on vacations and Paros

Vacation is so often cast as a luxury now … a bourgeois game of Instagram tagging and food photos. But for me, in Sifnos, I came to know it as the time in the year when you find not only rest, but also the strength you need to meet your work and your life when you return to them. In the years since, it’s been hard to be an American writer and take vacations like this. But I would never want to live the other way — without them — again

excerpt from an interesting article on new york times I read the other day. its about a writer who visited a remote Greek island and on the writer ‘learning’ to take a vacation.

don’t get me wrong. I vacation like how most people do. Instagram tagging, food photos and the works.. visiting the most popular islands and making sure I cover them all even if I end up spending as little as two days in each.

no way of vacationing is right or wrong. but i would want to try it the other way next time. rent an apartment. for a month or two even. go some where unpopular. read books, draw, paint or cook. explore the city/island/village. like really explore. go to places that aren’t necessarily touristy.

the closest we came to doing that in Greece, was at Paros. Adi and I both read about the island online. we didn’t know of any one who had visited there, before we made our bookings. but the pictures looked stunning and so we took a shot at it.

and to be honest, before our ferry ride from Santorini to Paros we almost contemplated cancelling and staying back in Santorini for a few more days. all our friends were going to be staying back longer and we did love our time with them.

but the bookings were done {non-refundable} and so we went along.

boy, am I glad we did?! it was the surprise element of the trip. I still remember walking into the main street of Naoussa, Paros from our hotel up in the hill. I had to stop walking just sink it all in. everything was so picturesque in Naoussa. there were ducks, cafes, octopuses and boats. all of a sudden. out of nowhere. and there was this buzz. {not loud or touristy like in Mykonos but just quiet local buzz}

we ended up eating Italian that night {finally we had had too much of souvlaki}. after dinner we walked around the cute little town and then headed back to our hotel, sat on the deck and talked. a lot. under the stars. that moment, it was all SO perfect – that we made a pact to come back. maybe on our 10 year anniversary. but this time with family and friends.

the next day, I wanted to book a boat and explore the caves in anti-paros, but eventually we decided to stay in and explore the island instead. we took a local bus to parikia. walked around the town. prayed at some churches along the way. bought some nic nacs and then spent two hours eating brunch and chatting with a local greek at a bar in parikia.

at night we made reservations at one of the most famous restaurants in naoussa {or all of Paros, as we learnt later} called Yemeni. we got a table which was lucky because apparently they are always booked out and you need to make  reservations weeks in advance. we tried the beetroot truffle risotto, zuchhini flower balls and stuffed mushrooms. and washed it all down with a bottle of local white wine for dessert they got us a chocolate cake with ice cream {which we didn’t order, it was on the house}. it was by far our best meal of the trip.

we headed back to Athens the next morning with such a heavy heart. if I had to redo my vacation in Greece, I would have definitely spent a lot more days exploring Paros. this island,  there was something magical about it.

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^^ view from our room in hotel papadakis. the best part of visiting a non-touristy place are the hotel prices. ;)} ^^

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^^ some more hotel pics^^

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^^ downtown Naoussa^^

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^^ first Italian meal in Greece. I think my favorite thing to do during a vacation is walking from one restaurant to another, reading their outdoor menus and eventually choosing the one you liked the most :) ^^

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^^ brunch at acute bar in parikia ^^

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^^ greek goodies I bought at the local store in parikia. as you can see, anything with olive oil – and I had to buy it ^^

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^^ dinner at Yemeni, our favorite meal in Greece ^^

 

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