Travel broadens the mind and also gives you perspective on life. Stepping out of your life periodically helps you see the world through fresh eyes and is certainly good for the soul!
I am not a writer but I believe that everybody can write, especially if there is something you are passionate about. My 'writing' may not be particularly poetic but I enjoy the reflective process and I believe that any creative pursuit should be encouraged. My blogs are more like a photograph albums with words.
My most recent passion is Egypt. My husband Peter is Egyptian and I have been truly privileged to have seen Egypt in ways that most tourists may not get the opportunity to. I will never tire of visiting Egypt. Every trip reveals something new and amazing. The blog 1001 Nights has also been the catalyst for the book we are writing about the village of Garagos - the place where Peter's ancestors have lived for generations.
My first passion is for Greece. I have been visiting Greece and the Islands for over 20 years and never tire of discovering new places - sometimes revisiting the very special places. I've decided to try and document my trips to the Greek islands in the blog - a Greek Oddity. This is a mammoth task that will involve routing out hundreds if not thousands of photographs from the loft followed by sifting and scanning - oh to have had a digital camera then! I guess I've visited around 50 islands now and I'm really excited about revisiting them through the blog. I do this mainly for posterity and also hope that one day it may be of interest to my children and grandchildren.
Today we're leaving Folegandros for Milos however, the high speed cat doesn't leave until 19.10pm so we have a fully day on the island and today we're going to Ano Meria. We've already packed as we need to vacate the room by 12.00pm. One last peek from the balcony before we go.
Evgenia has allocated a space near the reception office for our bags.
The bus leaves chora at 10.00am for Ano Meria. The journey offers the most spectacular views over the island and as described before, the road runs like a spine along the length of the island and from here you can see the bays down on the east and west side of the island at once. You can really appreciated the rugged beauty of the island from here.
There is no village centre as such at Ano Meria. The village is nothing more than a scattering of stone houses and farmsteads typically Cycladic in style - it has been described as looking as though the houses were thrown up into the air and scattered along the top of the hillside. We decide that the best way to see Ano Meria is to get off at the terminus and walk back along the main road, back towards chora.
We pass a little taverna with blue painted shutters. The menu outside lists chicken, rabbit, pigeon and meatballs - All Local! There is also matsada - a local handmade pasta dish.
Dry stones walls made with the green island slate line the road and also define property boundaries around stone houses.
Further down the road we pass a couple of donkeys laden with hay. They seem to know instinctively where they are going. As we approach the bend we see a man wrestling with another donkey who clearly has his own idea of where he wants to go!
We're starving by now as we haven't had breakfast. Luckily we see a sign for a bakery pointing up towards a low hill. We find the bakery to the right and enter the quaint looking shop where time seems to have stood still. We purchase a cheese pie and a spinach pie. Yum!
The breeze is fantastic up here and masks the full heat of the day. In fact it is more than a breeze - it is a wonderfully exhilarating wind which you can hear, see and feel - the famous Meltemi!
Next we pass a whitewashed, blue domed church which is calling us in.
A little further down the road we come across another small taverna complete with octopus hanging on a line. The blackboard menu outside is written in Greek but I do make out the word calamari - this must be the place to come for seafood in Ano Meria.
There are some fascinating things to see on this road - two rudderless windmills, intricate dry stone walls made from the local green slate, large stone circles which look like seating areas but I can't determine what their real function is - Google has been of no use to me with this.
We approach a whitewashed cuboid house on the left - our attention is first drawn to the collection of objects on the roof including a number of chimney like terracotta jars with with blue stripes painted around their width, small wooden box shaped constructions, a shower head, gas containers set into the roof in concrete and a line of string with plastic bottles hanging from it. An elderly gentleman sits by the doorway in the shade and raises his hand and smiles at us.
Along the front wall of the house there are rows of Greek words and along the next wall, childlike pictures of two people and a boat in drawn in blue paint. At first I thought this may have been the folk museum I'd read about but we later see a sign for this further down the road. I'd love to know more about this house and why it has been decorated this way - and again Google has been of no use whatsoever.
