Luxury lifestyle provider, DAMAC Properties, today announced the launch of its first project in Dubailand called - The Cyclades.

The project is comprised of 7 office buildings - Andros, Amorgos, Ios, Milos, Naxos, Paros and Santorini, of which the last two are now being launched. 'The Cyclades is a commercial property with Greek style architecture at Arjan, the master planned development within Dubailand. Brilliant white architectures with the great blue sky as backdrop, best describe The Cyclades at Arjan,' said Mr. Peter Riddoch, CEO DAMAC Properties.

Dubailand is an innovative, awe-inspiring entertainment and leisure development that represents an integral part of Dubai's bold vision to become the worlds top tourism destination.

The Cyclades are a Greek island group in the Aegean Sea, south-east of the mainland of Greece; and an administrative region of Greece. They are one of the island groups which constitute the Aegean archipelago. The name refers to the islands around the sacred island of Delos.

All of the above is from the company press release. What I have never been able to figure is why Dubai is a popular destination? All I have seen in photos is buildings and sand. Would someone please comment about what is attractive about Dubai.

Time is flying by but I won't bore you with why I am not posting. I do, however, take a few minutes relaxation time to read others' blogs. When I log into Blog Explosion I occasionally try the Scratch Cards; I lose much more often than I win one or two credits. Wait for it . . .

Tonight I won the maximum, 1000 credits!!!!

I am so happy. I have to share it with someone. So, please comment on how you think I should spend the BE Credits. I will transfer 100 credits to the BE account of whoever makes the best suggestion in my opinion.

If you are not a member of Blog Explosion, I heartily recommend it. Please use this link.

Blogazoo is also good. If you are a member of Blogazoo here is a Gazoo
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Greetings from Portland, Oregon, USA

We don't have any photos of the clear but cold weather here. So here is one of our son's Over 30 soccer team(he is the goalkeeper in the red hat). The temperture was below freezing and there were high winds substantially affecting the play. This was the league championship match which they lost, probably because most of the family spent the first half at a nearby Starbucks.

Obviously it will be difficult to blog about life on Paros as we spend the next 6 weeks in Oregon. But do check in once in awhile as I do have some material to post.

In the meantime here is a flash announcement for anyone traveling through Piraeus this winter. The Express 96 bus to and from the airport has changed stop locations. Last Friday morning about 1 A.M. Karin and I were rather shocked to walk from the ferry to the bus stop and find it obviously gone. There was a small sign in Greek that we couldn't understand so we decided to check out the next bus stop. Sure enough with the help of another bus driver's pointing finger we found the new location. It is easier to get to so if you are there just ask around.

Read more about our Paros life in our full service Paros web site.

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I am short on quick and easy blog material right now. ( I do have a long list of detailed, informative articles to write.) So I will mention a recent enquiry that we received.

Hi Michael and Karin

I have just been reading your newsletters on the Paros Paradise website about your life out there which sounds amazing. As you are obviously in touch with a lot of people on the island i was wondering if you would be able to help me. I am currently working on a programme for ITV about British Expats living in Greece. We are looking for expats that are perhaps feeling a little homesick and are now thinking about coming home to the UK. With your contacts we thought that perhaps you might know of how we could get the word out that we're looking or even that you might know people in this situation. Any help or suggestions you might have would be really appreciated. I look forwards to hearing from you. Best Wishes Ami

Actually, this programme came up at dinner the other night with some of our Brit friends. They mentioned it as a possible way for someone to get a free trip home for a visit. We lamented the negative slant of such shows that we had seen in the past. They tend to highlight all the problems and pass over the joys of living in a foreign culture. We had a good laugh that everyone we know on Paros is too happy to qualify for a TV feature.

These people are all Brits enjoying New Years Day 2006 on our veranda.
Read more about the expatriate life style on our expat page in our full service Paros website.

Life will never be the same again! At the prices quoted--$60 for 3 days--that is no exaggeration.

Read the whole story in this excellent article by deTraci Regula in Greece for Visitors.

Here is one excerpt:

"Stops on the full 14-day version of the cruise include Athens. Mykonos, Paros, Ios, Milos, Amorgos, Naxos, Folegandros, Sifnos and Serifos, a great combination of perky major tourist stops and remote Greek islands. "

This is going to be an exciting development to watch. I am glad I no longer have a pension to keep full.

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In browsing blogs I just discovered an interesting new blog designed to be a middleman between bloggers and those who advertise on blogs. Since the price is FREE, it is worth a trial.

Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think: Blog Whore Net

November 17th is a school holiday in Greece in commemoration of a 1973 event when Greece was ruled by a 3-man military Junta. On that date the military used deadly force to quell a student uprising. The Junta did not last much longer and to this day the national police and military are not allowed to restore order on University campuses in Greece.

In Athens there are speeches at the Poly Technical School gates then a parade to the United States embassy. In years past there has been violent clashes between demonstrators and police. Here on Paros the commemoration takes the form of all school foot races for grades 3 to 6; it was Aliki's turn to host.

