Paros – where Siesta is a serious business!

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Oct 09, 2010

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Flag of Greece  , Cyclades,
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Picked up our hire car this morning, with fuel tank on "Empty". It seems that because fuel is so expensive (over $2.00/litre), no one ever fills up their cars (including hire cars).  So it's always a challenge to see if you can return the hire car with approximately the same amount of petrol in it as when you collected it!

So the first thing we did was go searching for a petrol station.  Eventually found one that was open (not as easy as you might think in the middle of the day!) & put EUR20 in ... of a tank!

Drove around Paros.  People driving here are interesting, it’s like they all traded their donkeys in for cars... but drive like they’re still on a donkey – i.e. any way they feel like!  The road rules are more like guidelines and driving is much more relaxed (plus the roads are about twice as wide as on Mykonos, much to Jeff’s relief!).

Stopped at an old marble quarry that was in use about 2,000+ years ago (not sure when they stopped, but marble from Paros and Naxos was widely regarded in the ancient world as being the best marble in the world – famously, the Venus de Milo was carved from it, along with lots of other statues etc).

This was very cool (literally) as you go down an incline mine shaft into the mountain.  Since we didn’t have torches and didn’t want to fall victim (pun intended) to the mine’s various holes and drop-offs, we didn’t go too far, but it was still interesting to have a look.

Next, we stopped for lunch at a village called Lefkes, which sits on the side of a hill in the middle of the island.  As Lonely Planet states, they take afternoon siesta VERY seriously!  Apart from a few cafes, the whole town was completely shut with not a soul to be seen anywhere (except a couple of other tourists). Walking around felt like the whole place had been deserted or was a ghost town!

Continued on to some seaside towns and “beaches” (mostly either tiny strips of sand, or longer stretches of pebbles – either way, not what we’d call a beach!).  The towns were very pretty and all followed a similar pattern with a small harbour full of tiny one, or two-man fishing boats then a line of tavernas, cafes and the odd shop or two built about 5m or less from the water’s edge.  They’re a little like Freo – except here, they really know how to do it well!

After this, we went to the Petaloudes Butterfly valley, where thousands (or maybe even millions) of a particular sort of moth come each year to breed.  They keep the name “Butterfly Valley” as “Moth Valley” just doesn’t have the same ring to it!  The majority of the moths left earlier in the season but there were still quite a few around to be photographed.

Next, we visited a large, beautiful church on the top of a hill (we *think* it’s called Thianpoulos) & took some nice photos in the afternoon light.

Then back into Naoussa where we drove around, trying to find the hotel & wishing we’d paid more attention to where our taxi took us on the first day!  With no map of the town, locating our hotel was one of the most challenging things we did all day!

Back into Naoussa for dinner.  Seems like we know our way around the laneways already so we’re feeling quite happy with ourselves.  Felt like there were a lot more of them the previous night!

SO many places only sell crepes, omelettes and drinks.  Not that many selling meals at dinner time ... which seems kind of strange!
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