Some of the most spectacular views of Folegandros!
The bus passes us on its way to Ano Meria and we give the driver a wave to let him know that we want to catch the bus on the way back - he nods his acknowledgement.
What an amazing day this has been and what a fantastic way to spend our last day on the island!
Back in the chora we have another walk around the streets and then decide to have a meal at Pounta. This little taverna is situated just before the first square, adjacent to the bus stop and the town hall. We had walked past it every day and I was intrigued by the notice outside inviting visitors to come and eat or drink in their garden.
The taverna itself appears to be a small building but once you walk into the garden it has a large covered terrace and the most beautiful space abundant with flowers.
We order our meal - I have stuffed tomatoes and Peter has rabbit. We notice the unusual pottery that has been brought to our table with the meal. The owner of the taverna tells us that his wife Lisbet is an artist and she makes the pottery and they also have it for sale inside the taverna.
It's now time to collect our bags from Evgenia and wait for her son to pick us up and take us to the port. Evgenia tells us that the high speed cat is running a little late but her son will be with us in about 20 minutes. I'm looking forward to visiting Milos but so sad to be leaving Folegandros. I will definitely be back here one day - I think it will be quite soon!
Here is a bit of Folegandros mythology whilst we wait!
Folegandros has approximately 700 inhabitants and is only 12 square miles in size but I still feel that there is so much more of the island to be discovered. It is a great island for walking which enables you to appreciate its exceptional beauty. I was interested to read about Chrysospylia Cave that sits 30 metres above sea level below the chora. It isn't possible to visit the cave at the moment as archaeological work is still being undertaken but here is a bit more information about it.
The alarm clock wakes us up at 6.00am. This morning we're going to walk up to Panagia Church that sits one kilometre up on the ridge above the chora. We think that we may go to Ano Meria after breakfast at Molidiri. First we are going to build up our appetite!
If you turn right out of Evgenia Rooms and walk towards the town hall you will see a small road that leads up behind Evgenia and past attractive looking houses, a few small hotels and little whitewashed church.
Within minutes you will find yourself on the path that snakes up to the Panagia Church. We imagine we are going to be the only people up there at this time in the morning but walking along one of the upper walls is an elderly man emptying buckets of grain for a donkey and a small herd of goats.
It is quite a strenuous walk (I'm so unfit) but it's made a little easier as the mountain is still in the shade - the sun is only beginning to rise over the mountain behind us and there is a delicious cool breeze.
It is so tranquil up here and the view looking down on the chora is amazing. Over the coastline neighbouring islands surrounded by the early morning haze seem to levitate above the sea. As the sun begins to cast its glow over the mountain on the other side of the chora, the ridges of the terraces appear more defined. From here we have a really good view of the Venetian kastro, built in 1210 and now which seems to overhang the cliffs rather precariously. This is a scene from ancient history that remains untouched.
We reach the final stretch of the path and walk through a small gate into the grounds of the church. Panagia is built on the grounds of an ancient temple - in fact you can see the remnants of marble columns in and around the church. According to Greeka.com:
["This church is dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary and was possible constructed on the ruins of an ancient temple. In fact, marble parts of this temple were used as building material for the church and visitors can see ancient inscriptions and bases of statues in the interior and the courtyard of the church. The exact year of the construction of the church is not known. However, a marble sign says that it was renovated in 1687 and it took its present form in 1821.
The architecture of the church is traditional Cycladic and the exterior is whitewashed. This is a one-aisle basilica with many domes and a tall bell-tower. The interior has fine frescoes, a marble throne for the archbishop and a marble icon screen. In the past, the church was the katholikon of a female monastery.
The silver icon of Virgin Mary inside the church is believed the be miracle-working. The legend says that in 1790, 18 boats of Algerian pirates were about to get ashore. The desperate residents of Folegandros went to the church to pray for their lives to Virgin Mary, when a strong northern wind blew and sank all the boats of the pirates, of whom all got drown. Since then, the locals consider Virgin Mary the protector of their island."]
