Monday, September 14, 2009


"It's as unreal now as it was then- Paros is paradise, there must be an etymological link between those words because every picture taken is a postcard, every cafe is a seaside cafe framing the mountains, the cliffs and the sea, it's really too much. Luckily-fortunately- by the grace of God, the weather on the day we arrived was overcast and chilly (well, low 70s), so that we weren't completely overwhelmed and could ease ourselves into it. We could only stay for a night since the ferry returning on Sunday was full but we had some sun the next day and we enjoyed ourselves.

It amazes me still that such a place that could be enjoyed as an island paradise in its own right actually finds itself into my curriculum. Coincidentally, just before we came my professor was telling us of the cold north wind that blows down the Mediterranean turning what would other wise be the desert tops of a flooded mountain range into the picturesque islands that form the Cyclades. Anyway, this cold wind is the same wind that prevented the Mycenaen ships from sailing to Troy (hence Agamemnon sacrificing his daughter), the same wind that forced so many sailors to take harbor at Sounion, and, if you see the picture below, the same wind that forces all those trees to grow at around a 45 degree angle. See? It all comes together. It's right outside a church called the "Hundred Doors Church," which, by my count, had only around six and which is famed to be very beautiful but which we couldn't go into because Christine was wearing shorts (Sacrilege!).

Paros is incidentally the most important archaeological site for examining the early Bronze Age. But we encountered very few sites of historical relevance both because we couldn't get very far from the port and because we were, after all, there on vacation for only around 36 hours. While biking around the limits of the harbor we did find some mosaics from the Hellenistic period (3rd century BC) that we looked into but that clearly no one else on the island cared about. Garbage littered the perimeter and we couldn't tell at first whether it was a ditch or whether the sign labeling it as an archaeological site was legit. I guess sites of this kind are so commonplace that they can afford to take them for granted. Lucky Paros. We got back to Athens around midnight and today we took the bus (an adventure in its own right) and went to the beach. I still taste like salt. The sensual experience of floating in the sea is something that I can't do justice but there really isn't anything like it and this isn't a Greece observation, this is a general one- I just like to swim."

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