I should begin by saying that we have begun our excursions to the Greek Islands, and so far these have been the most beautiful lands we have visited. We are currently on Paros, which is an island of the Cyclades. From Paros we plan to see Mykanos, Delos, Santorini, and Crete.
Today after a day trip to the port and capitol city, Parakia, we went on a little stroll with Vassillios and Janet, our hosts, to the village where Vassillios grew up. He said that this village was very similar now to how it was when he grew up (not very much had been added or built up). This village was one of the most unique and fascinating communities I have ever seen.
To get to the village we had to turn off of the paved, automobile friendly road and onto cobblestone paths that were lined with what seemed like a maze of white, sugar cubed houses with blue doors and shutters. These paths were narrow hilly causing impossibility for automobile travel. As we entered the village we got a friendly reminder from Janet to keep our voices down because it was siesta time, and people on Paros take their siesta time very seriously.
We continued forward through the village and it was nothing less than magical to hear Vassillios with shiny eyes and a permanent grin reminisce and tell us stories of the village and his childhood. He talked about his experiences when the Germans inhabited part of the village as well as some more obsolete tales of his childhood in the village. He explained to us that the windmills in the village that are now unable to function were once very important to the people on the island and in the village. He explained that in his times there was no electricity so he did his studies through an oil lamp. We learned about the shop of his father, who was a merchant in the village. The entire experience was so interesting because we didn’t know what story was going to come next from Vassillios.
As we continued along we passed by the church where Vassillios and Janet were married. By chance, a woman was unlocking it to do her daily maintenance. Vasillios asked her to let us in, and upon entry we were all speechless. In this tiny village was one of the most beautiful churches that I have ever seen. Vassillios did not have much to say to us inside the church, but he sang us a church song for all of us, which was absolutely breathtaking. Hearing this magical, Greek man sing in his church with his deep, passion-filled voice overwhelmed me with an indescribable feeling. After a few seconds of silence, as the echo of Vassillios’s voice faded from the church, we thanked him and walked back outside.
The church ended up being a sort of conclusion to our “tour,” and what a conclusion it was! We walked back to our rooms and got ready for diner with a gained knowledge and experience that will stick permanently.