The sun begins to peel back the shadows from the landscape below. The breeze has dropped and the temperature is beginning to rise. It's time to head back down to the chora, this time admiring the views from a different perspective.
It took about half an hour to walk up to the church and about 20 minutes to walk down - this includes time to stop and admire the views, catch my breath and to try and temper my vertigo. I notice afterwards that some of my photographs are a bit wonky - I shall blame that on vertigo!
When we reach the chora it is almost deserted, but no better time to explore the picturesque streets again.
After wandering around the streets and alleyways, we walk over to Molidiri for breakfast. We receive a lovely warm welcome from Eleftheria and she tells us that her boyfriend is baking pies and recommends that we wait to have the pies as they are their speciality. In the meantime we have a cup of tea and chat to Eleftheria.
Eleftheria tells us that they both used to work in Oiea on Santorini - he was the manager of a restaurant and she was a waitress. They used to work very hard for very little reward so they decided to make the move and open up their own place on Folegandros. Because they are what the locals on Folegandros call 'strangers' to the islands (she laughs and says "we are all Greek!") they have had to work 10 times harder to be accepted by the community. They also wanted to have the best quality of everything so they source the best ice cream they could find (Kayak) which is made from real milk and not milk powder like other ice creams. Eleftheria tells us that they have some new flavours in and she dashes into the cafe to brings use some sample sized ice cream to try. The pistachio is fantastic!
Eleftheria tells us that she is from Piraeus and her boyfriend is from Thessaloniki. She says that people imagine that Piraeus is a big city because they just think of the port however, the place where she was born is like a small village.
We told her about our trip up to Panagia church. She says that she had never been up to the big church but if her boyfriend asked her to marry him then she would run all the way up to it! I hope your wish comes true Eleftheria!
Eleftheria tells us that the salamander has been incorporated into their logo for the business because it is good luck. She also tells us the story of how the Aegean Sea got it's name. We like a bit of Greek mythology so we listen intently as gives a very animated and entertaining version of the story. Here is a version from Google:
["According to Greek Mythology, the Aegean Sea owes its name to the King of Athens, Aigeas (Aegeas).
The story goes this way....... King Minos of Crete in order to punish the Athenians who had killed his son Androgeo, declared war on Athens and won. The Athenians subsequently became subjects of the Minoan Empire. King Minos then demanded that a tribute of honour be paid. At nine year intervals, seven Athenian boys and seven Athenian girls were to be sacrificed. They were to be sent to Crete and devoured by the mythical Minotaur, a monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull, who lived in the Labyrinth.
Thiseas, the son of Aigeas and Aithra, decided that he would slaughter the Minotaur and end the shameful bloody sacrifices. He took the place of one of the seven young men and set sail for Crete. Before he left, it was agreed with his father Aigeas that they would hoist black sails as a 'show' of mourning, but that if they were successful and slayed the monster, they would hoist white sails on the journey home.
On his journey he met and fell in love with Ariadne, daughter of King Minoas. She gave him a ball of string, 'Ariadne's Clue'. The idea was to unravel the string in the Labyrinth, so that after Thiseas slayed the Minotaur, he would find his way back to the entrance. The mission was successful and the Minotaur was killed.
Under the cloak of night, Thiseas, Ariadne and the others escaped to the port and embarked on the ship for the return journey. On the way they stopped at the island of Naxos. Story tells us that Thiseas abandoned Ariadne while she was sleeping and continued on his journey home, but forgot to raise the white sails as he had promised to Aigeas (some say that Ariadne laid a curse on Thiseas).
Aigias waited for his son to return. As he stood on the Akrotiri of Sounio, he spied the ship as it rounded the cape - it had black sails. Believing that his son was dead, the king despaired. He jumped off the cliffs into the sea from the temple of Poseidon and killed himself."]
By now the freshly baked pies are ready. I've ordered a cream pie and Peter has ordered a cheese and tomato pie made with local cheese. Nothing can beat this straight from the oven. Ten out of 10 for Molidiri's pies!
Eleftheria, it's been a pleasure meeting you and we wish you and your partner the very best of luck for your new business, Molidiri!
