Thursday, May 26, 2016

Naxos photos

Temple of Demeter
Goats on the move!
The old and the new.
7th century kouros near Apollonas
Russ standing beside it!
Marble quarry
Took this photo from an area where all the discarded cut marble pieces were dumped- wish my backpack was bigger!

More Islands...

Yasas from Naxos! We really like this island - it is a great combination of beautiful scenery, lovely beaches, small villages and lots of tavernas with interesting food. The size of Naxos town is nice too, as it is walkable but has enough attractions to keep you busy. We rented a car for the first two days here, and scooted all over the island. It is the largest island of the Cyclades, and very mountainous (highest peak is Mt. Zeus at 1004m), so the roads are windy and steep - fun in a little rental car with a standard stickshift! There are large marble quarries on the island, and the road gives you a great view of the slabs that have been cut away from the mountain. We had fun finding several marble "kouros", huge statues of youths from 6th and 7th centuries B.C. that were abandoned and left lying in the spot they were carved.

Yesterday we went on a day tour to the islands of Delos and Mykonos. It took us three hours to walk around the ruins on Delos, and we were surprised at the size of the area that has been excavated. Although the island is tiny, it was estimated that 30,000 people lived there at the beginning of the 1st century B.C., so it was a thriving community.

Mykonos was about what we expected, a bustling resort town with shops and restaurants plugged with cruise ship passengers (5 ships were there yesterday!). Physically it is attractive, but we were quite happy to leave after 3 hours. On the plus side, we sat in a shady cafe and had the best gelato ever!!

I have neglected to comment on our time in Santorini. It was amazing to stay on the edge of the caldera, in our little "cave" room, and the views were out of this world, as were the prices for food! Since our room was surrounded by more expensive accommodations, the restaurants in our area were also expensive - about double the prices we had paid in Sifnos. Aside from that, we enjoyed the ruins (yes, more ruins!) at Akrotiri (city buried by volcanic ash in 1613 B.C.), and spent an enjoyable afternoon exploring the village of Oia, which is perched on the northern tip of the island. Unfortunately we were unlucky with weather, and the second day we were there it was very windy and actually rained! We had a glimpse of a sunset the first night, and that was it. The Chinese seem to have discovered Santorini, specifically to have their wedding photos taken. It was amusing to watch the brides negotiating the main pedestrian path, wearing runners while their new husbands carried their fancy shoes for them.

Tomorrow we are off to Crete, where we will spend about a week. A few photos of the last week.....

Bye for now!

Proof that we were there!
P.S. The food continues to be wonderful, so our "foody" friends should continue to be jealous. We have eaten more octopus in the last few weeks than we have in our entire 60 years!

Santorini sunset
Our view
Oia on the left,
Just one of the happy couples we saw!
Oia - the famous view.
Foot passengers!
Inside of the ferry - where are the cars?!