Sunday, July 30, 2006

Aqua Paros

6 of us went to a water park today for my birthday called Aqua Paros; Manolis, Annie, Silas, Sophia, Tones, and me. There were waterslides, pools, a restaurant, swim-up bar, and inner tubes. We had fun on the different slides and tried to create a 4 person totempole again(below) but could only manage 3. Tony also got a workout with me as the weight! Lol!


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Paint and Hills

Yesterday we painted for a few hours. Our friend Alekos came over to help us and we got lots done! It looks so much cleaner and brighter now! It’s so satisfying painting a bright fresh color over a dull dirty wall! Next we’ll paint the doors and shutters and we have to do a second coat in the bedroom area. Below: Alekos and Tones and me covered in paint.

Today, we went with Manolis and Annie to climb a hill with cool rock formations and weird old stone houses on the top. It was so hot out but we made it to the top! There was a great view from the top over Kolimpithres Beach below (Naxos is the barely visible island in the very back and the small island with the little white church on it is the one we pedaled out to the other day).

In the pic below, can you see the two monkey faces in the rock?

ps: still waiting to bring my bike home. It looks like I'll probably get it on Monday which happens to be my birthday! It'll be a nice present!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Knives in the Water

Today was a fun day! We started off by going to a nearby small church because it was Tony’s uncle’s Name Day. A Name Day is more important than a birthday here. Everyday is named after a saint and all or most Greek names are represented on one day a year. Some churches even have Name Days! It’s nice because you never need to remember a person’s birthday; you just know, for example, that Antonios will have his Name Day on Jan 17 because that is the Name Day for all Antonios and Antonia (fem). Mine is in November sometime and my Greek name is pronounced something like Mihella.

After going to church we headed to the Honda dealership and officially signed for my brand new bike!! I’m excited!! I don’t get to take it home for a few more days though; they have to hook the wires up and wait for the license plate to come in. I’m going to wait till I get it home to post picks (probably on Sat). I love it and it’s something I never thought I’d buy! You may be wondering why I bought a brand new bike instead of a used scooter like I first planned. Well, I had an opportunity to buy a brand new one for a good deal (it’s also safer) and I got to pick whatever I wanted, so it didn’t take much convincing. Also bikes are way more fun than scooters, they are better on the bumpy roads, and they have more power!

Later today Tones, me, and fam went to a secluded beach called Houhlakas. It’s a great area to get certain sea creatures to eat but it’s usually too wavy and dangerous to go in! Today wasn’t too wavy though but we still had to be careful. Tones and I brought a bunch of gear with us: wetsuits, goggles, mask, flippers, knives, and a mesh bag to carry what we caught. We headed out into the waves near the rocks. Our main goal was patelides or what’s known as “Chinese hats”. We had to dive down and scrape them off with knives! The water was about 6ft – 15ft deep and there were big rolling waves that made it hard to stay still in one spot to scrape the suckers off. I scraped my knuckles up but it was fun, I think I’ll take diving lesson one day. We also got a few snails and sea urchins. We’ll give some to yia yia (Tony’s grandma) and keep the rest to cook up. Mmmmm!


Sunday, July 23, 2006

In the last few days we’ve been busy cleaning out my future suite and getting it ready to paint. There was soooo much to do! No one had really been in there much for 2 years so you can imagine what it looked like: full of bugs and dust and boxes. We’ve cleared all that out and hosed the whole place down. It’s clean now and today we helped patch holes with cement and plaster. It's all quite satisfying! Tomorrow we are going to buy some paint and hopefully start painting too. Below: Tony’s dad, Markos, pulling us in his tractor and us looking hot in our dirty farm clothes!

What else? We’ve been going to the beach lots like usual. We had a fun day on Friday going to Monastery Beach with Manolis and Annie. We rented a pedal powered boat and took it to a tiny island which has one little church on it, that’s it. When we got back to shore we goofed around in the water and played such games as: “How far can you throw your girlfriend”, basketball - using Manolis as the ball, and we tried to make a 4-person totem pole but could only manage 3 people.

I’m also looking around for some transportation. I was first thinking of a scooter but have change my mind to a motorbike. Motorbikes are easier to use on the bumpy roads and are a lot more fun to ride. Scooters also have smaller wheels which can be dangerous at higher speeds. I have one in mind but I haven’t decided quite yet!


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

!!!Change of plans!!!

I should change my blog name to “M in the Greek Islands” because it looks like I’ll be staying here a little longer than I thought! I was offered a Graphic Design job on Paros and have decided to take it. I start in the middle of August and could stay here for up to a year if it works out!

This opportunity came up and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I will be staying at Tony’s parent’s place in a suite downstairs. It’s used as storage right now but I’m going to clean it up and paint it and make it into my little Greek home! I’ll also have to buy a scooter to get around. That’ll be fun to shop for!