The younger girls start.

A clear winner for the younger boys.

On a daily basis it is difficult to know what is really happening between these two counties. More often than not Greece is complaining about Turkish jet fighters infringing on Greek air space. This year opposing jets collided and crashed. Last week the top General of the Turkish armed forces received a hospitable welcome in Athens. I do not even try to decipher the rhetoric over Cypress.

Yet in the tourism business all is well. This is from the Athens News Agency:

In terms of figures, noted Turkish entrepreneur Can Eretem said roughly
50,000 Turkish nationals take yachting holidays in Greece every year,
whereas Petralia said 120,000 Turkish nationals visited the country.
Conversely, 585,000 Greek nationals visited Turkey in 2005, up from 100,000
in 2004.

From what I have read all these people were treated well in their host countries.

This week top level government ministers from both countries signed a tourism protocol covering many subjects and agreeing
to make travel of third country tourists between the
two countries easier and to inaugurate new ferry boat links.

Many travelers want to combine visits to Turkey and Greece. To date it has been somewhat complicated. Hopefully this year it will be much easier. The best preserved city of ancient Greece is on Turkish soil. Read a little more about Ephesus on our full service Paros web site.

This announcement is probably premature since I do not yet have my web site navigation structure updated, BUT Karin and I are proud to be associated with the Cooking Workshop presented by our good friends Eddy & Louise Hopman.

I have created a web page that introduces Greek Cooking -- Eddy Style! As well as their fantastic farmhouse location on a Paros hillside. This is just a taste--follow the page links to read what makes Eddy's cooking unique and learn more about natural food and wine on Paros.

A Sensory Culinary Experience
One to Five Days of exposing your senses to flowers, fruits, herbs, birds, bees, vegetables, fish, meat . . .
Plus all the sun, sea and sand of our Greek isle
During this cooking workshop you not only learn a new style of Greek cuisine, you experience the more traditional, natural way of gathering and preparing local products. You buy fish off the local boats, forage for wild herbs, buy vegetables from the old man who grew them . . .

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I had been saving this item for next spring when I started giving people details about getting around Athens and Piraeus, the ferry port. But since I am low on posting material I will spoil the surprise for those who have been here before.

There is a new, as of early September, pedestrian overpass between the Piraeus Metro station and the Cyclades ferry quay. Hurrah!

While it will save travellers with luggage from either dodging fast moving traffic or winding through taxis stopped across the crosswalks, the main benefit will be to increase the flow of traffic into and by the port complex. Thus ending some of the traffic jams that cause those arriving by bus and taxi to arrive late.

Now the only thing Piraeus needs, in my opinion, to be a pleasant destination in it's own right is a pedestrian walkway through the port area into the attractive parts of the city such as Mikrolimano and Zea Bay. This is a distance of about 10 blocks that consists of narrow and broken sidewalks with far too many kiosks and other street vendors further blocking the way.

Now that we are back to warm and sunny weather I can confess that we had a bunch of unseasonably cold and stormy days.

I looked through a couple hundred photographs trying to find some summer beach pictures to contrast with these winter ones. No luck. So you will have to take my word for it that our beach takes on a completely different appearance.

Better yet, come visit us in the summer.

Find more and better photos of Paros on our full service Paros web site.

This next photo is part of the same storm. Taken from the beach looking towards Antiparos.

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This post will supplement what we have written before about harvesting olives for oil, including a program for your private label.

Three years ago there was a spread in
Greece for Visitors that includes several photos.

Anyway, on Sunday--a delightful day before the current storms hit--we spent 6 hours of physical labor raking trees and hauling olives.

Monday we went with the olives to the local press and spent an interesting two hours waiting our turn to go through the process. Our share of the crop resulted in 3 litres of all natural cold-pressed oil. It must be very premium for the effort that we put out.

The first photo should be captioned: In go the olives

The second shows what comes out of the press.

The third is the finished product ready for the bottle, or more mundanely, the heavy plastic jug.

This post is not meant as a full fledged article on harvesting your own olive oil. I would appreciate questions from anyone who would like to know more.

Our neighbor recently gave us several large--and very juicy--pomegranates. So we have been putting the fruit in everything we can, always the morning cereal.

I was intrigued by this post in the Modern Humanist
Take a look, please, to learn about this ancient fruit.

Between the daily pomegranate and the daily red wine we will be well and truly antioxidized!

For more on Greek food see this page in our full service Paros web site.

28 October is OXI Day, a national holiday. Read last year's description here.

The day before Karin was invited by Yaya (grandmother and our neighbor) to attend her grandson's preschool program. Karin enjoyed it as entertaining and enlightening. The children were very well behaved and non hyper. The posters were very militaristic, she thought.

We celebrated the day by going horta (wild greens) picking with Yaya. We now know what to look for so we will never go hungry.

Horta cooks up like spinach but is bland tasting so you need to add vinegar, garlic, pomegranate or whatever you have around.

