So, at about 9:45 we made our way to the center of the village of Pollonia to the panigiri (pronounced pan-ah-YEE-ree), which means party. It's kinda sad, but if I'm being completely honest, I'm not sure what the occasion was celebrating. In general there are name days for saints, and these are celebrated. But, since the flyers were all in Greek we couldn't figure it out, and it wasn't in our guide book, so… Anyhow, it was awesome. We showed up when the line for food was pretty small. We waited and watched all the men cooking the meats on the grill. We gathered and paid for our food and then went to find a table. I forgot to describe the venue. It took place at the playground on the basketball courts. There was a stage for music, an open area for dancing, then tons of tables and chairs surrounding the 'dance floor'. So, one of us should have grabbed a table while the other two got the food, because by the time we needed to find a table, tons of people were already doing this and all the tables were full, or reserved. We asked some people with empty tables if we could share with them, and we were turned away. When we were resigned to hide away on a bench on the outskirts, by where they were cooking the food, a woman approached Seth and offered to share their table with us. She went out of her way to cross the sea of tables to invite us, so this was really, really nice. When we got to her table, she and her husband kicked their three kids out of the chairs and insisted we sit. This was awesome. Then again, the kids were probably happy not to be kept prisoner when all the town's children were running a muck with glow in the dark bouncy toys and play guns. We had a great spot where we could see the dance floor and the musicians, and eat with a table.
The food was delicious. There were cheese pies, fried fish, meatballs, but the best were the pork skewers. Those were so good. And of course tons of Fix beer to wash it all down. The music started promptly and it was great. I think I'm safe to say that it was traditional Greek music, with guitars, fiddle/violin, bass, but they were all Greek instruments. The music was amazing. The discordant, twirling harmonies combined with the savory warble of the singer's voice, and the steady, almost Arabic, beat prompted the locals to begin dancing with their arms stretched wide, dipping to the beat. The older men began dancing first, almost in friendly competition with each other. Soon the women rushed the dance floor to join. The older men held handkerchiefs in order to bridge the gap between their hands with the women. What a wonderfully romantic, and seductive dance. We spent the evening drinking and watching the interactions between people. It was so wonderful.
Eventually a middle aged man sat down at a table next to us with a giant water bottle of what looked like home made wine. Eventually he began handing out cups of it to some people behind him. Somehow we were left out, so Sloane, with some prodding, ended up asking him for a cup. In the end, when he was leaving, he offered the rest of the bottle to us. Even though it wasn't very good, it was so cool to be drinking some home made wine from Milos, that was given to us by the maker.
Here's a sample of some of the music from the panigiri.
This morning we lazily awoke and Seth made breakfast. We, then, made our way to the ferry dock in Pollonia to catch a ride to Kimolos, a tiny island barely touched by tourist influence. We started to walk up the hill to get to the main village in hopes of catching, what the bus driver called the best beach on the island, which wasn't accessible by bus, Prassa. Boy it was hot today, definitely nineties. These uphill walks in the heat have to stop. When we were almost to the top of the hill we stopped in to a shop to grab some water, and decided to call a cab. Though the cabbie was deft in her maneuvers, it was scary as hell to be in the car while speeding around blind corners on super skinny roads on the side of a mountain, with lots of loose gravel. Yikes! But, we made it to the beautiful white sand beach of Prassa. The water was a little cool, but we were pretty hot, so it was great. There were little fishies all over the place, and since the turquoise water was impeccably clear we could see everything.
There was an island nearby, so Seth and I decided to swim out to it. That was a long swim. It took us at least 10 minutes of continuous swimming to reach the little island. We walked the coast a little bit before finding a shorter route back, another long swim. Afterwards we dried off a bit and hitched a ride back to the port.
In the evening Seth cooked a dinner of pasta with fresh vegetables, and we hung out till we fell asleep