There is so much to write about, I am not even sure where to begin. This is my problem when I leave my writing for a day or two. So much happens in between, I have to jot down little notes for myself, so I don’t forget all the awesome activities, conversations, situations or experiences I come across. I clearly can’t include everything, but I will do my best to give you the most interesting bits on my fairy tale greek island hopping adventure.
Reluctantly I left Santorini by ferry, bound for Naxos. I had fallen in love the minute my nose smelt the sea hair on this highly energetic volcanic island. Alas, there were more islands to explore and more adventures to be had.
By chance I parked my butt on a bench next to a ginger haired, Syrian/American Doctor, as I waited to board the super fast ferry to Naxos island. Immediately striking conversation, he was on his own debaucherous and independent tour of the islands; drinking, partying, and generally enjoying a rare break between finishing a job and starting in a new hospital in Chicago. He was great company, easy to hang out with, and made the ferry ride super fun, even being a gentleman and carrying my bags, so nice. We talked medical stuff, love that, and chit chatted about life. On board with us was a big party of boys, celebrating with beers and cheers and big smiles. They were on a bucks party, and the buck was dressed in a bright multicoloured leotard, with a pink bum bag sheepishly placed across his man bits. They were all very chatty and friendly, hailing from the UK, Sydney, Dubai and Chicago coincidently. They made the ferry crossing even more entertaining and light hearted, and it was great to see them enjoying themselves.
Once at Naxos I waved good bye to my new friend, he was off to Mykonos. I was collected at the port and taken to my lovely art deco hotel complete with fresh mint and aqua blue swimming pool. I loved it! In the evening I wandered through town and took some photos at sunset. I then power walked with glee to see Tarzan at the outdoor cinema located about 80m from my hotel. I was so happy to see a movie, unwind and enjoy the enchantment of Africa, ripped abs of Tarzan and enjoy the evening under the stars. I felt very happy with myself.
Early the next morning I made my way to the pool, ready to swim, read my book and relax a little. Soon I made friends with a lovely lady from Norway and her cute blonde kids. We bonded quickly and talked openly about life, and whatever else sprung to mind. Going out on a limb I asked if I could join her for her plans to go to the local beach; she was more than happy to have me along. And it turned out to be such a fantastic day, and hopefully a lasting friendship!
We walked to the beach, splashed around in the cool water and small but surf-able waves. By mid afternoon her partner joined us and we decided on a feast for lunch, sitting at a table right by the sea. It was incredible to be eating on the beach sand, waves almost lapping at our feet. After several wines and some ouzo, it was time to wander through town, and sample some local freshly made ice-cream. Mango coconut and honey vanilla was my choice and even though I was completely stuff, the creamy goodness was close to some of the best ice cream I have ever had.
On the walk home we popped into a few shops, and it was decided we all had to buy hats and have a hat party later that night! So fun! By the time we got back to the hotel, it had been a full day out, I was exhausted, but relaxed and happy to have found some new friends to spend quality and connected time with. I showered, and dressed up a little, completing my outfit with my newly bought hat, and made my way to the Norwegians for drinks and light supper on the balcony. We sat out for a number of hours, enjoying the sunset, blue cheese and crackers, wine and ouzo, chatting and watching the sun go down and turn into a warm comfortable breeze. Reluctantly I went home around 1am, ready to sleep and rise early for my full day trip touring the island. I had one of the best days of my trip on this day, thanks so much Unni!
I boarded the bus feeling quite good, but soon my previous nights efforts rendered me speechless for the first hour or two. Holding back a strong urge to hurl, last nights ouzo consumption now seemed like a terrible idea. But it tasted so good! Opa!! I wanna smash plates! Lol. I very quickly got into the Greek mood and think plate smashing is an excellent idea. Haven’t seen it happen yet…although I also haven’t been to any Greek weddings!
Foul body odour wafted from the hairy armpit of the hippie lady in front of me, bringing waves of smelly pungent off sweat. If my hangover and movement from the jolting bus wasn’t enough to cope with, that was the final piece of the nauseating puzzle. But I can’t be mean, turns out stinky pits was from Scotland and was lovely! I over looked the b.o. and ended up becoming friends with her and her family, and they really were all very nice. To be fair I only recently was coming first in an arm pit hair growing competition. When in Greece why not let all that hairy inner spirit grow right out of you? Lol. You will be pleased to know I became slightly embarressed by my surprisingly bushy pits so they had to go. Sigh.
My day trip was awesome; I am so glad I went on a tour because I saw so much more this way. I saw how fertile and arid the island was, and how mountainous too. We visited small villages and new beaches, churches, ruins and an olive oil factory shop where we sampled tasty jams and oils and some home made lemon olive oil cake, and so much more. Oak trees, grape vines, and fig trees dotted the sides of the road, as we continually switched back and forth down the dog legged mountain. Brown and dry mountains, laced with hand made walls, stone by stone, they enabled vegetation to continue growing and prevented erosion. I was impressed by the aromatic thyme the tour leader picked off the side of the road. It smelt divine, I wanted to slide the crusty dry herb off its stem and hold it in my palm to keep sniffing, but it wasn’t mine to enjoy. All the fresh herbs on the mountain sides were impressive, I loved this place!
I rested on my final evening, reading, relaxing and getting an early night ready for my departure to another island the next morning. Saying goodbye to the Norwegians was sad, but hopefully I will get the chance to go and visit them in January for some skiing and to see the brilliant Northern lights.
Climbing aboard the ferry I latched on to an adventurous English couple, chatting gleefully the whole way over to Paros. Again I was met at the port, and brought to my new hotel run by a Canadian lady. My room was simple, had a great balcony and views to the ocean, but sadly no pool. However, it didn’t seem like there would be time to use one anyway.
I went out on foot to explore my new paradise and was pleasantly surprised to discover a clear coastline, quaint little rustic arcades, good shops and plentiful cafes and restaurants. I lashed out and bought myself some new silver jewellery and was pleased to discover my favourite symbol represented in lots of the silver jewellery. I have been doodling this concentric circle since I can remember, and I was surprised to learn that it means ‘life, energy and eternity’. Having so much death around me, knowing that my inner soul reached for life and eternity, brought a quick wet tear to my eye. My loving parents were close by, I could feel them almost hold my hand as I wandered the stoney white plastered streets.
By chance I stumbled across a cafe, and wandered in to read my book, take a light drink and relax. Soon I was engaged in a very meaningful conversation with the cafe owner Noa. She was from Israel, and we bonded on similar fates of losing our precious Mums. We talked in depth, connecting and sharing our thoughts on grief, and how we have worked our way through the storms in the past. I felt like I was meant to walk into that cafe today, her Mums spirit was strong and almost calling to me. She was very connected to her daughter and lived through her. I have at times felt my Mum living through me lately, and some of my photos show an uncanny resemblance to her. I love knowing I carry her spirit in me, her strength, her passion and her kindness. Life really is a journey, an adventure and a mystery.
My time in the Greek Islands has been amazing, and I know I will be back to this magical part of the world.
Tomorrow I am talking a full day tour to Mykonos Island and to Delos to explore some ancient ruins.
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