This is our last full day on the island. We had planned to go to Ano Meria but had just missed a bus so we decide to catch the next bus down to the port (Karavostasis) and then decide what to do from there.
Once at the port we take a look at the port beach (called Port Beach). There are a couple of taverna's in the port and also one or two on the beach itself. Although a small beach and not particularly busy, it is quite stony and we can't find anyway that would be comfortable enough to sit for any length of time.
There are a couple of tourist boats in the port so we go to see if there are any trips to other beaches. The 5 beach trip only runs on a Monday, Wednesday andn Saturday however, we do see that there are daily boat trips to Katergo Beach, supposedly one of the best beaches on Folegandros due to its crystal clear, emerald waters.
We are told by the captain that the beach is quite isolated and there is nowhere to buy water so we nip to the supermarket to get a few supplies.
We set off from the port, out past rocky outcrops until we make a short stop at a little cave. The boats pushes it's nose into the cave and after a minute or two reverses out and resumes the journey to Katergo.
Soon after, we arrive at a small bay. Katergo is a long strip of rocky beach - it can be reached by a bit of a trek from Agali (the opposite direction to the one we took yesterday). The boat seems by far the best way to get here as we see later on when a we are startled by rocks bouncing past our heads caused by a couple who have been adventurous enough to go via the coastal path - just a minor avalanche! They do apologise to us - I just hope their journey back is less precarious!
The beach is barren and rocky - very beautiful and has very little shade or shelter. The midday sun is already upon us so we attempt to construct a makeshift shelter from a sarong and a Tshirt draped over a rock and anchored by big stones.
The beach itself shelves steeply as seems to be the nature of the beaches on this island but it certainly lives up to it's reputation - the sea is absolutely crystal clear!
The heat is now too much to bare, even Peter is struggling a bit. Further down the beach we see so many people lying out in the sun with no shade absolutely frying their skin (and for the nudists even more!) - I just don't know how they do it!
We decide to catch the boat that returns at 14.15 rather than stay the whole day. The boat we arrived on has remained anchored
a short distance from the beach all this time. Another boat arrived sometime later and we return on the boat we came on. I'm assuming this is for health and safety purposes in case someone is taken ill and needed to get back to the port quickly. Back in the day I remember being dropped off on remote beaches and the boats usually didn't stay - only returning for the pick up.
Back at Karavostasis we have lunch in one of the tavernas overlooking the small harbour. Peter has fish and I have sausage accompanied by Greek salad, tzatziki and of course - retsina. I think the retsina was a mistake as the sun has really made me feel a little lacklustre. It is ages before the next bus comes and we find ourselves changing tables twice to keep in the shade.
When we arrive back at Evgenia, I collapse on the bed feeling dehydrated and weary. As much as I love the sun I'm not very good in strong heat. Anyway, I soon get my second wind after a little nap. We wander around the chora and then go to the viewing point looking over the terraces. For the last time we watch the sun set on Folegandros.
If you visit Folegandros I promise you, you will never tire of walking around the chora. It really is picture perfect and I've found the local people some of the friendliest I have come across. Neither Peter or I are hungry but we do find a quiet little taverna where we sit and drink tea before returning back to Evgenia to pack.
By the time we went to bed last night we still hadn't decided how to spend our last day on Antiparos, so this morning what do we do? We decide to go to Paros! I remember how pretty the little fishing village of Naoussa was so I'm keen to see if it lives up to my memory of it.
[There are two boats you can take between Paros and Antiparos:
Parikia - Antiparos. It takes about 30 minutes. Parikia (Paroikia) is the main port. The timetable may change throughout the season so this is only a guide.
Pounda - Antiparos. This little car ferry shuttles back and forth across the short stretch between the two islands and takes 8 minutes. However, you will need to take the bus between Parikia-Pounda - a 10-15 minute journey. Both bus stops are literally a stones throw from the ports. The advantage of the car ferry is that it runs until late at night - especially handy if you are arriving on a late ferry!!]
