Catching Up Kefi: FERRAGOSTO 2015- 5 Days in Naxos

22 Sep

Alright alright alright– it hasn’t really been a summer until we have a rundown of the annual Terror Twins visit to the Motherland. Since I am hanging on to summer’s last light by tooth and nail, late September seems like the perfect time to catch up. Or something like that. For a refresher on Ferragosto, check out this rundown, or the scoop on Ferragosto 2013, or Ferragosto 2014. This is a long one, so for the short version, scroll way, way down.

photo 5 (3)This year started out inauspiciously. We landed in Athens and headed right for Piraeus, and JetSet was feeling ALL the jetlag.  We picked up a ferry to Naxos, and JetSet looked like this for most of the trip:

photo 2 (8)By the time we got there, we were famished and headed straight to Lonely Planet’s #1  restaurant recommendation, Meze2, and our first day went from inauspicious to inexplicably delicious REAL quick. This was so, so very worth it– JetSet and I both agree that it was the best horta (a giant pile of greens) we had ever had, and God rewarded our journey with MUSSELS SAGANAKI!

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photo 1 (7)We desperately searched for our accommodation (Despina’s Rooms, which gets four very enthusiastic thumbs up from the Terror Twins), which took forever because of the twisty-turny streets of Naxos’ beautiful old city. Sweaty from climbing up and down stairs and full from the world’s best horta, we did the only thing two exhausted Greek Americans could do: find the best live music and envy the apparently cancer-immune lungs of all the Europeans smoking cigarettes around us. Finally, we climbed into bed (separate twin beds this year, for those keeping track), and resolved to get up early to see Naxos by day the next morning.

…but then we slept until almost 11. Whoopsies. By the time we rallied and got out of the room, we decided to just cut our losses and head straight for the beach. Naturally, it did not disappoint.

photo 4 (7)After beachtime and caffeinated beverages, we took advantage of the Afternoon Light (when Greece’s beauty truly comes to out to play). We took some selfies. If I haven’t totally sold you on Greece, then let me point out that this is the view from the municipal parking lot. Friggin picturesque.

photo 5 (8)We headed out for more delicious food, and then headed over to the Ocean Club, which had been full of very cool-looking people the night before. We thought would be hopping again that night but was…well, not. The drinks, however, were great and also the size of our head.

photo 2 (6)A few hours (and I think another unintentional sleep-in later), it was a new day and we headed off to Abrami. Here, we found a few things: 1) absolutely incredible gigantes at the only taverna in town–what luck! 2) a trail that we concluded could ONLY lead to a nude beach just around the riverbend frequented exclusively by serial killers and 3) breathtaking views.

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World’s best gigantes

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JetSet, of course, wanted to know if he was in shape enough for the serial killers to kill (he has a sick sense of self-validation). This is as close as I would get– the brunette girl next door ALWAYS get serial-killed first.

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Ain’t nothing like a sunset in the eastern Med.

Okay, so at this point it’s been three days of sleeping in, eating meals of amazing food, and chasing the cool crowd from nightlife spot to nightlife spot. Usually, we would try and find something productive to do… but, instead, we headed out for another delicious dinner. The Gods of Ferragosto smiled upon us, and our gluttony was rewarded twofold: we were served by a man who flirted shamelessly with both of us (we think he might have also been a recruiter for the nude serial killer beach but can’t be sure) AND we fulfilled a lifelong Ferragosto dream by FINALLY convincing someone entertaining a whole crowd of people with traditional Greek to music stop what he was doing and play our FAVORITE acoustic song, Fevgo (for reference, I think this is like something like asking someone who is classically trained in Spanish guitar to play Phil Collins). I would play the video I took, but JetSet and I singing along karaoke-style drowns out the wonderfully talented and obliging man who so kindly indulged us.

So, after missing the in-crowd at the Ocean Club the previous night, we were determined to be with the Cool Kids that night, and headed right to (where else?) a place called Swingers. To get the party started, we tried to take a getting ready selfie like all the hip people we see on Instagram:

photo 4 (5)But only later realized you’re supposed to hide how messy your room is by focusing on your own reflection in the mirror. Sooo we tried again:

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WE ARE SO FUN AND HIP AND TOTALLY COOL THAT WE CAN TAKE OUR OWN (BLURRY) PICTURE!

