Monday, July 19, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend

Me at the Fish & Wine Festival
Diamond Picture with Mary Alexa and Sam Bruni at the Fish & Wine Festival in Naoussa

Mary Alexa and Sam on the ATV during a pit stop

O, the places we went on our ATV trip!

While my Fourth of July celebration in Greece wasn’t the typical hot dogs, bratwurst, baseball game and fireworks, it was still a great time. The weekend started with hours on the beach and swimming in the Aegean Sea. After enjoying the nice water and sun, we prepared for dinner. Our class was having a group taverna dinner in Marpissa, a village outside of Paroikia. We were all excited for this class dinner since Susan ordered the spread for us.

The village even extended the hours of their museums to give us tours before we ate. We looked at a sculpture museum and a museum that captured what a typical village house looked like. The food was amazing, per usual. Several courses of tomato croquettes, tsazikiziki, mousakka, pasticcio, fried potatoes and more were brought out. We hurried back to Paroikia to meet the incoming ferry. My new friends Andrew and Mary Alexa, a Beta Eta ADPi who is friends with Sam Bruni, my ADPi roomie in Athens, came in on the Friday 10:30 PM ferry. I welcomed Andrew to the island with some rakomela. We had a great night at the Dubliner. We were Americans celebrating Fourth of July at an Irish Pub, in a Greek town, with Swedes, Brits and other nationalities that were there. The celebration did not stop until it was light again. Some of our company decided to go for a swim on the way home.

Andrew and I woke up a few hours later, around 9:30 am, for a busy day. I started out our day with a typical tourist walk around Paroikia. I showed him the old temple of Athena, the church of Constantine, the Frankish wall, the windmill and the church of the 100 doors. Then we walked over to meet Sam and Mary Alexa. From there we rented two ATVs to explore the island. That was a great way to get a snapshot of the island and gave us some amazing views. We ended up going all the way around the island and staying at Pounda beach for a swim. After our day of ATVing around the island, we along with the rest of our class went to the Fish & Wine Festival in Naoussa. The four of us watched the traditional Greek dancing while eating crepes at a restaurant on the shore. We had a chocolate, coconut and rum flavored crepe and a banana-chocolate waffle. Another important part of the celebration is the free food. We got in line and each received a pile of fried sardines, a piece of cheese and a cup of wine. Next time I’ll pass on the sardines. It was interesting to see professionals to do the Greek dances that we had learned earlier that week in class.

We continued the jampacked touristy activities of the weekend the next day when we tried windsurfing at Golden Beach. Golden Beach is the windsurfing capital of the world. Windsurfing was a fun activity even though it isn’t my strong point. It wasn’t as bad as I thought though. I managed to stay up most of the time, except when I jumped off the board after a bad turn or if I started going too fast. It is something I would like to try again.

We spent the day at the beach and later went back to Naoussa. Sam and Mary Alexa went to a birthday party so it was Andrew and I exploring the town. Andrew was a good sport and we both went shopping at the little boutiques. At my favorite boutique, the shop owner picked out a dress for me to try on that he said was made for me. It was an adorable dress but a 400-euro Dolce & Gabana dress! Andrew had fun looking at polos and I enjoyed trying on Burberry and Dolce & Gabana outfits but we didn’t end up buying anything. We decided to break to enjoy a seafood dinner. We made our way to the Glafkos taverna. We heard of this place from our friends. It is an unexpected spot, you walk through several streets until you hit a dead end then turn into a kitchen and walk through that to get to the restaurant. The food we had was spectacular. We had mussels saganki and octopus boiled with vinegar. The ambiance was incomparable and indescribingly amazing. This restaurant was on the water, with the waves almost rolling up to our table. The candles on our tables and soft music in the background illuminated the dark night. If you go to Naoussa ever, I definitely recommend seeing this place. The night ended with our friends leaving on the 1:30 am ferry and us continuing onto the Dubliner. It was definitely an eventful and memorable weekend.

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