As much as I enjoyed the journey over on the little car ferry (and eternally grateful to it for Friday!) we decide to catch the direct boat. We take our place on the upper deck and take in the wonderful view of the port. Over to the left are the port landmarks - the windmill and and the blue domed church and over to the right the short stretch of whitewashed hotels and tavernas. This view puts the size of the port, and indeed the island into context. From the port there is one main street that leads up into the Chora and then further up into the Kastro - all a few minutes walk.
The short trip over to Paros allows us to take in some wonderful views of both islands and also the tiny, privately owned island of Revmatonisi. A substantial whitewashed villa owned I believe by a shipping magnate, sits hidden behind a barrier of mature palm trees (jealous!).
The narrow straight between the two islands is very shallow and requires precise navigation. It was an earthquake in around 550 BC that caused a piece of land to separate from Paros and this became the little island of Antiparos. Signs of this volcanic activity is more evident as you pass the Northern tip of Antiparos where you can see a scattering of little islets spilling out into the sea. The sea between Antiparos and the uninhabited islands of Kato Fira (Diplo) is so shallow you can wade from one to the other. Beyond Diplo is Pano Fira and even further lies a rocky outcrop of small islets jutting out from the sea. Perched on top of one of the larger islets we can see a whitewashed church. As much as I've tried to Google, I can 't find anything that gives me the name of these islets or the name of the church - there is a reference on Google maps to Agios Spyridon but nothing else.
After 30 minutes, we arrive at Parikia which seems quieter at this time of day than it did in the early hours of the morning. It is the case that within minutes of a large ferry coming into view, a port will suddenly burst into a hive of activity and then as quick as it came, the calm returns.
As we disembark from the boat (and this is the same on any boat or ferry arriving here) we see the little windmill/tourist office in the middle of the main road and to our right, the port cattle shed/waiting room. We turn right and about 100 yards down is the small bus station.
[This video shows you where the bus station is in relation to the port. The video starts just as we leave the port on the boat and just before the video ends you will see a stationery bus - this is the bus station.]
The bus to Naoussa is about to leave. Peter purchases the tickets from the little office and we hop on board. We pass stretches of agricultural land that spill out from beneath low lying hills. As the bus winds down towards the village of Naoussa I begin to remember exactly where we are. The bus terminates adjacent to a row of shops behind which sits the marina. However, first we are desperately in need of refreshment and stumble into a nearby cafe bar (who's name I unfortunately forget) for a tall glass of fresh lemon juice over crushed ice, garnished with a sprig of mint.
After a short respite from the heat we walk down to the small harbour, home to brightly painted fishing caiques that look resplendent against the whitewashed Venetian houses, many of which are now pretty little tavernas. The remains of a small kastro and a short harbour wall encompass a number of bobbing fishing boats, a haven from the open sea beyond. The church of the Assumption of the Virgin sits high on the hill dominating the skyline above the harbour.
The stone harbour wall invited us to walk down its length into the ruin of the partially sunken kastro. A series of arches built into the thick defensive walls offer us framed vistas in which to appreciate this picture perfect scenery.
Peter climbs through one of the arches and walks out across a chain of rocks and takes a photograph looking back into the kastro.
We walked back along the harbour wall past fishermen preparing for the next day - some sitting on their boats, others sitting with their backs against a wall mending their nets. Washing is strung across a line on one of the boats. The marina is absolutely teaming with fish. We stroll amongst the pretty Venetian dwellings that have been reinvented as rather trendy eating establishments amongst which are highly rated seafood restaurants.
Before making our way back to the bus stop we stop to look at Agios Nikolaos in the harbour which also enables me to seek 10 minutes respite from the sun. This small church is believed to be the protector of all fishing boats - and protector of the fair skinned!
Time is running fast. This has been just a short whistle stop tour of Naoussa as Peter is keen to visit the monastery in Parikia so we walk slowly back to the bus stop. A copy of the timetable is by the bus stop and we realise that we will have to wait nearly an hour for the next bus.