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One of the little known benefits of living simply on a Greek island is the general lack of bathroom scales. No one bothers, so it has been two years since Karin and I weighed ourselves.

Yesterday, however, we walked into the wrong neighborhood. Suddenly we were confronted by a "stand-on" scale in the doorway of a pharmacy. Tending to be the type that rush in where angels fear to tread, I stepped onto the infernal machine. Boom, the needle swung to XX kg. Oh, oh my short hand conversion into pounds was way too high; I need to go home and use a calculator. Then maybe the result will be more acceptable.

No such luck, however. October this year has been a difficult month.We have only gone swimming a few days and I have not replaced that with regular walking. Top that off with the annual round of dinner parties for the expats who are leaving for the winter and my belly is back to the obnoxious size it was last spring.

No photos are available to illustrate this post!

So here is one of Karin swimming last week.

We are seeing frequent reports in the news media about Greek antiquity theft. There are at least two reasons, I believe. One, it is trendy topic because of the hoopla about the Elgin marbles and two, the police have received increased funding for this area.

This recent report is typical and just the tip of the iceberg in my opinion as anyone who has been in Greece more than a couple years, including the natives, will have picked up something ancient.

An 81-year-old man yesterday faced a prosecutor on antiquities theft charges after police seized more than 450 ancient artifacts from his home on Alexandras Avenue in central Athens.
The cache, which included objects dating from Neolithic times to the Byzantine era, is one of the largest and most valuable collections of illegal artifacts to be discovered in years, officers from Attica’s antiquities theft unit said. The collection reportedly included objects made of marble, bronze and clay as well as coins and icons.
“Archaeologists who have examined most of (the artifacts) are convinced they were illegally excavated,” Reuters cited a police official as saying.
The man allegedly told police that the artifacts were family heirlooms.

Just last month we took some guests to the ancient quarries for the Parian marble from which many famous statues are carved. I picked up a small hunk of white marble and held it to the sun. They were amazed at the light that shone through; so, of course, they had to have pieces to take home. Airport security gave them no grief, I am happy to report.

I should also report, however, that just last year an American girl spent the night in jail for putting a stone from a field at the Acropolis into her day pack.

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24 Oct Update: After reinstalling my old security suite I managed to upload four photos.

We have been having heavy rain and wind the last couple days. Just before it started Karin and I discovered an excellent place to weather the storm: the Moraitis Winery.

The winery has an excellent reputation on Paros but like Greece wines in general it is not known much elsewhere. In fact I was quite surprised at its large size and extensive storage. We have been in many Oregon and California wineries that are smaller. The photos will convey this better than my words.

There is a large central vault/hallway with numerous smaller vaults to each side; right for bottles, left for barrels.

Ha Ha or HeHeHe For Two days I have not been able to upload any photos.
(Plus numerous other computer problems; all related I am guessing to memory requirements of an upgraded security program. Just another example of terrorist activities creating havoc in everyday lives. And another example of the prevention being worse than the possible illness. Or just another case of me being frustrated as hell!)

We regularly drink their reds so took advantage of the tasting room to try their premium white and a rose'. Both are made from a Monemvasia-Asyrtiko blend. We found them excellent--certainly better than what we normally drink. The white had great character and depth; the rose' had a berry fruit taste without being too sweet. They also produce red and white from organically grown grapes.

The winery is not only open most days for tastings and tours it has a large tasting room with a grand piano and an audio-visual room for presentations. So it is available for meetings and conferences, that is social and cultural events.

The tasting rooms and storage facilities also serve as an excellent museum of by-gone wine and ouzo production. Karin did her usual job of many excellent photos. I had to severely limit what was included here to just convey the winery and not the museum.

For more on Cycladic wines read this article in our full service Paros web site.

Man, it's cold here. High: 68° F 20° C Low: 64° F 18° C

If this keeps up we will have to change out of our summer clothes and close the windows and doors. We are loath to do that because then summer would be gone.

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Here's an interesting item From deTraci Regula,Your Guide to Greece for Visitors

Fans of Nia Vardalos' hit comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding" can rejoice. She's started work on a new movie, "My Life in Ruins", in which she stars as a beleaguered Greek tourist guide. And for the first time in more than 20 years, Greek authorities are allowing the filmmakers to shoot at the Acropolis. Apparently, they suspect this film may be good news for Greek tourism... not that Greece needs any help, as 2006 has been a record-breaking year for travel in Greece.

I subscribe to an expat newsletter published by Telegraph.Co.UK Recently they have run a series about Cultural Profiles. You only get a brief summary for free but it looks accurate--for stereotypes that is.

Any Greek readers please do not be offended. The one I read about the French is much more insulting.

National Cultural Profiles – GreeceNational Cultural Profiles are your guide to the thinking patterns of all the world's major cultures. Below is an extract from the Greece profile, please follow the link where you can subscribe to read the profile in full.

