For our first two years, the week before Easter had proved to be a quiet one as far as the hotel was concerned . Normally we would have to look further than the Mediterranean for a bit of off-peak sunshine, but we seized the opportunity to visit Paros - an old haunt in the Cyclades Islands - before the 2005 season kicked off.
Just one evening in the Greek capital before an early flight (for the second morning running), but we managed to fit in the top few items in most tourist's list such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon and the changing of the guard on Syntagma Square, and finished it off in a Taverna in the Platka district.
Paros - the Capital Parikia
It was Steve's third visit to Paros and no less than the sixth for Phil. Prices - now of course in euros - had risen noticeably since the last time we were there, but the atmosphere remained as relaxed as ever. The apartment had been recommended by our friend Ralf who was a regular visitor to Parikia, the capital of the island. It was just a few minutes walk from the traditional whitewashed alleys of the old town, but the main attraction of the place was the balcony from which we watched sunset each night, Vodka and Tonic in hand!
Naoussa and the Rest of the Island
On previous visits we had always stayed in the second town of Paros, Naoussa. It is smaller but - arguably - more picturesque than Parikia, around a port more used to fishing and to ferrying tourists to the beaches around its own beautiful natural harbour than to the bigger vessels docking at the capital.
We re-visited other favourite places around Paros and discovered some new ones, but made sure that several hours each day were spent one one of the island's beautiful but - that early in the year - almost deserted beaches.
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