Little old Greek ladies take queueing seriously by using their elbows and body weight
The beaches are sometimes difficult to reach on the islands and most are clothing-optional
You can't flush paper down toilets on the islands
The water on the islands isn't recommended for drinking, so get that money ready for all those bottles
The Greek and Italian languages are nothing alike
There's no avoiding cigarette smoke in Greece...It's everywhere
In Greece, the party starts well after midnight and can continue into brunch time
The water really is that blue
They don't have the greatest beer...and the wine is clearly superior in Italy
When you want to say "cheers" in Greece, you say "yamas!"
Ouzo tastes like sambuca...so, not good
Gyros are a lovely and cheap option for eating out, especially before or after a late night
Italians LOVE Mykonos
Going topless on a beach is quite common
Feta in Greece is served as a thick slab of cheese, not in crumbles, and it's delicious there
ATVs and scooter rentals are everywhere and seem like they're totally worth it
Weee! A beach! A warm beach! Without jellyfish, sharks, or boiling outdoor temperatures! The Greek islands were calling me while I was still preparing for the trip in America. Every island the ferry passed was a tease until we finally slowed and reversed into the port for Paros. Oh, sweet breezes and salty air! We made it to our relaxation portion of this year's internship, a much needed moment for sun-worshipping and getting rid of my wicked farmer's tan. Paros marked the first destination on a tour of three islands in the Aegean Sea, and she met almost every expectation. White buildings with strong blue accents made up the entire landscape, and windmills stood poised over the harbor. Restaurants lined the boardwalk, and the wind made my hair dance into happy knots. Maybe the only thing that strayed from my pre-conceived images of the Greek islands were the appearance of the beaches, not sugar white but more in line with their volcanic births.
The tour itinerary was something along the lines of "choose one or more of the following: eat, walk, shop, rest, beach, pool, tan, read, rent scooters, drink, enjoy your beautiful surroundings" and so on. Well, okay. That sounds darn near perfect. And the next day, when it came to a full day of experiencing Paros, our tour guide had something in store if we had no inspiration on our own. I took part in the optional day tour and found myself wandering picturesque fishing towns, running across wave-breaking walls, and at a lovely beach playing newly invented ball games with new friends and a very hospitable sun.
Nightfall in Paros had me dancing on a table. How'd I get up there? Oh, I know. Two days of soul-pleasing leisure and a Red Bull. And it did not take any convincing to get the other tour participants up on the tables with me. Flashing lights pulsed and free group drinks flowed to make smiles spread across our newly tanned faces. This was only the beginning. We all had energy. And to be in Greece during the high season when ferries overflow and funnel in mass amounts of tourists, we were there hassle-free, our only responsibility being to enjoy new company and atmospheres.
Paros left a good taste in my mouth. Made me long for even sleepier islands and the breathtaking beauty of an uncommercial destination. Greece could be a painter's dream, soul-quenching...but our next stop being Mykonos, we were about to have our soul's disgorged via thumping music and innumerable cocktails. Which sounds better?