01.09.2013. The promise of Paros begun before I boarded the plane from Athens, Greece. Counting myself, there was a mere 12 passengers on this short flight (just across my boarding gate was the flight to Santorini; it was fully booked). The first of the 3 Aegean islands I visited was by no means the most spectacular, nor is it really the ‘must-see’; but perhaps by virtue of these very facts, it was also the most relaxed, and most ‘real’. I liked this tiny island the most.
As much as I enjoyed mainland Greece, the lure of the country had always lie in its many islands. From Corfu on the Ioanian sea, my journey had been an eastern pursuit towards the other flank of the country- the incredible Aegean sea, taking pit stops at where I fancied.
From Trikala, I will be taking a bus to the Greek capital city of Athens, spend a night there, before flying to Paros. Naxos, the largest Aegean island, should then be an easy ferry ride away; and with it being centrally located, I should be able to catch another boat to the famed Santorini. From Santorini, I will return to Athens by plane, spend one final night there before heading back home to Singapore. With the number of days left (and unfortunately, my travel funds) dwindling, the last leg of my 90 days trip was decidedly more planned and precise.
Arriving at the tiny Paros airport with my huge haversack and a plane full of holiday makers I felt out of place. Taxi drivers waiting at the entrance were waved off ceremoniously as I had opted for the cheaper (and more interesting) option of a public bus. Running at very limited services, it arrived only an hour later. But I was in Greece, so there was no rush.
The views from the bus ride, as we made our way towards Parikia, the only town in the island, was remarkable. The prominent Cycladic architecture, with its whimsical curves and shapes, and its white and blue facade, may seem well belonged in a Disneyland. With just one night, I explored most of this tiny island, from the bustling main town of Parikia to charming villages such as Lefkes. Chrissi Akti, or ‘Golden Beach’-so aptly named in English, is perhaps Paros’ most delightful, and was by far the best beach I visited amongst these islands.
Forget Greece’s economic troubles; I think I can live there.