On Monday I started a week-long series sharing my favorite pictures from our travels in preparation for the new year. Mondays post encompassed our time traveling in the States, Curacao, Portugal, Disneyland Paris, and Budapest, Hungary. Today my post will … Continue reading
I have found my Greek Island. Admittedly, there are many other people here, locals and tourists alike, but I have decided that I want Paros to be my Greek island.
There are 227 inhabited islands belonging to Greece, and over 1400 islands in all. So when Chad and I were trying to decide what island we wanted to visit, it made for a difficult decision. We made it by looking at how long it took to get there from Athens by ferry, cost of accommodations, types of beaches, entertainment options, and of course recommendations from other travelers and friends.
Two islands had been visited and loved by different friends of ours, Santorini and Paros. After we researched both of these islands with our parameters, we decided on Paros. Paros is only a 4 hour ferry ride from Athens, it has many different beautiful beaches on the island, most of them easily reached by foot or bus, we found an inexpensive and beautiful apartment hostel on Airbnb, called Betty Apartments, and the entertainment options were beaches and tavernas. It was exactly what we wanted. We didn’t want clubs and shopping, we just wanted to relax and let Zoë play at the beach.
Upon arriving at Parikia, Paros by ferry we took a taxi to our apartment in Drios (also spelled Dryos), on the other side of the island. Drios is a small village which houses less than 10 tavernas/restaurants, a couple of markets (including one organic market) and two wonderful beaches within walking distance, Drios Beach and Golden Beach. It also has a playground at their small school (now closed for summer) which Zoë has enjoyed on several occasions. Drios does not have any ATM machines, but almost everyone takes credit cards, so you don’t have to worry too much about needing cash very often.
Drios is an hour bus ride away from Parikia (the capital of Paros) and about a 45 minute bus ride from Nassou (the only other larger town on the island). We have visited both of those towns and I feel we have been so blessed that we chose to stay in Drios as it fits what we wanted perfectly.
Our days consists of getting up, having brunch around 10 or 11 am at Taverna Agkyra (or Anchor Tavern in English) right by our apartment, heading to one of the close beaches after Z’s nap and then usually having eating dinner at the Taverna Agkyra again.
We have fallen in love with the taverna and the people that run it as if it was their own home kitchen. Especially Margarita and her husband, Kotsiopoulos (or Bobbies), who have shown us wonderful hospitality and fed us excellent Greek food. I am not usually a creature of habit when it comes to restaurants, I like to try new places and dishes, but this taverna keeps me coming back every day and most often twice a day. We have tried other restaurants in Drios, they are all good and the people are helpful and kind, but no one compares to their flavorful food and the feeling that you are friends at Taverna Agkyra. My favorite dish so far has to be the Moussaka, a casserole of potatoes, ground meat, eggplant and a thick layer of cheese all served in a ceramic pot hot from the oven. It’s rich and wonderfully filling, and I am sure very low-calorie (it’s all how you think of it right!?). I have to say that Chad and Zoë and myself have spent probably as much time in our favorite taverna as we have the beach. Hooray for wonderful food and company!
Anyways, this wonderful relaxing and dreamy part of our trip is coming to an end on Monday as we head on to our next destination. On Tuesday evening we will be in Taipei, Taiwan. I know that this will be the toughest place to say good-bye to, even more than Lisbon. But I really do feel that I have made some new friends here and I look forward to coming back to my Greek island of Paros again. I don’t think I could stay away from this paradise for long. Hopefully I can rope my family into meeting us here for a wonderful vacation.
If you are looking for a Greek island stay that is all about beaches, sun, food, and relaxing, come to Drios, Paros. Stay at Betty Apartments and eat at Taverna Agkyra. You will be happy that you did!
After we left Athens, we took a four hour ferry ride to the island of Paros in the Cyclades. We are now settled in a wonderful little apartment just a 5 minute walk from the beach! We found our apartment on airbnb.com and have fallen in love with it. It is called Betty Apartments, and Betty has been an amazing hostess. For one thing, she does our laundry! She also cleans our room everyday! It has been a real vacation so far for us. We have had very busy days consisting of brunch, nap-time (for Zoë, although there have been times I wished it was mine), time at the beach, dinner and then some relaxation after Zoë’s asleep. Chad works in the mornings and while Zoë naps and I do my writing or cleaning then too. This life is amazing! This trip is amazing, and I feel so very blessed to be here. God is good!
We have been on the island now for 10 days. And as of two days ago, we now have a friend from Sonoma County staying with us! (We have tried harassing everyone to come and see us, but with the price of plane tickets these days…whew). Our friend, Nathan, has been traveling himself for the past half year or so. He was planning on being in Greece the same time as us, so, here he is! It has been so nice to see a familiar face thats not pixelated on skype or facetime. Both Chad and I have enjoyed having someone new to converse with, and hearing about his travels and what God is doing in his life. Hopefully, he is just as happy to be here as we are to have him here!
As it is whenever one has visitors, whether you are in your home or traveling, there are hiccoughs along the way, but the stories you will tell later about your time together will be even better because of them. For example, Zoë being over-tired at dinner last night and pushing her glass of water over so that Nathan had to make a quick dodge before getting deluged… well, that will be funny in the future right? And Chad getting the flu today and being bed-bound and unable to keep anything down except cola… we will laugh about that someday too.
God has impeccable timing for teaching us things that we didn’t realize that we needed to learn, and what I have learned in the past two days, is that I need to stop sweating the small things (I cringe at being so cliché…I’m sorry).
I need to see God blessing me with patience when Zoë screams as if I am water boarding her every time I have to wash her hair (we use tearless shampoo, the water’s a good temperature, I have tried every trick, she just hates washing her hair). I need to see that God is blessing me with a merciful attitude, when she accidentally punches me in the face while having a public melt-down. I need to see that everything around me, God has blessed to me. He has given me this opportunity to see the WORLD! I need to stop worrying about the small, insignificant things that will be forgotten or laughed at later and try laughing at them or forgetting them now.
How hard that is. When I have it down perfectly, I will let you all know. Until then, I will just keep trying and keep praying. God is good.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23