Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 12 - Discovering Sifnos

According to the people who know, there are sections of Sifnos outside the main part of town that are even nicer. I like the main part, mainly because I like to interact with people (when they're nice), and you get a lot of that in town. Either way, there is a tourist office, and the woman there, Sophia, was very helpful, and spoke good English. She said that if you like the town of Kamares, then you will love the rest of the island even more. High expectations.

We rented a car, a Chevy no less, and decided to investigate. First off, we wanted to learn more about the pottery, as well as the local food and cooking scene. We stopped again at Symos and introduced ourselves to the proprietor, a lovely woman they refer to as Mrs. Symos. I am not sure about her first name, I wrote it down, and will get back to you on that one. She was so nice, and invited us into her kitchen to see how it all gets made. She gave the kids candy, and let us take all sorts of pictures, introducing us to her daughter and her son. It was really cool.

We then went in search of more knowledge about the pottery. As we mentioned, some of the guys make the stuff right in town. We stopped by one guy's store, but his stuff was really fancy and expensive, and it turned out he made the stuff in Athens and brought it over. Cheater.

We then walked up a back alley and into an open door, and there inside was one of the artists working at the wheel. He was super nice and invited us, then stopped what he was doing and showed us around his showroom. Really warm and nice guy. We didn't want to hold him up, so we told him we'd return later.

We then headed off to an area that people say is worth the trip, the town of Vathi. I think I spelled that right. The town is rather rustic, but not in a bad way. There are villas to rent, it's very clean and has a beautiful beach right out front. We learned that it had just gotten electricity about 15 years ago, and the road in was built within 5-10 years. Before that, the only way to get there was by boat. There is definitely a scene of people who come back year after year, and we got to meet some of them. There was a couple of Norway who said they came to Vathi every year for the past 27 years. Can you believe that? They were so nice, and we chatted for quite awhile. We also ate at this great restaurant right on the water, with the chairs and tables in the sand. You can't beat that. I couldn't even tell you the name, something Greek, but the people were again very warm and friendly, and we just fell in love with the place.

Our friends from Norway told us of another section worth seeing, and that there was a famous church that was the most photographed church in the world, though that seems a bit hard to believe. Either way, it's a good story. We sat at the table literally for hours, nursing our mineral water while the kids played in the sand and water about 50 feet from us. We had killer Greek salad, chick pea balls, this amazing piece of fish in lemon sauce, and pork kabobs. We also go to feed the cats, which has become a tradition. Afterward, she served us this amazing piece of lemon-yogurt pie, simply fabulous. Then with the check, she brought us almond cookies. I've noticed that most of the restaurants here give you a complimentary sweet after supper, usually yogurt with candied fruit, or some sort of cookie. I rather like this process. Also, they never rush you to leave, and won't even think of bringing you the check unless you ask for it. We're being so Euro over here.

After several hours, we headed back to town for ice cream and cookies, and then walked around town to learn more about the local flavor. Though it takes years to learn it completely, we're definitely getting a taste of it, and it sure tastes good. Also, we've been lucky in that in addition to the sand and surf, every island has had some sort of playground, and that's good to entertain the kids for about half an hour in the early evening, before we walk back home for bed.

Sometimes A&N connect with the local kids, and it's cute to see them all trying to get a sense of one another. Kids speak the universal language of having fun. On the island of Milos a few boys even worked up the courage to come up to N and ask him if he'd like to play "football" with them. He politely declined, he's not a soccer player, but it was really nice that they asked.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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