Greece: Part 2

The same day that we visited the ancient sights in Athens, we took an afternoon ferry to the island of Paros in the Cyclades group of islands, which includes Santorini and Mykonos. We chose Paros because it is a slightly less popular destination in the Cyclades but it still has beautiful sights and beaches. We like a more laid-back atmosphere and we thought it would be better for G, as well.

The ferry was by far the hardest part of the trip with G. I think he may have been seasick, and I definitely was, and a 45-minute screaming tantrum was almost unbearable in those cramped quarters. Add to that the fact that the people around us were transparently angry and outright rude about the fact that he was crying. This was not our experience at all on the plane, where everyone we met was very helpful. By the end (3 hours), G and I were both exhausted and sick.

Thankfully, as soon as we got to our hotel on Paros, we were in heaven. The Sunset View hotel is about a 10-minute walk from the port (they send a car to pick you up at the ferry with your luggage), and was the most beautiful, relaxing hotel. The views from it were stunning, the pool was gorgeous, breakfast each day was simple and delicious, and the food from the snack bar was great. The staff was so accommodating, helpful and friendly, which makes a good vacation great. We stayed in a 6-person suite, which had one bedroom with a king bed and twin (S, G and I shared the king and the twin was unused), a middle room with a tv and two more twin beds, a bathroom, and an eat-in kitchen that also had a twin bed in it. It may sound like a strange set up, but we were staying with family, so it was perfect. Each room opened up to the shared veranda with big glass doors and gauzy curtains. The veranda had gorgeous views over Parikia (the port city) and the port, and the sunsets were amazing (as the name implies)! I can’t say enough about how much we loved Sunset View.

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The marble staircase is the entrance to the main hotel, pool area, and dining area. The tunnel to the left is the entrance to the apartment we stayed in.

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This was the flower-lined covered walkway that led to our apartment.

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The pool.

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The view from the pool.

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Another view of the pool and the main part of the hotel.

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The first day we went to the beach, which was a short walk from the hotel. G loved short swims and lots of playing in the sand.

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Afterwards, we walked around Parikia a bit. There were so many beautiful things to see, I couldn’t stop taking pictures! All of the buildings are whitewashed with doors and windows painted in bright candy colors. Fragrant plants cascade out of massive terracotta pots, marble steps lead into humble homes, intricate doors and gates pop off of the simple stucco walls, and the bougainvillea that grows rampant was in full bloom while we were there.

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G waiting for the sunset after his bath.

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A sweet spot on our veranda.

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S and G checking out the tree growing out of the veranda.

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Another day, we rented a car and drove to Lefkes, a village in the middle of Paros where traditional ways of living are still practiced. We didn’t go into the village, but walked up a stone pathway to the top of a hill, passing a few small houses with huge gardens full of fig and olive and pomegranate trees, until we got to the top where there were spectacular views.

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This is the miniature van we drove around that day. After we left Lefkes, we wanted to head over to Naoussa, which was described to us as a charming fishing village on the other side of the island. There are only a few main roads on Paros, and they are not named. We did have a map, and we started driving on a road we thought would lead us to Naoussa, but soon found ourselves on a type of road I’ve only seen in movies. It was a road winding up the side of a mountain, big enough for only one car, with no guardrail and straight drops down the mountain on one side! We were all so scared, and S was driving standard for the first time, trying to go slow without stalling on the hill. When we finally found a spot to turn around, we were on top of the highest mountain on the island! Of course we had to get out to take photos, but none of them come close to doing these views justice. It was a terrifying experience but I’m really glad we saw those views.

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After getting safely off the mountain, we did finally make it to Naoussa, which was every bit as charming as its reputation. We had lunch at a street cafe and spent time walking through the winding little streets (more like alleyways) filled with amazing shops.

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Views of the beach in Naoussa.

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The trees were whitewashed halfway up! We never found out why.

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G taking a cat nap.

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Near the water, you could see the fishing boats with their huge nets, and restaurants had octopi drying on racks outside.

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And cats. So many cats. Everywhere.

I’ll be back with one more post on our trip, soon! And then, lots of house updates.

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