Monday, December 23, 2013


Overview of Delos - the site is just massive with so much still not excavated
We had originally planned a couple of day trips, one to Naxos and one to Mykonos. With our lost first day and our pleasure at the relaxing pace of Naoussa life, we decided to just do one full day trip...sort of out of obligation, I think. We settled on a trip that first visited Delos, a now abandoned island that is covered in ruins and considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Greece. Inhabited over 5000 years ago, Delos was believed to be the birthplace of the gods Apollo and Artemis, and in later years (as in about 2500 years ago), the island was a religious pilgrimage site. Delos then became important on the trade route circuit, and I was particularly drawn to this information from Wikipedia:
"Before the end of the 1st century BC, trade routes had changed; Delos was replaced by Puteoli as the chief focus of Italian trade with the East, and as a cult-centre too it entered a sharp decline."
For those who have been reading this blog for awhile, you may remember that Puteoli is the ancient name for Pozzuoli, located in Italy and the location of our home back in Italy. An interesting coincidence for our trip.

Delos ruins

As we walked along the pathways, they were littered with terra cotta
pieces, remnants of ancient amphorae; here, we noticed quite a large
piece, just sitting on the path. Constantly seeing things everywhere that
Americans would deem museum protection worthy never got old.
From Delos, our boat headed over to Mykonos, where we had about three hours or so. Mykonos is quite popular on the tourist route and with cruise ships. And I'll be honest, our three hours there were two hours too many. We've heard from friends who've been to Mykonos how much they enjoyed their stay, so I think being in a hotel on the island and perhaps getting to know your immediate area (perhaps not staying in Mykonos town, but in one of the other towns) must be appealing. The water was absolutely incredible on Mykonos, too. But the main town itself seems to have given over to the cruise ship community. Shop after shop of T-shirts, magnets, and other cheap souvenirs. Shopkeepers who just looked bored out of their minds and/or disgusted with our presence, restaurants with prices that we could not even believe and menus full of tourist food, crowds everywhere, and on the "pedestrian" streets, we were constantly having to dodge into shops to avoid delivery vans going up and down the narrow lanes. For us, coming from Paros, Naoussa was the exact opposite of everything in that last sentence, so Mykonos was a big shock. We spent an hour covering most of the town, just to be sure we'd seen it all, then the crowds and traffic got to be too much. We decided to find a quiet place to settle down for our remaining time and eventually found a bar located in perhaps one of the top bar spots of the world. There, we settled into a comfy sofa to enjoy drinks while looking straight out at the gorgeous, Aegean Sea. Arriving back to Paros was a bit of relief, especially as we went out that night for dinner and walked through calm lanes, browsed the shops filled with unique clothes, jewelry, and gift items, and ate yet another excellent meal (at about half the Mykonos prices). I'm very glad we did the day trip, just so we could see a couple more of the Cycladic islands, but oh how happy we were that our week was being spent in Naoussa.
Mykonos Windmills

Our resting spot

This is some fish washing station!

Heading "home" to Naoussa

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