I was born to travel and as a result I work to travel. I never thought about writing a travel blog until I was encouraged by a dear friend who is also a fellow wonder-luster and travel blogger. So here I go!!!! My trip will entail 11 nights exploring some of the Greece’s most beautiful Cycladic Islands.
I flew from Sydney to Singapore where I had a seven hour stopover before flying to Athens then one last flight to the Island of Naxos. I would recommend doing a city tour of Singapore as your allowed to leave the airport but I arrived at 7 pm and the last tour leaves at 6:30p, damn! I have spent the day in Singapore before so I wasn’t that upset, but it would have been a great way to kill time and see some more of the country. I decided to kill time by venturing out the ‘Jewel’ a new shopping centre that is nothing like I have ever seen. Five stories filled with every shop and food vender that exists on the planet. It also contains a waterfall, and a man- made rainforest with mazes and bouncy walking trails for children or adults
who want to connect to their inner child. I didn’t want to eat at restaurant that I can go to in London or Sydney, I wanted Asian street food and of course the Jewel offers every type of culinary experience so street food is what I got. On the bottom level of the centre there is a food court named ‘Five Spice’ modelled on a typical Asian market place with local cuisines from all over Asia. The best part of travel is food and therefore this dynamic market filled with food combinations, I have never seen before was not what most people on a long layover get to experience. Everything was fresh and the aromas were mouth-watering. I was craving noodles and ordered (finally, after I don’t even know how many laps around this market) local Singaporean noodles with chicken and bok choy. The meal was delectable and far superior to plane food or should I say ‘plain’ food I had consumed earlier that day.
I arrived in Naxos an up and coming Greek island via Singapore & Athens from Sydney after 31 hours of travel. The Naxos airport was something out of a cartoon, a small white and
blue stone building. I walked down the stairs of the small plane and onto the tarmac where I was signalled to walk around the small white building and the luggage was handed to up out the front off the building. It was primitive it was just so damn Greek! I easily got a taxi and arrived at my hotel around 5 minutes and 20 Euro later. Yes ouch! the Aussie dollar is so weak- the exchange rate is the pits. My hotel was everything I imagined from the pics online-thank God. A piece of paradise! When I walked into the reception, I gave the owner a tall skinny Greek man my name and said I was checking in. He said, ‘oh yes, room for two’. The online booking automatically confirms the room for two people. I replied, ‘oh no, just for one’. He (I can’t pronounce his name let alone spell it) was so awkward he didn’t know what to say or where to look he obviously thought I’d been left at the alter or jilted in some way. I didn’t bother to explain, hoping sympathy may score me a bottle of wine but to no avail. My room, well
apartment really, was stunning, my balcony with ocean views and dressed in the traditional Greek decor. It was 2pm in the afternoon, I decided to stay up so that my body clock would align with my new home. I freshened up and walked into Naxos Town. On the fringes of town were an array of beach bars where you could hire lounges and umbrellas. The town itself was bursting with cafes, bars, restaurants, care hire shops and supermarkets. All I could think of was Gyros, Gyros, Gyros. Hence the name of my blog. To those who are unfamiliar with the deliciousness of a Gyros- they are a Greek kebab. I had no issue finding where to buy one the issue was which shop to purchase one from? I finally picked a store and ordered one to takeaway. The best 2.50 Euro ever spent. Roughly $4 Australian. Once the Gyros hit my lips I knew I was in some sort of nirvana- I don’t think the Buddhists would agree but I don’t know any! After my moment with the Gyros I walked to the Temple of Apollo which was about five minutes from where I was eating. I can’t recommend the
walk up to the temple. The temple itself is an ancient beauty but the view of Naxos from the temple divine. A family from Italy asked me to take their photo in front of the temple and then an American couple from DC asked me to take theirs. Always say yes because it is kind, but it also allows the solo traveller the opportunity to get their photo taken once in a while. You know it’s all for the ‘gram’ these days. The thankful Americans took my pic in front of the iconic Naxos landmark. Let me describe Naxos before I get too carried away with my mediocre encounters with hotel and restaurant staff. Naxos is a large island- the taxi driver told me it takes about 4 days to drive around and fully discover its magic. The beaches are sandy, clean, and the water is clear and inviting. No waves just nice ‘bay’ calm water. The towns dotted around the island are your typical white and blue stone buildings. I just love these buildings! Designed this way to keep cool and just conveniently match the colours of the national flag. Depending where you stay you will probably need to
hire a bike or car. My hotel is situated in between two towns so I can walk to both alternating each day.
