The Paros Paradox (Part 1)

Who would have thought! An exquisite meal at an eye-watering price followed by music, dancing and all you can eat and drink for €9. Why didn’t we see that first? A totally crowded busy place to chill, unwind and relax. How does that work? A swim in a bay on a deserted island or squeezing between umbrellas and sun-beds, soft sandy beaches or pebbles that will remove the skin. But most fascinating -the human contingent- multinational, multicultural, multilingual – all ages all economic backgrounds from the gypsy beggars to the galactic billionaires – Paros has it all.

Sitting here in the port watching giant ferries disgorge their complement of trucks, cars and humans into a tiny town buzzing with whistle blowing traffic cops, death defying scooter drivers and buses that seem to shrink and flex through the morass of vehicles, we finish at the beginning.

It was here at the bustling port that we met up with Nev and Cathy just ten days ago. We were running on Greek time- about an hour or so late. It didn’t matter. We were on holidays. To start- we picked up our car, checked into Margarita’s house and headed to the Kolymbithres taverna for our first of many Greek salad and calamari lunches. It was delicious!!

We had all been to Paros before, but together, this was our first time. In the evening we drank cocktails at sunset with our feet in the water, indulged in frivolous fashion folly at a fabulous boutique and got lost in the labyrinthine streets of Naousa. Our morning schedule involved a quick drive to Kolymbithres for a dip then a walk to the bakery for bread and croissants and then a discussion of the day plan.

None of us knew what the festival was celebrating but it was the highlight of our holiday in Paros. Entry was nine euro and that gave us music, dancing and as much food and wine as we could consume. Of course, we overindulged and made total fools of ourselves, but everyone was there to eat drink and be merry and we fitted right in.

Antiparos was a treat. We had a car, so we took that on the ferry to the adjacent island – a seven-minute crossing but involving manoeuvring our vehicle, in reverse, into the tightest possible space on deck- the idea being to get as many paying passengers and vehicles onto the boat as possible. Then of course there is parking on the island.

Eventually we found a spot and set off to explore the single main street festooned with pink and purple bougainvillea and generously sprinkled with as many exclusive boutiques as tacky tourist shops.

Then to The Beach House for lunch. How terribly hedonistic! It was fabulous! John nailed it again. Nev and Cath were to leave the next day for another adventure and we headed to a studio apartment and another page of Paros.

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