Naxos. A fertile island in the Cyclades, much larger than Santorini and just as beautiful, supposedly with plenty of zerzelo. Also filled with plenty of terrifying experiences for me and Teresa.
We had no clue what to do on Naxos because someone had recommended it to us over another island and we had come with no plans. As soon as we were off the boat, we were attacked by no less than three individuals offering rooms for ‘cheap.’ We were able to land a room for €7,50 a night each only a three minute walk from the port. The woman who had offered us the room came back to pick us up and take us there after we’d hung out at the coffee shop near the port called Gregory’s (definitely a must-visit in Chora, Naxos). Teresa was going to turn 23 at midnight, so we decided to go out and explore the bar areas before actually going out. It was only 8, and the bars aren’t supposed to open until midnight. Jeez. This is so much different than Kirksville.
We went out into the streets and started exploring.
It was dark in a lot of places.
We had a ton of fun looking at the creepy stuff.
Then we found the supermarket! Ouzo is a Greek alcoholic beverage that tastes very strongly of black licorice. I hate black licorice, but 200mL was only €2,50 so we got three of them and a bottle of coke. One of the bottles we broke by letting it fall off a table before we decided to head back to our room and drink before continuing to explore. Unfortunately, as anyone who travels with me should expect, we got so. incredibly. lost.
Even between the tiny streets it was quite windy. It started out pretty chilly at the beginning of our adventure, but the temperature steadily rose even though that made no sense. The combination of discomfort due to temperature, having no idea where we were, and not even knowing what to do that night were coming together to basically make us scaredy pants. We couldn’t figure out which dark alleyways to take anymore, and one time I looked down a dark arch-covered part of some street to take a picture and heard a man’s voice being speaking, so I bolted backwards yelling, “No no no oh my god!” with Teresa behind me yelling, “Don’t leave me, Brandon!” until we had gone around enough corners that I felt we hadn’t been followed.
These were our “we’ve been scared shitless and we have no clue where we are” faces.
I had had enough of being lost. I remembered going rock/wall climbing with my friend Andy in Dublin and figured , “Okay, what the hell. I’ll climb up and see where we are.” I proceeded to climb walls.
“This way! That looks familiar!”
“Hello down there!”
I tried to find landmarks I’d seen on the way to the supermarket, but everything here looks the same. Every building is white with blue windowpanes, flowers arranged in nonsensical ways, and with twisty tiny walkways smashed in between. We walked around for an hour and a half before finally finding our hostel. Teresa was not pleased.
But after getting into our room and eating some bread, chorizo, and feta (our rations in Greece) we were feeling much better and ready to drink and hopefully not get lost on our way back from the bars.
Unfortunately, Ouzo is disgusting for those who don’t like black licorice. All it did was get me really drunk really fast and make me feel like throwing up all night. We tried going out to the bars, but only two were open that we found and neither of them had more than five people in them. At one point we managed to meet a crepe shop owner and a hair stylist who gave us advice on where to go and then gave me a card for his beauty salon. We just went home and slept.
This is our room.
The next morning we decided to tour as much of the city as possible and swim/enjoy the outdoors before going out again. We had been told by the stylist guy that nothing would be open until Friday night, so maybe we would have better luck going out the next night instead. This island, as far as I’m concerned, is just as/more beautiful than Santorini. All morning it was rainy, but it cleared up shortly after 1pm and stayed perfectly sunny the rest of the day. Island weather, right?
Statue of some woman (I forgot to look who).
We climed up a small hill to the west of the port where there stood an unfinished monument to one of the Greek gods. This spot… I don’t know how to describe it. Unbelievably blue. Acoustically perfect for listening to the sound of the waves hitting rocks. Perfect for seeing beautiful scenery in 360 degrees.
If I had to say I had a favorite spot in Europe just to stand in and enjoy being alive, it’s here.
The sun was shining and it was warming up, so we decided to swim. Teresa swam at the port while I went to check out other beaches. She found a crab.
Then we headed to the other beach south of the port because it was huge, deeper than the one near the port, and the water was clear.
Hours later, we were still there, watching a sunset that I will remember for the rest of my life.
We wanted to go out for Teresa’s birthday again, so she had some more ouzo and we went to find the bars that had people. Lo and behold, there was no one out, and the one place that DID have people had an entrance fee that neither of us felt like paying, so we accepted defeat and went home after buying ourselves enormous chocolate and Oreo crumble banana nut crêpes.
Murcia era has carnage filters. <- that’s what came out when I tried to type “My camera has weird filters.” I don’t understand technology.