Introduction: Greece is a mountainous country and comprises a mainland and more than 400 islands, over 150 of which are inhabited.
Values and beliefs: Greek consciousness is keenly aware that the Greek city-state period laid the basis for Western European civilisation and the liberal democracies. Greeks believe strongly in their intellectual powers, intuition and sense of artistry. Self-image is of a cultural, eloquent, sophisticated European, experienced in social and commercial matters.
Concept of space: Greece is a tactile culture. Its distance of comfort is similar to the Italian - hugging and kissing are common.
Communication patterns: Greeks are verbose, theatrical and intense. Greeks believe in their own powers of oratory. They use rational argument like the French, but spice it up with emotive content.
Body language: Eye contact has been measured as the strongest in Europe. Special Greek features are a slight upward nod of the head (meaning “no”) and tilting the head to either side (meaning “yes, of course”).
Behaviour at meetings: Greeks hold many lengthy, argumentative and intense discussions amongst themselves. Non-Greeks will find them extremely loquacious, digressive, often volatile. They respect logic, however, and are skilled at pleasing (and often manipulating) other nationalities. They can display great understanding and charm, often appearing extremely flexible and accommodating. One has, however, to listen carefully as they extract concessions smartly when an opening occurs. They are normally well-dressed, neat and well-composed.
Concept of status: There is great respect for education, qualifications and intellectual prowess on the one hand, wealth and family connections on the other.
Manners and taboos: The multi-active nature of the Greeks means that they are often late for appointments and, when they give interviews, let them run on endlessly, even if someone else is waiting. Elderly people have a lot of authority and are not kept waiting. Greeks are excellent hosts and their hospitality can be embarrassing.
(Contact for subscription details.)

For more about our life among these excellent hosts see our full service Paros web site.

We took our Sunday jaunt on Saturday, a warm, still, hazy day. We decided to ride out past Kolimbythres to the Monisteri area and then hike to the lighthouse on the extreme northwest of the island.

Karin took a ton of pictures of the dramatic rock formations but these are the two beauties that I chose to show. Aren't I a fortunate man!

I also found this change of seasons photo interesting. The livestock sharing the field with the sail boats.

While trying to get Technorati tags to work (have you noticed my attempts?) I came across an excellently written blog post describing a brief visit to Paros. Now that blog is listed on the right under other Greece blogs as HomeboyMediaNews.
This is from Homeboy himself:
What I am trying to do with my blog is mainly to increase reader's awareness about modern Greece and Cyprus and to make them know that our countries are not only sun and sea. As I see it, its my venture to transform (and change to the maximum within my power) their, in many cases, negative picture about our Nation, its people and countries. Many things have changed, especially after the 2004 Olympics plus the facts of our rich history, culture, customs and traditions. That is the purpose of my blog, in a way its a gateway to learn more on modern and today's (maybe also future) Greece and Cyprus.

So if you want to learn more about modern Greece than the sun and sea life on my blog, bookmark HomeboyMediaNews.

Anita Miller has just posted photographs of her paintings that she created last month. They are found at under Landscapes. The photos don't do the justice to the paintings, I'm afraid. We are very proud of the one Anita gave to us.

This painting of Anita's I am including in our continuing series: From Our Veranda--although it was actually painted from the veranda of the villa next to ours.


This is a photo of one of our workshop participants, Marianne, painting on our veranda. (Hey Andy, that's you through the screen door.)

It is not too early to start planning your painting holiday for 2007. Start with this site: Paros Art Workshops.

We are really enjoying the calm after the flurry of summer business. So far the October weather has been delightfully warm and calm. There is a sense of peacefulness as we walk the streets and beaches with just a scattering of other people--mostly older couples, a few younger couples.

Yesterday we took a jaunt to our favourite beach, Agri Irini, with the idea of having an ouzo after our swim at one of the tavernas. The south beach (Palm Beach) was closed up tight and the few people on the strip of sand were mostly nudists so we headed to the north Beach. The taverna there was having a private party to eat up the leftovers as they had just closed for the season. Karin's charm earned us a free ouzo.

The sun and sand were delightful but I couldn't walk to my preferred snorkeling spot without disturbing the congress of an amorous couple. It seems the sparsity of people on the beaches and along the paths this time of year produces a back to nature effect. Hmmm, if you can't beat them, join them.

Wow, it is becoming a major undertaking to keep traffic of all the changes in ferry service since the recent ferry deregulation.

Would you believe: a Frequent Sailor Miles Program? Yes, Hellenic Seaways has one up and running. Karin and I signed up today even though the Blue Star Ferries currently has better schedules for us.

I won't list all the benefits; they can be found on the company web site. Once you travel 1000 miles you get a 10% rebate for both you and your vehicle, if you traveled with one. At 3,000 miles there are free upgrades.

So, come on folks, let's start island hopping.

Thanks to deTraci Regula of About Greece for alerting me to this program. Her link is to the right under Other Greece blogs.

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Blog Mad is going crazy. Or is that an oxymoron? redundant?