This has been on the down low for about a week or so since I first heard about it. It was a big decision to make but there were so many good reasons to stay: I’ll learn Greek, I’ll save money (London is expensive!), I’ll be doing a job I like, I’ll see Tony more, I’ll have my own place, I’ll enjoy good weather… I’ll miss London because there was so much to do there but I think I made the right choice. I will definitely go back to London to visit and maybe live there a little later. I’ll be going to London in Sept to meet up with some of my relatives that will be visiting and to get the rest of my stuff and bring it over here.

Well that’s all the news for now. I’ll post before and after pics of my new little home when it’s done; it needs tons and tons of work though!



On Sunday one of Tony’s and his sister’s friend Silas came over from Canada; he’s going to stay for about a month and a half till the end of Aug, so it’s a full house with the 6 of us.

We all went to the small island of Antiparos in the evening. It’s about a 5 minute ferry ride; very close to Paros. There was a festival on so we watched some Greek dancing then walked along the main street. There are some really neat shops and cafes. If you’ve walked down the main street, you’ve pretty much seen it all; that’s how small the island is! There are some caves on the island too, which we’re going to explore another day. At the end of the evening, we all stopped for a coffee while we waited for the ferry.

Below is a pic of Tony’s mom, Linda and our friend Silas eating souvlakis. Mmmmmm!


Monday, July 17, 2006


The last few days have been relaxing. On Saturday we went to the Marathi Quarries to go for a walk. There are caves all around and we went in a few of them. You need the proper gear to go deeper (next time we'll bring flashlights and other supplies). But we went pretty far into a big cave and it was creepy! It was in the 30's outside but in the cave it was quite cold the further you went down.

Later that night we went out dancing with 5 of Tony's friends. Here, the clubs don't open till about midnight and they stay open till the morning! We ended up getting home about 5:30am. This is a pic of us being impatient before heading out lol.

Yesterday we went swimming at a cool little hidden beach in the cliffs. It was really nice and we had it to ourselves until an older couple decided to come and suntan with half of their clothes off!

After the beach we went home and Tony helped his dad put 5 chickens on a big skewer so they could be slowly roasted over the coals. It took 3 hours till they were done and it was some really good chicken!!


Thursday, July 13, 2006


We went to Milos for 3 days to visit Tony’s cousin Vasillis and his wife Flora. Flora is expecting a baby in Aug and she doesn’t speak English; Vasillis speaks a little English but not often, so it was good for me because I was forced to pick it up a little more but it’s hard.

I have never eaten as much as I did while I was there! They stuffed us up with food and wouldn’t take “I’m full” for an answer! If I had stayed there any longer I would’ve turned into a blimp. It was very good food though; I even tried sea urchin right from the beach that we swam at! I didn’t realize you had to eat it while it was still alive! That was a little difficult but it was really good.

We met a bunch of Flora’s relatives and they would always pop over. I was told by quite a few people there that I looked like a girl named Maria that lived there. I wanted to see a picture of her since we must be similar if so many people said that!

They took us to a cool cafĂ© in the middle of nowhere right on a cliff over looking a really nice beach called Paleohori. It was all lit up in different colors (it was at night that we went). There were patios at all different levels; it reminded me of a tree house. We took pics but they didn’t turn out because of the darkness.

We also went to a nice beach for a few hours called Firiplaka. The water was so blue and crystal clear and had nice soft sand. On one side was a cool rock formation that we swam to. Very beautiful!

We were going to do a cruise around the island to see the most well known spots but there was a ferry back to Paros on Tues (which we planned on) and the next one wasn’t till Sat, so we decided to just go back on the first ferry. It was a good plan since the island cruise didn’t end up leaving because of the wind. Next time we’ll do that!

We took the long ferry ride back home. Did I mention that it’s a 6-7 hour ferry ride??? And on the way back it was rocking because it was windy. Luckily we didn’t get completely sick. It also stopped at 3 other islands: Kimolos, Sifnos, and Serifos, so I got to see what those ones were like (very small and rocky!) Now we are at home and we are probably going to go to Santorini next week!


Pounda Beach

On July 7 we went to a monastery over looking Parikia. It was a very hot day and we were planning on going for a run but we just ended up running a bit down the hill and staggering back up after we had a break. Below are pics of the view.

On July 8 we went to Pounda Beach with Manlois and Annie (Tony’s friends that I’ve met before). It’s quite a touristy beach with bars, shops, and a pool right near the beach. We went swimming and suntanned for a few hours. I want to go shopping next time I go there!


Monday, July 10, 2006


We are on a little island called Milos right now. We went over on Sunday to visit Tony's cousin Vasillis and his wife Flora for a few days. They don't have internet here, only at a internet cafe, so I'll post pics and update when I get back to Paros in a few days!

I think tomorrow we may go on a cruise around the island and check out some very nice swimming spots. There are many beautiful rock formations and nice areas to swim at that are only accessible by boat, so it should be fun!!