Later that night I went to my hotel bar for a wine and to read my book. Wine and reading is such an amazing combo- please try if you haven’t It helps you further fall into the incredible worlds books take you. The bar tender asked what i did in Naxos today and I recounted my day to him. He, said to me that he had never been to the Temple of Apollo. I was so shocked. It is seriously like going to the Rocks in Sydney and not going to see the Opera house and even the distance between the Rocks and the Opera House is larger than from Naxos Town to the Temple of Apollo. I get the vibe the Naxian’s really don’t get out of their bubble and I don’t think this bothers them at all. I ended the night watching the sunset over Naxos Town as my hotel has a fabulous view.
My second day in Naxos I decided to spend the day at one of the beach clubs- hire a deck
chair and relax and then get a Gyros for lunch. Big plans haha- the purpose of this trip was to relax and relax I shall do. I waddled down to the beach after breakfast- European hotels always offer free and delicious breakfasts. I walked up and down the beach trying to decide which day club to select- if you know me, I am hopeless at making decisions. Decided on one because I like their chairs. 15 Euro for a deck chair, umbrella, table, bucket of ice and 2 bottles of water. Plus, there was an all-day bar and food menu. If you’re looking to unwind, I highly recommend. One of the staff placed me next to another girl who was on her own also. She was reading a book titled ‘Better to be single than to be sorry’. I smiled well isn’t that what they tell all single people? I assumed she must be around 25 and newly single and created all these dramatic scenarios in my mind. I introduced myself. She was from America, she was friendly, but she didn’t want to leave her book. Oh my days the ocean was sensational they water was cool and clear and was so refreshing in heat. After reading my book for half an hour I got a massage on my deck chair from a Chinese woman who was walking around trying to sell her services. I remembered the reason I was here was for self-care and relaxation. I had never had a massage on the beach so heck I have now! I truly recommend this. I keep saying this! Sorry! I am not trying to sell you anything I promise. The sound of the waves during a massage is bliss!
I am currently laying around the pool (obviously after I had another Gyros for lunch- maybe I should do a Gyros a day challenge?) of my hotel writing my first ever blog and I realise it is not very exciting as I said earlier my holiday this time isn’t to be adventurous or a party animal. So of course, the content is going to be a bit of a snore fest. Tonight, I am heading into Prokopios for dinner and wine…
Are you ok to dine alone? I am! People watching is such an underrated activity. I walked in Prokopios tonight and picked a traditional Greek restaurant called Spiros. I knew exactly what I wanted to order- grilled calamari and a glass of white wine. The staff were friendly and again a little perplexed I was alone but they got over it. They seated me at the front of the restaurant where I had a perfect view of the street. The restaurant opposite Spiros had a line up of people waiting to get in. This made me think I choose the wrong spot. A busy restaurant usually is the sign of great food. I felt sorry for the half filled little restaurant and thought it was good to share my currency with all the local businesses. Remembering also a time when I went to Lisbon, Portugal and found by mistake a whole in the wall cafe owned and run by an elderly Portuguese women who spoke no English and made all the food herself. My friend and I bought Portuguese tarts from her to take away. After and hour of walking around the city we stopped off under the shade of a tree and ate the tarts. They were phenomenal- we both looked at each other with amazement. It was better than sex...well nearly. The next day we found an establishment that boosted it had the best Portuguese tarts in the country and there was a line a round the block waiting to get into the shop. My friend and I thought if these tarts are meant to be the best imagine how good they are going to taste. We waited in line and once we finally got our tarts we were so disappointed in the lack of flavour of these mass produced tarts that did not contain the love and care of the tarts we consumed the previous day. So sometimes a line is not always a good sign. Back to Spiros- which I highly recommend. The waiter and old Greek man- not a young handsome guy, brought me my glass of wine which was poured right to the top of the glass, could easily been two glasses. No drought in Naxos. He then quickly returned with complementary hummus and bread. As I waited for my main I continued to look at the bustling restaurant across the road and the line was getting longer and longer. Then they started playing loud traditional Greek music. Maybe thats why people went there? When my main meal of grilled calamari and Greek salad arrived it look divine and it tasted even better. Why was this little restaurant only half full? Once I was finished the waiter brought my free dessert some sort of Greek cake and a shot of ouzo. So many additional freebies- maybe they wanted to boost their reputation? I don't mind- it worked. When I went to pay they didn't charge me for my second glass of wine. So the question is should I go back there tonight or try the busy restaurant across the street?
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