Day 11: Santorini/Paros
Day 11 was another travel day. We got up at 0830 and headed over to the pool house/restaurant for breakfast. We had to meet in the lobby to catch the bus and check out around 0930. We took the bus down the side of the caldera to the port to catch the ferry. Side note…The port can actually be seen at the bottom in the pictures from the winery tour. The ferry ended up being a little late so we stood out in the heat holding our bags for what seemed like an eternity. We were finally able to board the ferry, which turned into a free for all (since it was late they tried to pile everybody on at once to make up time). Luckily, we all made it on. I can’t remember 100%, but I believe the ride was about two or two and a half hours.
Arriving in Paros
On arrival into the waters near Paros, they shuffled us down into the holding area at the bottom of the boat. It felt like we were gearing up for battle while we waited with the sirens blaring and the platform lowering. We found our bus once we got off the boat and headed straight to the Aegeon Hotel.
Just like all of the other stops, we had about 90 minutes once we arrived to settle into our rooms and prepare for the next thing. Amanda and I actually got our own double occupancy room in Paros…so that was pretty cool. We also had originally planned to go scuba diving once we arrived on Paros. We had arranged with Blue Island Divers, a company on Antiparos, for two dives, however, because the winds were so strong and the water choppy, they emailed while we were in Rome and canceled.
An afternoon at the beach
Instead of scuba diving, we changed into our bathing suits and headed to the Krios Lounge with the whole group. It was another beach restaurant with chairs. Again, we were allowed to use their space for “free.” A bus brought us to the hill above beach, however, apparently there is some problem between the buses and the locals, so they just dropped us off and left. A driver from the restaurant drove up the hill to get us. On the way there Jason used the microphone to play Backstreet Boys and we all sang along. It was pretty funny.
We were all pretty hangry once we finally got to the beach. We ordered some food and shoved it in our faces as fast as possible. Add in a fruity, frozen drink and we were all settled in. Again, it was about 70 degrees out (20 degrees cooler than Illinois when I left) and very windy. The water was pretty cold, but we swam anyway. After lounging and swimming for four hours we headed back to the hotel. The same situation happened with the buses. One brought us up the hill and dropped us off and another brought us back to the hotel.
We showered and planned to go out for dinner. One of the guys in our group, Marc, was celebrating his birthday so we celebrated with cake and sang him a happy birthday before going out. The cakes were picked up from a bakery named Pastry Barmparis which is right down the street from the Aegeon Hotel.
Following the birthday party, we walked to the downtown area and found a restaurant called, Brizoladiko Steak House, which was right next to the ocean. We tried Kontosouvli, which is another traditional Greek dish. The food and the view were both amazing. This was another meal where we sat down forever; we didn’t end up leaving the restaurant until after 10. We met up with the group at Alga bar for drinks. There were a couple of other EF groups that we met up with. They also had gigantic Mai Tai and Long Island Iced Tea drinks. After Alga we went briefly to The Dubliner and ended up heading back to the hotel with another member of the group who had had a little too much to drink.
Not a bad first day in Paros. And…we were headed out for a full day on a boat the next day!