Our boat to Santorini didn’t leave until 3:20, so we had most of the day in Naxos. The one thing we both wanted to see was the Venetian Museum. It’s an 800 year old house that until a couple of years ago was still occupied by the Della-Rocca family who owns it. They decided to open the house up as a museum to share it with the rest of the world, and what a good thing they did because it’s a great little museum full of artifacts, documents, books and everyday objects they would have used over the last 8 centuries. You have to walk up a lot of stairs to get to the house, because it was built alongside the Venetian Kastro that was built in the 13th century by Marco Sanudo, the first Duke of Naxos. Of the seven towers of the castle, only one remains. Normally you can go into the castle, but our tour guide said it was closed for no good reason. “Welcome to Greece!” she said sarcastically after that. It’s a great little museum and our guide is a friend of the family so she has all sorts of first hand knowledge (and a great passion) for the house and its history. She said just this year they actually discovered a new room in the house, and it was filled with all sorts of stuff. They haven’t gone through it yet, but how much fun would that be? Kind of like finding buried treasure! I asked how it was that they discovered this room, and it was discovered when they were opening up a wall in the basement for some other reason, and ta da! There it was! We were sad because on Sunday nights they have a sunset garden traditional Greek singing and dancing concert, and apparently it’s just amazing, so if any of you should ever come to Naxos, go see it, for us!
The magnificent view of the gate from one of the windows.
One of the family emblems. It is a lion that has both male and female characteristics. It has a boy bit (if you know what I mean) and a lions head without the mane, which makes it a girl. What this symbolized was that a male OR a female could rule if there were no male heirs, and a female did indeed have to take on that role. I thought that was pretty progressive for the year 1604.
We spent the rest of the day just wandering around looking for a cool and breezy place to sit down. We went back to our gyro place for another cheap as* meal, and then found some beautiful marble steps to sit and people watch for a good hour.
Oh yes, it’s the cat of the day! Her name is Nike.
Our ferry to Santorini was very bumpy. I had to take a Gravol, my stomach was lurching around all over the place. It was just a three hour tour (yes, I had to make a Gilligan’s Island reference) and we arrived at the port of Athinios to maybe the most majestic view I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I should have taken a picture but I fell asleep on the ferry and woke up feeling like Rip Van Winkle so I forgot. I’ll have a chance later to take some shots of it though, because we’ll be on a sailboat in the next couple of days… Our hotel was there to pick us up and we arrived at our hotel to discover it’s mere steps from the beach! There are bars, restaurants and the usual beach chairs and umbrella’s down there, so I think I know what we’ll be doing tomorrow-NOTHING!
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As we walked down the promenade we were besieged by the restaurants trying to get you into their places. “Lady, come over here! Best seafood! Look at menu!” It’s hard to decide with so much pressure! We just said we were walking to the end then we’d decide on our way back. As we were walking back we were approached by one of the girls who had enticed us on our was down, but we had decided to go with the restaurant just down from that. For a second there was this showdown, where the guy was looking at us wistfully, and she was showing us the menu and telling us everything we ever would want to know about it when suddenly we realised that this menu was exactly the same as the next place down. I asked her if that was the same restaurant and she said it was. We just laughed and told her we were trying to decide between her restaurant and the guy next door, when in fact they were one and the same. Doh! We must have been tired! We had a nice meal with a first class view. A good start to Santorini I would say!
We’re not on the sunset side of the island, but we did get a beautiful moon rise over the black pebbled sand beach.