Anyway they have teamed up with a revenue sharing blog host named NUTANG.COM
I just checked it out and was quite impressed. I had tried Blogcharm which is part of BlogExplosion and it was O.K, but Nutang looks better and easier to use. Further there is a community aspect to it like MySpace and the rest. So have fun blogging and earn some change to cover your expenses. Click here. Cheers!

Currently membership is by invitation only but Blog Mad members can easily receive an invite. Join Blog Mad with this link.

Oh yeah! This blog is supposed to be about Greece so here is something that I don't think I have posted before.

Everything you want to know about Greece can be found in or around our full service Paros website:

My favourite newsletter of all time is This is True by Randy Cassinham. I found these travel map sites through his newsletter. I think of myself as widely traveled but you can see there are large chunks of the world that I have not been. I have read about them though.

Both Karin and I are inveterate readers of travel adventure. Currently we are jointly reading The Song of Troy by Coleen McCullough and The Happy Isles of Oceania by Paul Theroux.

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Over the years I have been in quite a few US states, however. This is to the best of my failing memory.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

SUBSCRIPTIONS to "This is True" are free at

The folks at BlogMad traffic exchange (the one with best ratio) are playing tease with a new traffic building site. Check out eXLinks with this link, please.

My next major project is to update and revitalize our full service Paros website. To that end we asked one of our workshop artists, Carol Schar, to take some photos of Karin and I.

Both of these were taken at our closing night festivities at Eddy's Cooking School. See a recent post for links.

By the way, I am looking for feedback on how to improve our Paros website. What type of information would you most like to see there?

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The new school year started with a teacher's strike that is still ongoing. Below are comments by Jayne of Gadzooks newsletter(she is a Brit married to a Greek with two daughters):

Believe me the Greek primary teachers do not need a pay rise - but rather a kick up the backside!
They are absolutely CRAP at their jobs - useless!
They start 'lessons' at 8.30 and finish at 12.30 with breaks included in this.
The parent is expected then to sit with the kid and help them (and explain) the work they have for homework .... as you can imagine for me, this is really difficult. Mostly, Natalia hasn't got an idea as to what and why she does things. Nats is not a genius but she's not the 'bottom' of the class either! Which makes me wonder exactly what her over made up - thong wearing under white skirts teacher is actually doing during those approx 4 hrs.
I can't stand the way Greek teachers work - Greece is overloaded with evening classes of all kinds - teachers work on the basis that all children pay for evening classes so they teach accordingly - i.e leave the difficult work to the over paid evening schools. Greek kids cannot pass their final exams without the help of these incredibly expensive evening schools. Greek society plays on the one thing that keeps Greek families together ~ The desire to give ALL to your children, as many Greeks suffered even 30 yrs ago and do not want their children to experience the same live as they did. Thus producing spoilt little monsters.
It's not unusual for a family to be paying at least 1,000 euro a month on 2 kids for evening classes. I know for sure there is no way a British family would do this unless they were mega, mega rich! Something is terribly wrong with an education system that relies on evening schools to finish the work for them and even after years of paying huge amounts of money many kids did not even get the pass mark to get into the local 'technical college' never mind university!

Below are links to some of Jayne's sites. Please check them out.

Gadzook's eBay shops: JEWELRY SENT WORLDWIDE
UK: Asimenia_jewels
USA: Asimenia_jewels
DA' BLING! ~ Iced out jewelry and watches DA' BLING jewelry and Iced out watches!

DHC 6 de HavillandTwin Otter

Latest news from
ATHENS - Greco-Canadian seaplane operator AirSea Lines has won a contract from the Greek government to operate flights to the Cyclades islands and the northern Aegean, the government said on Thursday.

No further details available yet as to which islands will be served. To me, however, anything that opens up access and provides competition to existing airlines and ferries is for the good.

This year tourism was up to Greece but down to Paros. Most people blame the reduced ferry capacity. I add to that the incompetent operation of government controlled Olympic Airlines.

For more on how to get to Greece and Paros see our full service Paros website.

In my last post two weeks ago I was being facetious about our hectic life style. So I got my comeuppance. Since then I have been working long, hard days with our Art Workshops--before, during and after 8 days of escorting 13 painters in Athens and on Paros.

Fortunately they all had a very good time while enhancing their painting abilities. The organizational glitches and problems that inevitably arise seem to have been worked through O.K.. Best of all, our closing night festivities were a highlight that left everybody vowing to come back next year. Thanks for that to Eddy and Louise--check out their cooking school.

So next year we are looking at combining painting and cooking into one workshop. If you are interested, send me your e-mail to receive information after we develop it.

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Yesterday Karin and I took a Sunday afternoon break from our hectic schedules--haha--for an adventurous journey on Antiparos. The maps showed a cove with a beach that Karin wanted to see. My powers of description are not up to re-creating the scene.

