Monday, 17 September 2012

Yes, I'm still breathing!

Oy vey, where did the last 3 days go?  It's not like it takes a lot of energy to sit on a beach for 6 hours!  The days just seemed to get away from me and now it's Monday morning and I really do have to sit and catch up before my old brain starts shedding details like it does brain cells!

We took our little (very little) Olympic flight from Athens around 2pm on Friday afternoon.  We were pretty tired since we had been up about 24 hours by then.  It was just a short skip and a hop to Naxos and Stelios from Hotel Spiros was there waiting for us.  3 minutes later we were at this wonderful little hotel where we got hugs and a warm welcome back from Stelios' mom.

and away we go........

We unpack our bags and decide to go look for something to eat.  Our bodies and minds are confused from the 7 hour time change and the 10 hour overnight flight, but our tummies know that it's time for some kind of meal, lol

We stroll slowing along the twisty little streets of St Georges down to Naxos town.  It's a sunny afternoon and many locals and tourists are out for a Saturday afternoon walk.  We walk past the little fountain in the main town square and keep walking until we are in the harbour area, full of restaurants, cafes, bars, little gyro shops, clothing boutiques and tourist shops.  We take in the sights and the sounds of a busy weekend afternoon and we amble slowly down the main road along the harbour.  It's full of sailboats, catamarans, fishing boats and the huge ferries unloading the tourists and locals for their weekend sprees.

We are starting to lag and know that we need to sit down soon so we go back the way we came and find Maros, a little Greek taverna down one of the small side streets close to our hotel.  Den orders a Fix, the local beer he discovered last year and I get some chilled Greek white wine.  We split a wonderful Greek salad with crumbled feta and gorgeous, ripe fall tomatoes and life slowly starts to seep back into us.  Den has a chicken dish with rice and lemon sauce and I have zucchini stuffed with meat and rice.  22 euros and 2 full bellies later, we walk back to the hotel and sit on our little balcony overlooking the Aegean sea and the mountains of Paros and pinch ourselves that we are back in Naxos.

The lack of sleep in more than 1 day is rapidly catching up to us as we sit and take in the view and I know that if we don't get moving soon, we will fall fast asleep and will wake up sometime in the middle of the night.  So we make ourselves get up and walk the few minutes down to St Georges beach and catch our first sunset of the trip.  We hug ourselves at our good fortune and just stand in the warm sand for 20 minutes, watching the golden ball in the sky sink slowly into the sea.

Watching that magnificent sunset put a little wind back in our sails and we decided to go look for some loukamades, the yummy Greek dessert of fried dough balls soaked in honey or chocolate.  We knew exactly where to go, the Braziliana Cafe near the main town square.  We found 2 little chairs and a tiny table waiting for us, right in the street just inches away from where the pedestrians and cars went passed us.  We ordered 2 decaf cappucinos and an order of freshly made loukamades with chocolate sauce (Den's choice ~ next time, we get honey, which are the ones I prefer.  They remind me of my grandmother's honey soaked donut holes).  As we sat there munching on Greek made memories, we thought about the coming 2 weeks and all that we had to look forward to.  We felt grateful and blessed to be able to share another wonderful adventure.  We both have, busy stressful jobs and we really need this time away to recharge our batteries and muster up the courage to face the world once again.

We strolled back to the hotel hand in hand and this time, we fell into bed, exhausted but ectastic to be back in this beautiful, peaceful island.  Sleep came very quickly that night.

10 hours later, we opened our eyes and awakened in paradise.  Feeling well rested and a little peckish, we went down to breakfast and had the first of many bowls of thick Greek yougurt with honey, homemake cakes and cheese pies and cups of thick, dark Greek coffee to welcome the day.  Since it promised to be a warm day full of sunshine, we decided to take the bus to the beach near Paradiso and just laze around and let the warmth of the sun rejuvenate us back to life after our long travels.  We caught up with some people we met there last year and just eased slowly into a day of R&R.

It was sad to see  how much sand has been eroded from this part of the beach.  There was a big storm in April which blew much of the sand away and the beach is very rocky and hard in the area we had lain in last year.  One must also be very careful walking into the water because there are many slippery rocks where you could bang a toe or slip on.  No matter, we have a view that kings would envy and the sun on our bodies feels liberating.  We read and nap, take a dip and chat and just while away the morning.

Around 1:30, we muster up the ambition to go for lunch and 10 minutes later, we are sitting under that beautiful tree at Paradiso and having spanokopita, Greek salad and feta, bread, wine and beer.  The shade feels good and we linger a little, but I know Den wants to get back to the beach and work on his tan.  We walk barefoot back to the beach and repeat our morning activities until the sun is low in the sky and the water is sparkling like diamonds.  We gather up our stuff and the bus has us back in town by 6pm.

We clean up and relax and about an hour later, we walk back towards the harbour.  We have a couple of frappes, the iced Nescafe drink that Greeks love and watch another wonderful sunset.

fishing from the pier

the Portera in the background

making our way through the tiny streets of Old Town

The Portera from the Venetian Castle


We then made our way to the Venetian Castle high above the town to attend a jazz and blues concert in the open air stage of the Castle.  The 2 musicians are from Athens and they were in town for 1 night only to perform as part of the yearly Domus Festival.  They played a selection of jazz and blues standards that had our feet tapping, our fingers snapping and our heads bopping.  Sitting in the fresh evening air, drinking Greek liqueur and enjoying great music was the perfect way to spend our first full evening in Naxos.

The concert lasted almost 2 hours, ending at around 10pm.  We decided to go to Apostolis for dinner, a nice restaurant we had enjoyed last year.  We strolled through the twisted little cobblestone streets until we got there.  We enjoyed a bottle of Naoussa Boutari, a very nice red wine with little notes of spice.  Den had some pork in a lemon sauce to start and I had a very fresh tomato soup.  We both had traditional Greek dishes baked in clay pots ~ lamb with potatoes and vegetables with a phyllo pastry for me and beef with orzo, tomatoes and cheese for Den.  We split a millefeuille for dessert, finished our wine and enjoyed the walk back to Spiros to digest our late dinner.

Yesterday was again spent enjoying the beach and not dirtying any bathing suits. :)  We had lunch at Paradiso again and split another freshly delicious Greek salad and a plate of Greek appetizers.

frappes after a long day at the beach

The afternoon was spend lounging on the beach, going into the sea for refreshing dips and having massages right on the beach (life is tough, but someone has to do it, right?).  We enjoyed a frappe at Paradiso before heading back to the hotel to clean up and rest up.  I wasn't feeling very well, so we just ended up at the harbour having a couple of gyro pitas for dinner and taking a little walk in an area we hadn't explored before going back home to bed.  Den stayed up under the covers watching the Detroit Lions football game online while I slept oblivious next to him.  We've just finished another great Spiros breakfast and I've finally caught up on my blog.  We are skipping the beach today since it looks like it might rain.  We'll explore more of the old town and may hit up the small beach behind the hotel this afternoon if the weather holds.

spice market in town

Den wanted to buy everything!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!


  1. *sigh*... ooh wishing I was so there!! What a wonderful report Muriel!! It felt like I was right there with you strolling those beautiful little streets, and watching that gorgeous sunset! Enjoy the moments!! xx

  2. I love the phrase,"10 hours later, we opened our eyes and awakened in paradise. "

    Certainly sounds and looks like paradise. Wonderful pictures.

    Boy you eat a lot of food! I feel full just reading this...and also so relaxed!

    Love Denise

  3. oh so jealous - I think Greece will have to be my next trip x