Today was especially warm so Karin and I decided to take some sandwiches and go for a moped ride up into the hills. It was delightful little jaunt into the history of the island.

During the Byzantine period (1600 give or take a few hundred years) the entire island population lived in the hills, mostly around the village of Lefkes. That area is great to ride and walk through because of the evidence of the by gone era. Today we were on the back side of that same mountain in the vicinity of a village that just died off in the last 20 years. There are still one or two farmers using the fertile but narrow river valley, including the only cherry orchard on the island (supposedly). Mostly, however, the few remaining houses not in ruins are holiday homes. They have a quiet, relaxing atmosphere with a distant sea view but also a hellish road that is a river bed in the rain.

In other words the mountain valleys--there is another word for these narrow gorges with occasional terraces, but I don't know it--are a separate world from the coastal villages that have grown up since tourism came to Paros in the last 20 years.


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