We headed past the tourist areas along the coast, through the farming areas on the high ground and then up a series of rugged hills about 3 km to the summit. The view was beautiful back over our familiar side of the island and on to our own Paros neighborhood. In the other direction, West, were more rugged hills and a downhill so steep we could not see the coast line, just the sea beyond. We headed down with our brakes on the whole way another 2-3 km into a narrow little gorge that opened up into a beautiful fiord type cove and sandy beach. Karin said it was sinister because she is used to wide open vistas.

In the small flat area behind the beach there were two houses; one boarded up and no one visible at the other. So we took the opportunity for our once-a-year skinny-dipping. Karin stayed close to the beach because of things growing in the water but I snorkeled on out, my white butt flashing on the water's surface. The undersea was quite interesting because away from the sandy shallows the cove bottom was like a grassy mountain meadow with occasional rock outcroppings. All the normal sea life except one thing I had not seen here before was a crab so well camouflaged with plants growing on his back that had he not moved I would not have seen him.

After the swim we were heading back up the steep road, easier going up then down, and back into town for some food and drink. I wanted to try a taverna that we had always noticed as being busy but had never stopped at. Some guests had told us they had enjoyed it this year. We now have a new discovery, Giorgos' Taverna for good food, good prices. You sit in Market Street for up close people watching.

But as we were walking back to catch the ferry home I met Don Hansen, a travel advisor for Fodor's, Thorntree and other internet travel forums. His advice: don't tell anyone how good Antiparos is. It is already growing too fast.

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This evening during dinner on our veranda Karin and I noticed a small salamander/gecko crawling down the wall between the light fixture and the shutter. It was an unusual orange/clear color with a wiggling tail that made it look like a large scorpion. (We have had small scorpions on our veranda.) We thought that was interesting but it soon disappeared somewhere.

Later as we were playing cards in the cool breeze we noticed two normal-colored grey salamanders crawling along the beam between the window and door--and between two light fixtures. Was one of them the earlier creature, having changed colors, or had these two chased the other off? Soon our attention was riveted to one of them stalking a moth over the door. As we watched carefully, with Karin getting a crook in her neck, we were rewarded with witnessing the salamander pounce, while on the bottom of the beam, and crawl away into a corner with the moth in his mouth. We applauded as the moth gave a death shudder.

To think I have always been appalled at accounts of crowds cheering and applauding at executions. Everything is relative, I am deciding.

My blogging is full of apologies--and little content. I have several subjects that I need and want to write articles about. Let's blame it on writer's block rather than . . . I guess I have no excuse.

In the mean time here is some filler that I copied from Google's Inside Adsense when they celebrated the introduction of ads in Greek.

- The length of Greece's coastline is estimated at 9,300 miles; America's coastline is estimated at 11,800 miles. The land area of Greece is slightly smaller than Alabama.

- The yo-yo is the second oldest known toy in the world (only the doll is older), and was born over 3,000 years ago in the days of ancient Greece.

- Greek people love to dance, so there are 63 different folk dances in Greece.

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I haven't telephoned my mother for a good long time. This week I fully intended to, BUT we have had something going every night--there is a 10 hour time difference so I can only call at night.

Karin and I have not had dinner alone together since who knows when. Our visiting Dutch friends take up a lot of time and then tonight we are going to dinner at our Dutch friends who live here. Last night was a beach party in a small cove sheltered from the high winds that drove us from the beach. Tonight we are up on the hill for some of Eddy's wonderful cooking.

Greece is truly a mixture of the ancient, the historical and present.

Locals, expatriates, and visitors all have a love/hate relationship with the beauty of the country and the character of the people and institutions of the country. Some love it and leave, some love it and come back; despite the inconveniences everyone was on Paros on August 15.

No one likes the crowds; even the business people had more than they could handle. Yet everyone was having a great time either at the beach during the day or in town at night.

Our highlight was the fireworks. They truly were the best I had ever experienced including USA Independence Day because there were several new ones that I had never seen before on TV or live. We love it here!

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Image courtesy of Joke of the Day

I just discovered a fun site for building blog traffic.

Check it out:

Seven years ago we found these little shapes in the sand on Agri Irini beach. They intrigued our curiosity--were they man-made, or part of an animal or plant? For the first year or two we found them no place else, but since then we have on one or two other beaches.

We even asked a local taverna owner who grew up on Agri Irini. He claimed to not know what they were. They are many colors and shapes of a resin-like texture.

What else can I say? The white scale is inches; the yellow is centimeters.

Until we have a three dimensional video with touch and smell I will not be able to do justice to our village festival. In short you just have to be there to sense the atmosphere.

All in all in was a good show--although a day late according to some--. The highlight is the dancing in which everyone participates--I even clicked my fingers as I walked down the beach. Karin demonstrated her grace and rhythm to everyone walking down the street.

My photo doesn't show any of the older folks but a few of them were the best and longest lasting dancers. Karin's favourites are the pre-school girls who lose all inhibition.