[When we arrived back at the bus stop we realised that for the return journey we need to walk about 200 yards towards a small bus station - continue walking in the direction of the bus when it arrives in Naoussa - the bus station is at the end of the street.]
We walk past another impressive looking church and Peter goes inside whilst I rebind a sore blister with a bandage.
Just before we arrive at the bus station we pass a small place called Restaurant Pervolaria which advertises 'A Taverna in the Garden'. A large pergola covered in hessian drapes and bougainvillea branches provide much needed shade. We have decided to eat at T'Ageri back on Antiparos tonight so decide to opt for cheese and spinach pies and a cup of tea just to tide us over. This is a nice family run taverna - the owners were very friendly and welcoming. It's a little walk up from the centre of Naoussa and has very clean toilets. A wonderful place to rest a while when you have time to kill.
The bus soon arrives and we return back the journey back to the port of Parikia.
Before we go to the monastery we decide to walk to the kastro through the winding streets of the chora - this is Cycladic architecture at its best - very typical and very pretty.
The Venitian kastro sits amongst the whitewashed cubist houses - an add looking structure at first glance but the reason becomes clear from our guide book which says:
[The Venetian Kastro (1260 AD) was largely constructed from the remains of the archaic Temples of Demeter and Apollo, remnants of which can be see in the form of the circular column drums now embedded in the kastro wall.]
A little further around the corner we pass the church Agios Konstantinos - I say Agios Konstantinos - I've tried to research what the name of this church is and trying to match photographs of this church with references to it being next to the kastro brings up three option - St Konstantinos, Holy Mary Septemvriani and St Eleni. Information on the internet and my guide books are confused so my best guess is that it is St Konstantinos!
Regardless of name, this church is so picturesque, adorned with the famous Parian marble and overlooking the harbour - it's the things that postcards are made of (except if I'm in the picture of course!).
Now it's time to go to the Byzantine monastery that Peter wants to see - Panagia Ekatontapyliani - try saying that when you've had a few ouzo's!
Also called Katapoliani, it is said to be one of the most important early Christian monuments in Greece and also known as Our Lady of the 100 Doors. According to www.hotels.line.gr:
["The temple owes its name to its 100 gates, 99 of which are visible and the hundredth will be revealed when the Greeks will recapture Constantinople, as it is said.
The Katapoliani, probably derived from the term "Katapola" meaning "in town", probably indicating the location of the ancient city of Paros.
Its construction, according to tradition, must be started in the 4th century by St Helena, the mother of Saint Constantine, who made a vow that if she found the Holy Cross, she would build a church at the location of a small temple she had found when she stopped in Paros throughout her journey to find the cross. Then, after she carried out the purpose of her trip, she fulfilled her promise."]
We walk into a large paved courtyard. To our left is a shaded area with a metal framed pergola and a tree bursting with ripe lemons. Towering above this is a tall tree with spreading boughs on which hang two church bells.
The large wooden doors of the church invite us in. We are almost alone - only another couple and a cleaning lady when we enter. We all stand in awe, taking in the magnificence of this church, except the cleaning lady who is vigorously polishing each icon. Before moving onto the next icon she kisses the cleansed (and sterilised) icon and crosses herself three times - a well deserved perk of the job!
Peter also visits the icons, showing his respect to God in a much more covert way. I would describe myself as an Athiest with Agnostic tendencies - I don't really believe in God but at the same time if I was given a conclusive sign that he/she existed might be convinced. Maybe that's a sign of getting older and the realisation of my own mortality! When I consider the magnificent world we live in - the sheer miracle of nature - I do become a little more tempted to believe. I love churches and the absolute feeling of tranquillity and peace that washes over you - a haven from the outside world - saying that, my local garden centre has the same effect on me too!
Within the monastery complex, housed in some of the cells is the Byzantine Museum - we are not allowed to take photographs inside but this web link gives an overview of some of the exhibits. There is an amazing wooden, carved model of the monastery and also one handmade from wire - very intricate and quite exquisite.
