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Paros - 2001


2001 was a difficult year. With the pressure of work, we decided to take a short, two week, break in June to our old favourite, Paros, in the Greek Islands. We intended to take a longer haul break later in the year, after my involvement managing a large international banking system implementation was completed.

This was not to be - the implementation was in New York City and the despicable events of 9/11 made this a traumatic period. Fortunately I was not in NYC on that terrible day - I had been staying in the Marriott WTC, the previous week but was in UK at the time of the disaster. My thoughts still turn to those events and I will forever remember not only those who lost their lives but also their families, colleagues and friends, many of whom still struggle with nightmare memories of that time.

Paros 2001
This was very much a DIY event. We had done this trip many times in the past, flying Olympic Airways from Heathrow to Athens and then taking a small Dornier 228 to Paros. Much more convenient than transferring to Piraeus port and lugging cases on and off ferries.

As usual the flights were pretty good and everything went very smoothly. We transferred to our usual accommodation in Naoussa village and settled in for a couple of weeks of pure chill time. We have always loved Naoussa with its picturesque harbour front, small winding alleyways, whitewashed houses and blue domed churches. There are some good restaurants and some cheap tavernas and the village can offer both stylish and informal evenings - something for everyone.

Naoussa "Square"

The "Square" Naoussa

We quickly settled in to our usual accommodation, took a shower and went for a short walk around the village, renewing old acquaintances and finding out what had changed. We noted that it seemed slightly more modern than on our last visit in 1999 but it still had that old, familiar, welcoming feel. We spent our days on the beaches and our evenings in the restaurants and bars. Apart from noticing that one or two of the restaurants had gone down hill and that prices in many of them had risen sharply, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit which was greatly enhanced by meeting up with many travellers, of many nationalities, who we had known for several years - some of whom we are still in contact with to this day. We were back in our "Oasis of Tranquility".

Laggeri Beach 2001

Laggeri Beach

From Naoussa harbour you can take a boat to one of three main beaches.

Kolimbithres beach is popular with Greek people and families with children

Monastiri beach has two sections. The first section, nearest the boat landing, used to be a quiet crescent of sand with a few small sandy coves allowing for peace and quiet. Unfortunately this had become very commercialised with loud music playing. The second section, reached via a narrow path through a (good) taverna is favoured by those wanting more privacy. It is also favoured by naturists.

Laggeri beach has long been our favourite. This beach is the longest boat ride but features a long sandy bay, with no refreshments and little shade. It has always been a peaceful natural beach and this is the beach on which we used to meet up with long term friends (we had been using this beach since the early 80s). The talk this year was of the farm land behind the beach being sold off for development following the death of the longtime owner. One of the old buildings behind the beach had certainly been renovated. Still this was 2001, the beach was quiet - you can imagine being there centuries ago with very little having changed. Heaven!

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