We had such a fantastic final week of our European Adventure 2015 in Greece with our friends, Jim and Debbie.
Greece is amazing. The food is delicious and cheap. Everyone we met spoke at least a little English which made getting around pretty easy. Except the buses… apparently you have to watch for your bus number coming, then jump out in front of it to get it to actually stop at a designated bus stop. We did not do that, so we waited for a long time, then eventually took a different bus that someone else got to stop.
We arrived in Greece in the middle of the night and made it to a hotel neat the Piraeus Port. After sleeping in the next morning, we jumped on an afternoon ferry to Paros Island. We celebrated with our first Greek beer!
We made to Paros in time to settle into our bunks on the good ship Morpheus before enjoying an incredible dinner right on the water in Paros. Did I mention that the food was REALLY, REALLY good! Standard fair included Tzatziki and pita bread, Greek salad, stuffed grape leaves, so much seafood, and yummy veggie dishes. We often went for Gyros when we wanted something quick instead of a big meal. mmmmmmmmm.
Day one, the winds were supposed to pick up and our friend, Jim, was itching to get some kite boarding in. We dropped Jim off at the kite boarding beach and Bret, Debbie, and I circumnavigated the island of Paros. We stopped for an incredible lunch in a small, beach town (calamari and octopus) and made it to the mountain town mid-afternoon. Things tend to shut down in the late afternoon in Paros (then they pick up again in the early evening), so there was not much to see other than views of the ocean. We cruised back to the kite boarding beach and had evening cocktails on the beach.
Day two, Bret was feeling a little under the weather and the winds were up. Debbie, Bret, and I again dropped Jim off for some kite surfing and we hopped on the ferry to Antiparos (claim to fame… Tom Hanks has a house there). We had a nice lunch in the ferry town, then explored a giant cave. The cave is apparently home to the oldest stalagmite in Europe! It has been an attraction since the late 1600s and there are signatures from all sorts of visitors all over the cave. The oldest date we could find was 1776.
We made it back to town in time for sunset cocktails.
The next day, the winds were still up and the forecast was looking at more of the same for at least a few more days. It wood be at best uncomfortable and at worst dangerous to try to sail outside of the protected port in Paros. It looked like our best chance to see another island would be to take a ferry, so Bret and I jumped on a ferry for the island of Ios. We stayed at a nice hotel in the port town and hiked up to the mountain town for dinner. We stumbled upon the prime sunset watching spot at exactly the right time.
We ate dinner at Sally’s place!
The next day, we hiked over to a really beautiful beach for a morning swim before we caught the afternoon ferry.
We had a long ferry ride back to Paros, but it gave us a chance to see some other islands (and put them on the list of places we need to get back to someday!). Don’t worry, we made it back into for sunset cocktails!
The weather, stubbornly, remained unchanged for our final two days in the Cyclades. Luckily, there was plenty to do on Paros to keep us happy. We even went for a couple of train runs along the coast. We ate well, and enjoyed a couple more incredible sunsets before heading back to Piraeus on the ferry.
After a long, crowded ferry ride, we had a really nice afternoon in Athens. We explored the ancient Agora and had great views of the Acropolis and saw lots of torsos.
There was lots of good and bad graffiti near our hotel. From our window we could see this homage to both my mother and my niece!
We got our last sunset cocktail on the roof of our hotel… pretty sweet view.
After another dinner that could not be beat, we flew back to Paris the following morning and started the long journey home. Pretty nice view of the Alps from the plane though.
We can’t thank Jim and Debbie enough for hosting us on their beautiful sailboat. Although it would have been real fun to get to sail around on Morpheus… the gods were not on our side. Or maybe they were, Paros was a pretty nice place to be ‘stuck’ for a week.