Like any good trip, ours began with a long day and a half of travel. We arrived in Athens early on a Sunday morning in a jet lagged daze but day-1 good spirits. The streets were mostly empty, and we oooh-ed and ahh-ed over the honey-suckle-smelling jasmine, bumping our bags through the cobblestone streets, the air hot vibrating with the buzz of cicadas.
We had several hours before our ferry to the islands, so we read books on park benches and eventually made our way to a restaurant at the top of a hill where we had our first Greek meal overlooking the city from their gracious balcony. Moussaka, grilled eggplant wrapped with feta and mint, carafes of chilled red wine, bread with pink vinegar and of course the classic greek salad. We had hours to kill and were concerned that they might not let us stay so long, but we quickly were reminded of the luxuriously long amount of time Europeans spend at tables.
Later that day we took the metro to the dirty port town of Pireaus and boarded the ferry to Paros. Does anyone else sleep really well on the water? We conked out on the top deck and when we woke up, the sun was setting and Paros was in sight.
Once in Paros we headed north on the island to Naoussa, a small fishing village known for it’s quaint boutiquey low-key vibe. Our hotel was the most adorable, greeting us with milky white iced ouzo and pointing out nice places to visit on the map.
One of our favorite things to do on our first night in a new country is head right out to the town no matter what the time is and cheers a cold drink under the stars. People watching on Khao San Road in Thailand at 3:30 in the morning was quite the experience,
but Naoussa was far more tame. It was midnight and children were hopping down the streets with their parents, big groups of glitzy teens just sitting down to dinner. Everything was open and seemed to be just get started for the evening.
The night culture is one thing we never truly got into– the sleep til 3, beach til 8, dinner at 12, party til 5 isn’t really our scene, but it sure was fun to speculate on.
(We’re more of sleep til 10, beach til 3, play cards and read books til 6, dinner at 8, sleep at 1 type of people.)
Each of the islands we visited were different, but I dare say I loved Paros most. It felt so neighborhood-y, so familiar. We had “our beach” (a small 50-person cove) right across the street and an 8-minute walk to the center of town past tavernas and ice cream shops. The picturesque white cubed houses and maze of alleys is exactly what I’d hoped for, and all the restaurants spilled out on to the sand.
Waking up early and wandering around with my camera is another one of my travel traditions– my way of getting creatively re-charged and connecting with new surroundings. Usually I’ll take a morning stroll and another in the golden hour on different days. These snaps were from “our neighborhood” but tomorrow I’ll share more from our adventures around the rest of the island. Hope you enjoy!