Thursday, June 22, 2017

The First Island: Paros

The Vespa Club del Mediterraneo Greek Island Scooter Rally 2017 started in Paros.

Paros from the Ferry

The mission this year was to honor the founder of the club, Al Fragola, with a memorial service at his church near his house on Paros.  The Mayor and Priest did the service well and all were touched.

We had also lost Joan Papi since the Tuscan Rally last year and Connie read a letter that Joan's husband Todd had written for her service back home.  It was a sad, but uplifting moment that we all felt deeply.
Both Al and Joan were close to all the members of the club and they are missed greatly.

Al's widow, Ardy, then had everyone over to her house for lunch and drinks to share our thoughts about both of them and the upcoming rally.

We all then rode back to the hotel, The Manis Inn, in Naousa, where we prepared for the welcome dinner at Marina's fine restaurant.

The next morning a ride was planned to the old capitol of Lefkes, then have lunch along the water in Piso Livadi, then ride to a mountaintop monastery.  Sarah and I slept in and missed the Lefkes part, but met up with the group for lunch. The ride to the Monastery was spectacular with steep grades, dirt and gravel in parts and a big drop off very close in many areas.  There was a bit of grumbling with the difficulty, but Sarah and I made it on our big Kymco Xciting with no issues.

The views from the top were great and we took advantage of the moment for a few group photos.

When we came down, the group ride led back to the hotel for beach and pool time, but Sarah and I decided to circumnavigate the little island and headed south.  We stopped at the fishing village of Aliki for beers and a break, then headed for Lefkes to see what we missed.

We found the town, but not a way to get in to the town center so we rode around in the hills until we found the Byzantine Road to get us close to the church.  We walked through the narrow walking paths through the town to the church and looked around.

We got back to the hotel, I took a swim and we headed back into town for dinner.  We selected a standard restaurant that was OK, but left us wanting something better.

The next day's ride was to Antiparos, a smaller island to the southwest of Paros.  It contained the Antiparos Caves and those were our destination.  The weather was threatening a little, but the ride to the caves was short, but scenic.  The caves were deep with excellent lighting and a walkway and stairs to make access easy.  It was well worth the visit.

When we came out we found that it had rained but was clearing, so we rode to lunch of Greek salad, beans and octopus at Captain Pipinos in St. George.

We wanted to find a good restaurant in Naousa, and Sarah had heard from Roland that Restaurant Emanuel was a good one, so we tried it and were very pleased with the food and service (we were the only diners that night)

The following day was June 8, Sarah's Birthday.  We had decided that she could choose to do whatever she wanted for her birthday.  She chose to head out with Bobo and the group for a ride to the top of the tallest mountain on Paros, where we would find telecommunication towers and an old nun in a monastery.  The height was greater, but the ride easier than the other mountaintop monastery ride two days earlier.  But it started raining while we were heading up and sprinkled most of the ride, with the biggest rain just before we got down to Lefkes for lunch.  We were wet, but drying as we ate in an open restaurant overlooking the old town.  Then we went into the town with Laurence to do some shopping and have some coffee.

We decided to host a birthday gathering at the hotel for Sarah's celebration, and I thought that everyone knew, but when James Comey's interview was put on television at the same time, we lost half the crowd.  It turned out that most were unaware of the little party going on outside and that was my fault for not doing a better job with the notifications.  After that we had dinner with a group of eleven back at Restaurant Emanuel, ending with a cake covered in sparklers.  It was a real treat.

On to Naxos...

Off the ferry in Parikias

The Mayor and Priest for Al's memorial.

Connie reading Todd's letter about his lost Joan.

Al's grave.  The items on it and in the box give it a personal touch.

Lauren reading Cogo's letter at Ardy's house.

A view of the hotel's beach from above while heading to the welcome dinner.

Kristin, Lynn, Ardy, Diane and Ken.

Lorrie and Don.

Penni, Maria (the travel agent and our dear friend from Paros), Bobo, George (Maria's brother), Christopher (Ardy's grandson) and Marina (the restaurant owner)

View from the restaurant in Pisa Livadi.

Bobo, Michelle, Kristin and Jim

Laurence, Penni, Lauren, Warren and Bagel with Don and Ken looking in.

Don, Diane, Ken and the back of Lorrie's head.


The back of Lorrie and Kristin heading up to the Monastery.

The dirt road, much steeper than it looks here.

Warren and the scooters at the top.

Penni taking a break from her wonderful photography.

The view from the top.

Warren, Jim and Bobo.

Bagel, Sarah, Laurence, Diane, Ken, Warren, Bobo, Kristin and Penni.

Front Row, Laurence and Kristin.  Back Row, Bagel, Sarah, Me, Ken, Jim, Lynn, Warren, Bobo and Penni.

The road down with the blue sea beyond.











Penni heading down on the rough road.

Sarah at Aliki for a break from out solo ride.

Refreshing Fix


Sun setting in Naousa before dinner

Harbor front in Naousa

On the ride to Antiparos

At the Ferry 

Octopus at a restaurant in Antiparos

Shopping district in Antiparos

Riding along the coast in Antiparos

And up to the caves

From the cave parking lot

Inside the cave

And to lunch

Ardy, Kristin, Michele, Warren, Laurence, Penni, Jim and Christopher.

Ken, Diane, Dan and Patsi

On the ferry.  Penni, Patsi and Michelle with others getting off their bikes and Chris looking in.

Sarah enjoying her salad at Restaurant Emanuel.

My appetizer of veal and tuna.

Lynn riding his ATV up to the highest mountain in Paros.

Up to the top we go.

Laurence, Bobo and Lynn heading down.

Lefkes from the restaurant

Sarah happy in Lefkes

A town square in Lefkes

The birthday girl and her cake


  1. Great work!! Now, get back to work.

    1. Motivationally challenged today. Rode out to look at my three beach projects this morning too. Now I can get working again.