Our last visit to Paros, 35 years ago, was a blighted one. We were camping then at Camping Koula. There was no grass, only dirt and on day 2 the water tank ran dry. Angry campers tipped it over to drain the dregs. We walked into town, past little local houses advertising showers and we had a semi saltwater shower. We then went to the bank to change money and had a two hour or so wait in the queue. While we were waiting we noticed raw sewage bubbling up around the rims of the heavy metal covers in the square and then we made our decision to get the hell outa' there! And we left on the next ferry we could. We then vomited al, the way back, for 8 hours due to the meltemi, an August wind that chopped up the waters. So why did we come back? Well until we got here I couldn't remember but something must have been lodged in the memory bank.
It's a gorgeous island. There are two towns of any size, Parikia and Naoussa. The latter is where Tony and Alex have their holiday home. Both places have gorgeous little winding alleys with whitewashed houses, enchanting little harbours with gaily painted Greek fishing boats. It's the stuff of calendars and movie sets! Naoussa particularly stole our hearts. We had a wonderful Greek meal in a restaurant called Yemeni where the ingredients, including fresh artichokes, are grown on their own farm. We hired a car and drove around the island and by the end of the day, including a fair bit of beach and taverna hunting, we had only done just over 100kms.The un-air conditioned Fiat Panda wasn't what we were used to.......
Our accommodation at the Paros Palace run by Nana was a two bedroom apartment in a rather lovely complex that had just reopened for the season. It was a bit musty and the mozzie zappers needed to be put into play but once we sorted that we were happy. Hand held showers only though, doesn't really suit us Australians. It had a gorgeous pool and we had it all to ourselves. We have enjoyed more of a relax here and not worried too much about ruins and museums. We owe it to ourselves!
The shopping was pretty attractive, especially at Naoussa but we managed to mostly resist. Looking was fun but we were wary of buying summery resort style clothes. The best thing about the shops was the care they took of the properties and the beautiful presentation, such a joy to look around. They are all open until about ten at night.
Our next stop is Santorini. We are currently aboard the Blue Star Delos ferry with a couple of thousand others. It's a nice, huge boat -we are hanging out in the cafe with our economy tickets. We upgraded ourselves at not much cost to business on the last ferry to escape the crowding but this is a shorter trip so we are making do.