The festival in honor of Transfiguration of Christ (Panigiri tou Sotiros) is held every August 6th. But this year that is a Sunday so some committee must have decided Saturday would be better and so published a notice. So we went over early on Saturday to get a good bird's eye view table at our favourite bar and waited, and waited and finally went home a few drinks later. In other words no one else paid any attention to the change in date.

See and learn more about Aliki in our full service web site.

I have posted before about various island activities but there is just too much going on this high season weekend.

1) After hours Techno - Progressive party with guest dj Leoni. Friday 4 August at Caffe Latte Lounge Bar, Seafront Parikia

2) The Moraitis Family, Parian wine-makers, invite you to the art exhibition: "Unusually Exceptional Works of Art" Works by: Michael Brady, Dimitris Sifneos, Gail Anthony and Hera. Opening: Saturday 5 August at 20:00 Venue: Moraitis Winery, Naoussa Dates: 5 - 31 August

3) "Moments of Inspiration" - photographs by Fragiskos Kefalas. At the Community Office of Marpissa (opposite the central church of the village). Opening: 5 August at 18:00 Dates: 5 August - 18 August.

4) 'Night Travel' All night house music party on the beach, with dj Alex and guests. Saturday 5 August at Monastiri Beach Club, Naoussa Bay.

5) 'Greek Trio' Sunday 6 August at 21:00 Dimitris Fotopoulos - flute Paris Anastasiadis - viola Apollon Kouskoumvekakis - guitar In works be. C.vonWeber, J.S. Bach, de Call, L. van Beethoven, A. Piazzola, K.Kydoniatis, W.Matiegha. At: Nostos open air Theatre New Golden Beach (Tserdakia)

"The above events and images from
Parosweb Events, a mailing service which reaches the "Paros Island Online Community", a very targeted audience of about 4,000 persons. Please contact us when you wish to broadcast your event."

Not listed above but the highlight for us is the annual Aliki Festival. Photos and comments after I recover from the free drink and food tomorrow.

Oh wow, I just picked up the following from the Paros Life Calendar on ParosWeb.
31 Jul - 4 Aug - Tai Chi week with Spiros Peristeris at Tao's.
4-6 Aug - Thai massage bodywork workshop with Spiros Peristeris at Tao's.
5 Aug - 9pm - performance by the Folkdance Group of Naoussa in the courtyard of the Panaghia Church, Naoussa. 5 Aug - 9.30pm - Festival in Aliki (Panigiri tou Sotiros) with music, fish & local wine.
5 Aug - Theatre performance of "Don Quixote" by the Children's Group of the National Theatre at the Municipal Athletic Field, Paroikia.
6 Aug - 8.30pm - Transfiguration of Christ (Panigiri tou Sotiros) celebration takes place at the Kopelouzos Estate, Langeri, Santa Maria. Open for Paros citizens and guests of the Kopelouzos Family.
6 Aug - 9pm - Festival (Panigiri tou Sotiros) in Papageorgi Stamenou Sq., Marpissa. Live traditional music, dancing and mezedes.

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I haven't posted much about the weather lately but it has been affecting (or is that effecting, I forget) our daily lives. Starting in June and almost everyday in July it has been unusually windy this year. Not that the speed is unusually high, it is just day after day of consistently high winds--between 30-36 mph. Now in August, the month known for Meltemi or consistently high winds, it is slacking off. We are due for several days of low breezes and then the wind shifting from the North to coming from the South.

For us this brings hot weather, but not the hot weather we read about elsewhere. Here is gets up to 90 °F / 32 °C; that isn't so bad except that our lows at night are still 80° F/ 27° C. Without air conditioning You have to sleep naked. Somehow though the heat saps any sexual stimulation. (So is affect or effect appropriate?)

Paros is a great island for walkers--that includes Antiparos. There are a few off-road foot paths and a great many unpaved back roads.

This photo is of our favourite: out our door, through Aliki and along the coast to the North. We usually go about 15 minutes out to a nice beach that has a lot of shells and other flotsam and jetsam. The more intrepid can walk all the way to the Pounda ferry port, I'm guessing about 6 km.

Many people like the history-laden Byzantine Trail between Lefkas and Podromos--all down hill.

Foxy, a walking hobbyist from the UK, has recently added several pages about walking on Paros to their web site. It includes several walks and plentiful photos.

Other friends from the UK who belong to a walking club there and live part of the year here are setting up guided walks. So if you either want to bring a group or come on your own and be on your own e-mail us for helpful information.

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The Greek letters in the logo are OPAP, the official Greece lottery and sports betting organization.

They are the administrators of my new retirement plan.
(Some of you may know I lost a lot of money in a failed real property investment. So I figure I can't do any worse with the lottery.)
My contributions to the plan are as low as 45 and 30 cents. That is for a convenient outlay of 75 cents I receive 3 chances on the next lottery draw plus another number that can be a winner if two or more numbers at either end match the drawn number. There are at least ten different games to play so I have a lot to learn before I can invest wisely.

Read more about our life on Paros on our full service web site.

Forget what you have known about Greek island hopping in the past. "Times they are a changing."

