looked to be a pretty good massages. So when the masseuse came to me, I couldn't resist. I got a 40 minute massage while lying under a shade umbrella with a nice breeze from the Aegean sea keeping me cool for just 15 euros, and it was totally worth it.  We walked to a nearby taverna for a lunch of Greek gyros and a brief respite from the sun before returning to the beach for more swimming, reading and an afternoon cat nap.

The water was electric blue everywhere you looked.

Sailing away from Naoussa.

Since the Greek alphabet was different, we were very thankful for English menus, but some of the translations were quite funny.

The water was so blue yet crazy clear to the very bottom.
After our day at the beach, we showered and headed back to the village center, where we loved walking along the white paved narrow walkways and strolling in and out of stores.  We bought a cool, distressed blue picture frame as a souvenir to display one of our 500+ Greek pictures and played a game of Scrabble on a cafe patio before enjoying dinner at a restaurant called SoSo (English translation). The restaurant SoSo came highly recommended by another couple that we met through the GEP and is living in Switzerland, and it didn't disappoint. It was a small, local feeling, non-touristy atmosphere with phenomenal service. Everything from the fish salad starter to my Mediterranean chicken dish with apricots and almonds to the crisp white wine and complementary chocolate dessert was fresh and delicious.
Dinner at SoSo.

Luke playing with the camera settings at SoSo.

I originally intended to recap all of Paros in one post. However, there are so many pictures from Day 2 when we rented a 4-wheeler and drove all over the island that it deserves its own post. That's coming up next after I run a few errands and meet Luke for lunch.

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