Naxos, Greece Day 158

Today we left Paros for Naxos. The ferry was just a quick hour, but cripes… dragging our bags up 3 flights of stairs on the ferry was not fun in this heat. Not to mention Deb brought more of a backpack than a suitcase with wheels so she’s suffering with a really heavy bag that must be hauled rather than wheeled. Let this be a lesson. Wheels are definitely better, even on the cobbled streets of Europe! However, I do still see loads of people with big, cumbersome packs on their backs, so I’m thinking it’s a personal preference thing. It was so much hotter today than yesterday, and when we arrived at our hotel we must have looked like we were suffering because the owner offered us a cold drink and a traditional homemade cake upon our arrival. It was a basic white cake with mastic ice cream (regional to Greece) topped with a fruit syrup and chewy candied grapes that kind of had the texture of gummy bears. The mastic thing is huge in Greece. You can get mastic candy, ice cream and gum. Deb thought it tasted like smoky chestnuts with a subtle pine flavour. It’s strange but delicious.
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We settled into our hotel then took a walk into town. Naxos Town is a really pretty little seaside village with pretty well everything you could want. Restaurants, bars, shops and quaint little streets. But man, it was HOT! Deb was melting and I was soggy. Not really too excited abut walking around town in that heat, so we stopped to have a late lunch since we’d only had breakfast and remembered we were starved! Our restaurant was adorable, and the food was just fantastic! Deb had the grilled seafood platter with swordfish, octopus and calamari, and I had the grilled/mostly fried platter with sardines, scampi, whitefish and shrimp. The nice thing though was that even though it was fried the batter was so light it wasn’t too greasy. It was definitely in the top 5 of my favourite meals in the past 5 months.
A smaller soft drink is more expensive than a larger beer. What’s a girl to do? We all know the answer to that!
Seafood, yum!
Not a bad view!
I can’t remember what these little fish are that you eat whole, but they were good!
My mother always told me not to play with my food…
Sea sponges!
Cat of the day! He had a tooth that was sticking out over his lip so we called him Snagglepuss. On this note, my sister posted a comment that she’s worried about my potential future cat hoarding tendency (in jest.) I want to reassure everyone, I will never have more than 2 cats and 2 dogs. I promise! (Oh yeah, and maybe a couple of goats, but that’s another story…)
The view from the top of the town is spectacular.
The coats of arms of noble medieval Venetian families appear above many of the doorways.
He just looked like he belonged here he blends so well with the background.
The Catholic Church at the top of the hill
Name that plant. Anyone know?
This is the statue you see as you walk towards the Portara on the tip of Naxos town. There wasn’t any information about it because someone had ripped the plaque off, but I thought it was quite beautiful. I’m assuming it might be of Ariadne (see below!)
The Portara of Naxos is the first thing you see when you come into port. It’s on the little tiny islet of Palatia and according to the myth it is the entrance to the bridal palace that the god Dionysus built for Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete. Ariadne loved this guy named Theseus and helped him escape the maze of the Minotaur at Knossos. He proved to be an ass and abandoned her on Naxos and left her broken hearted (hmmm, sounds just like The Bachelor, ancient Greece style!) Dionysus took pity on the poor girl and swept down on a leopard drawn chariot to marry her himself. (Sounds a little too good to be true, doesn’t it?) The story inspired a painting by Titian and the opera Ariadne of Naxos by Richard Strauss. It IS a good story, after all. The more likely scenario is that Lygdamis started work on the temple in 530 BC in homage to Apollo but abandoned it when he was overthrown in 506 BC. A thousand years later the Venetians pillaged it to use the marble for their kastro but couldn’t move the slabs used for this door frame because they were too heavy (at 20 tons each.) So the question is, how did they originally move the slabs here in 530 BC? I’m so amazed at early humans sometimes.
Kind of makes me want to be a sailor. Guess I’d have to get over my fear of open water then?
Naxos Town at Twilight. Deb and I were still full from our big lunch so we had ice cream cones for dinner. Don’t judge, anything goes in Greece!

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