Okay, so now the scene has been set. We’ve taken a totally hip selfie, both been flirted with by a potential nudist/serial killer, and were totally the “it” people during karaoke  the live music portion of dinner. Feeling fun and fancy free, we headed to a place called Swingers. I just tried to find the link to the bar, but when you google “Swingers Naxos” a lot of things unrelated to the superfun bar we went to came up. Hopefully, I still have a job next week.

photo 3 (4)We LOVED Swingers from the jump- the menus were printed on old records, the DJ played Whitney Houston for me, and we made friends with all the Greeks around us. Plus, we took ANOTHER out-of-focus picture, but we decided that it was appropriately blurry given the level of fun we had that evening and didn’t retake it.

So- if you and your brother had been gluttonizing all over an island for three days, what would your next course of action be? Scroll down if, like us, the adventure you chose was CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN.

photo 5 (4)But of course, the story doesn’t start there. First, we had to find the mountain. In general, the Terror Twins pride themselves on navigating Greece with the greatest of ease (and when ease ain’t available, we just stick our heads out the window and scream, “SIGNOMIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!”). This mountain nearly defeated us when we took a wrong turn and then continued following Lonely Planet’s advice to “follow the narrow paved road lined with a garden wall.” Well, we followed the wrong narrow path all the way down to a dead end which required approximately 10,000-points to turn. The situation was WAY too tenuous for me whip out my camera to take a picture (though he may be small, JetSet’s wrath is mighty), but needless to say it was reminiscent of this moment:

He specifically said

Okay, so now you’re all caught up. We’re at the mountain, we’re climbing the mountain, JetSet is racing all the other tourists he sees up the mountain because he’s got something to prove after days of inactivity, and what happens? I realize that I am, in fact, afraid of heights. For reference, a good place to make this discovery is not here:

photo 1 (3)One anxiety-filled trek back down the mountain, and my pulse had returned to normal and we were off again. To yet another beach.

photo 3 (5)JetSet and I were both pretty pooped from the climb, so we just bought a bottle of whatever was lying around and called it a night:

photo 1 (2)Haha, just kidding. You didn’t think we’d go to BED, did you? Instead of partying with our BFF Dom P, we headed to the awesome Museum of Folklore, which was hosting a bazouki concert that night. The host of the evening was something like a Greek Archie Bunker who had wandered onto the wrong set and found himself starring in Frasier. The concert was amazing–see a video here. The free wine and ouzo kept flowing, and before the night was out, I had bought a new shirt and a pair of earrings and JetSet had invited himself to the summer house of the Lebanese family sitting behind us. Opa!

Suddenly, it was our last day in Naxos. We took the good advice of a very nice man I work with and headed to the small village of Apiranthos. There, we feasted upon the an amazing Naxos cheese saganaki (do yourself a favor if you ever happen upon cheese from Naxos: eat it all), rode motobikes (sort of), and purchased Greek moonshine fireball (seriously).

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Whew, lordy. I am tired reliving it all!

We boarded our ferry back to Athens (nearly missing it, natch) and settled in for a happy little picnic on the outside deck:

photo 4After our time in Naxos, we spent a wonderful few days with our beautiful family in Athens, and my great Aunt and I used Greeklish to discover that we both really wanted to take a selfie together on our last morning with one another:

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So, if you made it this far– congratulations. If you’re just joining us from up top and only want the take-homes, I ain’t mad atcha:

1- Naxos is a great island. Though there’s only one town, there is PLENTY to do in high season, and we were both thrilled with the ample opportunities for live Greek music and great food. Five days was a perfect length of time.

2- OF COURSE WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THE FOOD. Lots of people in Naxos have family roots in Crete, and so the food is just out.of.this.world. Again, the cheese– it’s almost like whipped feta cream cheese, and it is all over everything. So, so good.

3- Greece is just the most wonderful place, and whenever I am there my heart sings. If you’re still wondering what kefi is, it is spending a week with your brother/best friend exploring a beautiful island and giggling, connecting with your beautiful (and growing!) family, and getting to see views like this one every, single night:

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One Response to “Catching Up Kefi: FERRAGOSTO 2015- 5 Days in Naxos”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Catching Up Kefi: A Bachelorette Party for the Antibride | Cooking Up Kefi - November 19, 2015

    […] to tell me my suitcase had been located (more than a month after it was lost on the way home from Ferragosto 2015)! We half walked, half-ubered back to the hotel (shout out to the MLK Dreamway Crew) and called it […]

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