Bye for now!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Parasporo and Parikia

Tues, July 5
Below: Tony's house and on the driveway

We did a lot today! We took off to the same beach we went to yesterday (Parasporos) because it was another windy day and the waves were huge again. Some of the waves were bigger than yesterday and we got pulled under a few times but just tossed around a bit, not pulled out to sea! We were full of seaweed pieces after and it was all in our hair and stuck on our skin as the pic shows.

After the beach, we headed down to the main town, Parikia, and went for a walk. I saw the school that Tony went to when he was younger and we stopped by the church that him and his family go to. It is very old and was the first building built on the whole island! It is supposed to have 100 doors but only 99 have been found and it’s said that if the 100th door was found, it will be the fall of Constantinople.

Next, we went for a walk through the streets and alleys. There are lots of little shops and cafes all over the place. And all of the buildings are white and cube shaped with vines hanging down from patios.

We also went to an old hidden church built right into the cliff rocks. You would never know it’s there; you have to take an old crumbling path right along the water to get there.

On the way home we took the long way back through the middle of the island and had a view of Noussa, a town on the opposite side of the island.

I dropped Tones off at his yia yia’s and picked him up a bit later and had a quick visit and a snack with Tones, his dad, yia yia, and papous (grandma and grandpa). I can’t understand then when they talk but it was neat anyways! It’s interesting to try and pick out words that I know. And there are 3 kittens there that I played with too.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I have to post a few days all at once because we still have to set up the internet at Tony’s place. Lots of reading for you!

Today was pretty windy so we ended up going to a beach called Parasporos. It’s a great beach to go to when it’s windy because the waves get really big! And the waves were quite big but not big enough to be dangerous, although I did get pulled under a few times! It was sooo much fun though. I couldn’t stop laughing! We stayed in for about 2 hours and were exhausted after. Then we suntanned but it was too windy to stay for long. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the camera but hopefully it’ll be windy again and I can get a shot of the waves another time.


Paros, Greece is Awsome!!!

This will be a long one… On Sunday I was planning to take Tones to Hillsong and was looking forward to our last full day in London. I noticed it was July 2 and thought the date sounded familiar, so I just thought I’d check the tickets for the Greece flights and thank goodness I did!! Instead of leaving Monday like I thought, we were supposed to leave Sunday instead! I’m soooooo glad I checked in the morning, it would’ve been a nightmare to miss both flights! So we had no time to go to Hillsong, we immediately started packing and I had to clear out my whole room since Gareth was getting a new flatmate later that day! I packed a suitcase to bring with me and left a bunch of stuff at Gareth’s. Once we were packed, we said bye to Gareth and went out for a lunch up the road at a tapas bar called Tapeo and headed for the tube to Liverpool Street Station to catch a train to Stansted. It was another scorcher, even hotter than the previous day! No air-conditioning anywhere till we got to the airport.

We landed in Athens at about midnight. We had about a 6 hour wait till our flight to Paros at 6:30am so we grabbed a seat at a cafe and watched an episode of 24 on my laptop and then tried to have a nap. Later, we moved to a different area and I went to sleep on the floor (below) while Tones stayed up and watched the luggage (what a gentleman). Finally it was time for our flight and it was on a very small plane and took about 25 mins.

We landed in Paros at the very small airport. We were both excited since Tony hasn’t been home in 2 years! Tony’s parents met us there (both very nice!) I had briefly met Tony’s mom about a year before while she was in Canada which was good. Tony’s dad seems really nice but there is a language barrier (he doesn’t speak much English and I don’t speak much Greek – hopefully that’ll change!) We drove to their house and on the way I finally got to see what Paros was like after hearing about it and looking it up on the net and on Google Earth. It was greener than I had imagined and it’s very hilly and bigger than I thought. It’s soooo beautiful! Crystal clear blue waters, white cube houses in the hills, blue and white domed churches.

Their house it really nice, on a mountain in a valley over looking the main city of Parikia. Tony has relatives living nearby too all within walking distance. We had some great food when we arrived (Tony’s dad grows their veggies in a garden, makes his own olive oil, and cooks his own chickens and uses their eggs). I’ll be eating very well! After getting set up and unpacked we went out to try Tony’s motorcycle (the main way he gets around here). He got the hang of it again and I tried it out too! Then of course he had to take me for a ride. Below: view from patio, kitchen, and living room

After the test ride, we put on our bathing suits and got back on the bike and headed to one of the beaches. On the way we met Tony’s yia yia (grandma). She’s so cute! She speaks no English, so I couldn’t say much but hopefully I can one day. The bike ride was soooo nice! I can definitely get used to getting around the island that way!

He took me to a nice little beach with only a few others around (this one wasn’t a touristy beach). We went swimming and suntanned for a couple hours. The water was refreshing, not to warm or too cold, perfect on a hot day! I have to get used to the salt water though, I’m so used to swimming in lakes.

We headed home and said hi to some of Tony’s uncles and aunts and had a short visit with his grandparents. Then we had dinner and went to bed.