It is now time to make our way back to the harbour for the boat back to Antiparos. There is so much to see and do on Paros that I feel as though we have only just dipped our toes into what the island has to offer. I would love to have visited Butterfly Valley - especially as it was the right time of year. Also the Ancient Salt Mines and maybe have walked the Byzantine Trail. However, this is one of the few downsides to island hopping - sometimes you only get a snapshot of the island - but then again - it does leave you wanting for more!
When we arrive back at the port the boat Antiparos is coming down the straight. Tourists who have probably visited Antiparos for the day disembark, then we board. There are only a handful of us on board for the return journey. We sail along the shores of Paros until we turn out into the middle of the straight, passing cormorants on rocks jutting out from the sea.
Before we end our day on Paros - just a little bit of Greek Mythology
We arrive back at the port of Antiparos. As much
as my body is crying out to throw itself into the sea to refresh itself, we
decide to go straight back to the room to shower and get ready to go out.
Before we go for our last meal on the island at Restaurant T'ageri, we
want to visit the kastro which is just a short walk from Villa Harmonia.
this is the beginning of high season, the kastro is virtually deserted. The early evening
sun casts a warm glow over the stone dwellings. Once newly whitewashed
and painted with brightly coloured windows, doors and balconies, wind, sun and
age has added to its visual appeal, by adorning it with the patina of time.
so hungry after having refrained from eating anything substantial at lunch time -
we are more than ready to eat now. We head straight
for T'ageri. It isn't very busy tonight but this we don't mind. As
soon as I walk in, a lady in a bright pink dress, pink sandals and a pink
flower in her hair, points to my camera and tells me that it is going to be a
good moon tonight. After taking our seats at a table overlooking the harbour,
the lady asks me questions about my camera and also shows me photographs of the
moon that she took the night before.
continue to talk she tells us that her daughter works for the diving school
next door and that she is staying with her on Antiparos for three months. The
lady also tells us that she is French but lives in Derbyshire. She bought
her husband the camera for his birthday - though I'm not sure how much he has
been able to use it yet!
us a lot about hereself - through her fathers job she had travelled extensively
around the world as a child. Her husband works for an airline and they
had at one time lived in Nigeria. In between conversations about
photography (at times it turns into a photography lesson) we order our
meal. I don't think Peter wants to spend so much time wrestling with his
food tonight and also we are spoilt for choice on the menu. We decide to order a mixture of things including octopus, zucchini fritters, aubergine salad,
local cheese and a Greek salad - there may have been more but we were somewhat distracted - though not unpleasantly so.
Giorgios comes from the kitchen to ask as how we have enjoyed our meal and explains to us the meaning of the word T'ageri. "It is like the feeling of the wind on your face" he tells us. Giorgios brings us out desert which is absolutely amazing. Choux pastries filled with a banana cream (they were much more than this and my description doesn't do them justice at all) - Giorgios tells us how he makes them and I really admire his passion for good food. Take a look at their menu and you will see that this is no ordinary Greek Taverna!
Maria and the owners, the French lady, Peter and I chat convivially into the evening. So far there is no sign of this perfect moon - we are waiting in anticipation with our cameras on standby. I'm sure this time last night the moon was already shining over the harbour. We wonder if it is hidden by clouds we can't see in the night sky - not the case because we can see the stars.
"Look!" the French lady shouts, pointing in the direction of Paros. As we turn, we see the moon beginning to peak out over the top of a low mountain across the sea. Everyone makes a grab for their cameras. A crowd has already begun to gather along the harbour wall to witness this magnificent spectacle.
I had left my travel tripod in Egypt so in the absence of a tripod we take turns in balancing our cameras on top of upturned ice buckets. Photos are still a little blurry (Note to myself - buy another lightweight tripod before our next trip) - I don't want to mess up another photo opportunity like this again!
This is a great end to our stay on Antiparos. We give our thanks to Giorgios and Maria and say goodbye to Mr and Mrs Eugenidis and the French lady. We walk past the marina, the moon illuminating the small boats moored up to the harbour wall. I think of the meaning of T'ageri and the line written inside the menu:
‘’Take us far away, take us away to distant places, blow open sea, blow sea breeze…!’’