I can’t believe I missed posting about a very crucial moment on my trip! We’re going to take a small detour to Naples! I went to Naples for one very specific thing. It was my connection to get to the Brindisi port but I didn’t have to spend a night there. I needed to eat their pizza. There was no way I was going to pass by its hometown and not have a slice or two…or three…or a whole pizza all to myself. I was told to go to Da Michele, a pizza place that was rated number one in all of Naples by at least 25 different newspapers, magazines and travel websites. They pump out these pizzas faster than you could ever imagine and you watch as they make them behind you then stick them in the fiery stone oven. Somebody told me that in the book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, she cries when she tastes Naples pizza. I would say that’s a pretty accurate reaction. I wonder if they deliver to Kitchener…
Anyway, back on track! I’m falling a little bit behind on posting, but last Wednesday and Thursday, I spent some time on the island of Mykonos in Greece.
I had been warned that this was a party island. Like a lot of the Greek islands, its staple activities include tanning and clubbing. My only issue was, I didn’t take this trip to do either of those things excessively. I wanted to explore, photograph and see how the locals lived. I stayed at a hostel on a beach which I have to say had a phenomenal bar and lounge area out front.
I could have seriously gotten used to this view
You would think that the sleeping arrangements would be just the same, right? I guess when you’re only paying 21 euros per night for accommodation, you get what you pay for. But let’s be real, even that amount is pushing it for what I had to experience while I slept.
I’m going to get this part out of the way because my time here turned out to be wonderful after all. I was sure I was going to be sucked into two solid days of constant Spring Break and was mildly disappointed. Goodness, don’t I sound lame. The wild island partying will come my friends, I’ve saved a few days on Ios for that one!
The only thing that dampered this memory was the bed bugs. They were everywhere and they didn’t even bother to be sneaky about it. I saw them close up and personal, crawling in my bed. I won’t get into detail, but lets just say that I will be applying multiple amounts of hydro-cortisone cream on the bites that have infested my body. Disgusting. It was bound to happen sooner or later but all I can say is please don’t skip over the reviews thinking you can handle it. I should have let go of my pride!
All that aside, I found myself sitting on a bench one evening while blogging and a bright eyed lady came and sat near me. We exchanged a quick hello but that was all. She had to have been close to my Mother’s age but had a young spark about her. After mulling over how I would initiate conversation, I commented on her beautiful dress which was followed by the question of where she was from, as usual. She comes from Grimsby, Ontario. A fellow Canadian once again! Her name is Kelly and this three week vacation she was taking couldn’t have come during a more deserving time in her life. It was her dream to lay on a beach in Greece and after a year of exceptional strength and bravery through life’s turmoils, she packed up her things and flew away. Kelly and I had better chats than I believe I could have had over several beers with the drunken teenagers around me. She has experienced worlds and has kept the same philosophy that I like to keep about life through every hardship. It all happens for one reason or another. There is a silver lining that surrounds the darkest moments and it’s only bringing you closer to something that will only enhance your life. She was an inspiration and an amazing travel partner.
We decided to take a trip to the center the next day and walk around together. It sure was beautiful. It was my first taste of the Greece that everybody dreams about. The blue and white houses and the stoney beaches were just what I imagined. It was a very visually appealing little town, especially the famous “Little Italy” strip by the harbour.
We had a great day browsing the stores and enjoying carbonara and stuffed peppers for lunch. The little coves and hidden streets were my favourite part about our walk. Every turn led you into another part of the village that just screamed Greece. The windmills were another well known touch. I really loved the local feel of this island, probably because most of the tourists were off drinking on the beach! It felt friendly so what more could you ask for?
That night, Kelly and I sipped vodka and water (a surprisingly refreshing summer drink) and talked about our lives a little more. I learned about her two amazing children who have each seemed to grow into such incredible young adults. You could tell that she adored them and I had wished several times that they were with her so I could have met them myself. Once again, I was in awe at her ability to take life by the reigns and do what she needed to happy. I was grateful to have someone like her to share true conversation with and as cliche as it may seem, I sat by the light of the moon when she left and reflected. As the party lights continued to buzz around me, I was content with writing by the single boat light and the brightest stars I had ever seen.
The bed bugs greeted me on my one and only night there. I was also greeted by four (very attractive) Australian guys that were traveling together. Two of them had gotten into a huge fight seconds before I arrived at the door. Inside there was a keg on one of the beds, all of them shirtless and one mumbling to himself “was it my fault mate? Was it my fault?” It was a really funny situation and I could only imagine what it looked like to someone peeking in. I actually laughed myself to sleep that night.
While leaving the next morning, my spirits after the bed bugs were revived when I heard a small meow coming from behind the laundry room door. A cleaning lady opened it up and inside was a box with a small kitten inside. It turns out one of the reception ladies had found it on the side of the road and it was still young enough to be needing milk from its mother. The cleaning lady proceeded to take a plastic glove and feed the kitten milk through one of the finger tips. I was put in charge of looking after it for a few minutes while she grabbed more food and was in complete bliss while doing so! Is there a section on hostel world.com that allows me to rate the animal cuteness level?
It was a sad day saying goodbye to Kelly. I hope that she’s laying on a beach in Santorini right now and loving life! She truly deserves it.
My time there was cut short because of a once in a lifetime opportunity I was given by my dancer friends Maria and Katerina that I featured in my last blog. I took off on a ferry that afternoon heading to Syros to photograph their performance and I never would have guessed the impact it made on my life. I can’t wait to share my stories with you all!
Geia Sas from Paros, Greece!