Paros was the smallest of the three islands we visited, and of the 4 days we had there, one was spent motorbiking through all the small towns, checking out local art galleries, cafes and any other place that caught our eye: a beach that was like a ski resort but for wind surfers– covered in an epic amount of colorful kites. Or Kolimpithres National Park, where all the rocks looked to me like sleeping walrus. We really didn’t plan or bookmark too many things this trip, we just wanted to relax, enjoy, and see where the roads took us.
Greece isn’t the wealthiest country and the island back country looks a bit like Baja- a lot of partial construction projects, small stucco homes, rundown cars and bikes, chaparral and prickly pear. One of my favorite things about the landscape (besides the bright blue water and bougainvillea, clearly) was all the robust fruit trees around– despite the dry climate, pomegranate, fig, olive and citrus trees were thriving everywhere we looked.
Another funny thing about Greece that surprised us was the food– while it was delicious, there was not much variety, and a lot of the dishes served in greek restaurants in America are actually Israeli, Moroccan or from other areas in the Mediterranean. So pretty much every restaurant served 5-6 greek classics, and then pizza and pasta. Luckily being veggie was no problem, and the surroundings were beautiful.
To get from Paros to Naxos, we headed back to the main port town, Parikia, which is much larger and with more nightlife and commerce but otherwise similar to Naoussa. I spent the hour while we waited for our ferry adventuring through more of the mazed alleys, poking in all the shops and collecting all the flowers. These purple ones in particular are all over Paros, wrapped into wreaths. They seemed significant but no one seemed to know what they were called! Below are some photos of my favorite shop, full of ceramics, bright textiles and so much white.
It was hard to say goodbye to Paros. Everything was such delight to the senses and it felt like home. I’ve always envisioned growing old in Greece— so maybe we will meet again?