I have wanted to write a comprehensive article on the deregulation of Greek ferries but, as is typical of Greece, reliable information is hard to come by. Each sector (travel agents, ferry companies, governments) is waiting to see what the other does.

Last week I saved this article from The Times, UK

July 17, 2006
Greek ferries to see price wars
Greece is deregulating its ferry services — so that routes and fares across its 240 ports will be opened to competition. Fifty of the least profitable routes are protected by government subsidies for now, but the busier routes will see fierce price wars.

Noel Josephides, of the specialist tour operator Sunvil, says: “Companies have spent a fortune on new ships — the ferries are more modern, faster and more comfortable. Fares are more flexible: travel midweek, for example, and you can now get great discounts, while weekends might be very expensive.”

Blue Star Ferries (, for example, has fares starting at £7 from Piraeus to the Cyclades, and £15 to the Dodecanese, and a 10% discount on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Hellenic Seaways ( also has 15% off for early booking on the internet, as well as serious discounts on business-class and cabin prices.

In this transition period to full deregulation, the government has set ceiling fares for economy class and vehicles, but cabins and premium-class fares are now unregulated.

The prospect of reduced fares was exciting to us. We checked and saw a "super economy" fare from Piraeus to Paros of 10 Euro where before the cheapest was just under 25 Euro. The euphoria was short lived however, as this week we learned that most of the ferries were booked solid for next weekend. People would have trouble getting to the island and those here difficulty leaving on schedule. There simply are not enough spaces to go around, unless perhaps you upgrade to First Class. Note that for safety reasons the ferries have strictly enforced rules limiting the number of passengers per boat.

Stay tuned. I will try and update the situation as it develops.

Today I received this e-mail:

Hello there,
I am looking for your help!
I am researching a piece for The Irish Times on Irish Women who met their foreign partners whilst on holiday or working in the partner's country. Subjects would need to be willing to do an interview about their lifestyle and to have their photo included.
I have posted notices on a couple of websites but still need more answers.
Would you be able to give me advice on how to post messages for Irish people in the Greek Islands?
I am under huge pressure in terms of time so would really appreciate your help.
Looking for interesting stories with human interest value - maybe someone who was unhappy here and has found happiness and love abroad etc;
Lifestyles piece so interview need not be too in-depth.

All the very best,
Yours in hope,
Hilary Fennell

hilary@hilaryfennell --add .com if you would like to respond to Hilary

I found in interesting that we have known quite a few foreign women married to Greek men and can think of no foreign men married to Greek women. Also we know of more such marriages that failed after a few years than we know of long term successes.

Compare and contrast that to Ireland of recent history where there is a major cultural gap for a Catholic to marry a protestant; and the USA before the 60's that had the same taboos.

Please Comment.

P.S. If you are interested in Ireland check out our Ireland Itinerary site.

We recommend all visitors to Paros include Santorini in their itinerary as well. It is an easy ferry trip--two to 4 hours depending upon ferry and route.

This first picture taken as you approach the ferry quay helps you understand why the first time you see the island from afar it appears to be snow capped.

This is our granddaughter, Sarah, taken from the opposite view.

Santorini is enjoyable sight seeing and shopping, but many people make the mistake of scheduling as much time there as for Paros. They usually find, however, that two days is plenty. While Paros, the island with something for everyone, takes 3 days just to scratch the surface.

Read more about Santorini and the excellent Paros beaches on our full service web site.

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Last month I posted about easyCruise coming to Greece. Read here:
Paros Paradise: easyCruise among Cyclades

I had looked at the easyCruise web site but missed the following from one of their press releases:

Commenting specifically on easyCruise’s expansion plans in Greece, the cruiseships will sail from one of the Marinas located in the Faliro area near Athens (avoiding the commercial port of Piraeus that other cruise lines and ferry companies use),
offering weekend cruises to Mykonos and Syros, and 4-day cruises to Santorini, with possible visits to Paros, Naxos, Milos or Serifos.

According to Stelios Haji-Ioannou: “We aim to create a new cruise market in Greece, just like we did abroad. easyCruise ships remain in the port during most of the day and overnight, so that the passengers are free to visit the local bars, restaurants and shops, thus strengthening local economy in their ports of call.
We target a young, active crowd, with average age 30-35 years, both Greeks and foreign visitors. The advertising campaign that will support our activity in Greece will contribute to the country’s promotion abroad. Greece and its destinations will also be promoted through an easyCruise on-board reality TV show that is already on air in European and US channels”.

I think this is great news for the Cyclades and Paros. Not because we will have more visitors but because we are suffering right now from limited ferry service. A recent meeting on the issue by all the island powers-that-be came up with many suggestions but no solutions. One idea floated was to pool resources and buy our own ferry. I understand Amorgos did that. I should mention, however, that Parians are notorious for not being able to agree on anything relating to the good of the whole island.

Stay tuned.

I would like a logo for this blog and then for my full service site.

We will see what comes from:

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