TRAVELOGUE
Greece

Mykonos, Paros

Mykonos
Mykonos

In the morning we got up quite early, only to realize that there's no way to prepare coffee in the room, for the first time on our trip in Greece. We asked the lady who owns the house to provide us with some hot water, than made coffee and discovered that the taste of the water is disgusting! And salty too. I've never drunk anywhere such bad-tasting water. And we're on Mykonos, one of most expensive destinations in Greece. We left the room and decided to go elsewhere. We chose Paros (Paros is, like Mykonos, a part of Cyclades, one of the groups of Greek islands, located north of Crete, where we'll spend next two weeks). We walked to the center of (city of) Mykonos, which took us some time since we had to walk on a road that consisted only of traffic lanes. We strolled a bit through the Little Venice quarter in Mykonos, and as we weren't impressed with the city we definitively decided to go to Paros. We found a taxi and asked the driver whether the ship to Paros sails from the port where we arrived last night. He said he didn't know (he lied!) and we asked to be taken there anyway. Once we got there we realized that there's no ticket office, no information booth, nothing but a big cruiser with numerous tourists. We asked a naval officer if he knew where the boat to Paros would dock and he told us that that boat docks in another port, in the city! And that's where we just came from. To make things worse there were no taxis or local buses in the vicinity. When he saw that we didn't know how to get to the centre he asked the driver of the bus that was transferring cruise tourists to the town to take us in the bus. The bus went to Mykonos and stopped right next to "our" port. We've had just enough time to buy tickets and get in line with numerous tourists of all sizes and races.

In two hours we were in Parikia, the biggest city on Paros. Paros is the main transport hub in Cyclades, an island where almost all ships navigating in Cyclades dock. Once out of the boat we've had trouble escaping numerous touts. We've found a small hotel in the center of Parikia but we didn't like the idea of having a room on the ground floor. When we said we'll look around the price immediately dropped from 25 to 22€. A clear sign that there're not too many tourists around at this time of the year. According to my guidebook (that proved useful for the first and last time on this trip) we found apartments "Mike", next to the port, where the owner was supposed to be helpful and full of useful information on Paros. The guy was really friendly but exaggerated a bit with his helpfulness - once he started informing us, it was difficult to make him stop. The room was OK and the common kitchen full of stickers saying "Mike is the best...". Whether that were his guests' messages or he wrote them himself when he had nothing better to do (and spent days sitting in front of his house), we'll never found out.

Parikia is real refreshment - an unpretentious and colorful town where most of the tourists just come to change the ship and sail somewhere else. People here are not completely dedicated to the tourism. We went to a big but ugly beach where a tourist sleeping on the sand didn't mind to be lying a few meters from a dead cat!?

Paros - Panagia Ekatontapyliani
Paros - Panagia Ekatontapyliani

A few steps from our apartment is a nice central square, next to which there is Panagia Ekatontapyliani church (in reality three churches surrounded with a square building). The name of the church means "Our Lady of hundred doors". The church has 99 doors (we didn't count them) and the story tells that when the 100th door is found Istanbul will once again become Greek...

In the evening we strolled a bit through the old city and found a restaurant where the food is exposed in a heated transparent container and the guest chooses the food by pointing a finger at it. The octopus in sauce was definitively a good choice...

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Greece: Paros
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