Island Time on Naxos
30 September 2012 | Naxos Town
Dan 25 degrees C, 1014mb, 20+kt N wind
We intended to stay in Naxos just two nights but this island seems to have cast a spell over us. Today is our fourth day here and the daily rhythm apparently suits us quite nicely. We'll move along tomorrow. Or maybe the next day...
Naxos is the largest, highest, and definitely the most verdant island in the Cyclades. Mt. Zas (Zeus) rises to a height of 1,003 meters, while the fertile valleys in the center of the island produce grain, olives, fruit, vegetables and wine. And in the less arable areas of the island, substantial quantities of white marble as well as emery are mined. In fact, there is such an abundance of marble here that the mountain village of Apeiranthos has streets entirely paved with the stuff.
According to ancient mythology, Zeus was raised here, as was Dionysus who met and married Ariadne after she was abandoned on the island by Theseus. We drove to Mt. Zas yesterday and some of the views from up there were truly worthy of the Gods.
Interlude has been tied up at Hora, the main port town on Naxos. Immediately to our North is the islet of Palatia where the Portara, depicted in the photo above stands. This structure was built around 530 BC and was intended to be a temple honoring Apollo. However, it was never finished and today only the foundation and this rectangular portal still remain.
We enjoyed a tasty and memorable evening at La Vigne the other evening. Foodies visiting Naxos should definitely dine here. It's a French wine bar with an extensive wine menu and a dozen or so 'small plates' that are served tapas-style. There are only a handful of tables, several inside and the rest outside in the narrow alleyway in front. The owners are two french women who came here on holiday 10 years go and decided to stay. They spend as much time chatting with their customers as they do in the kitchen and the experience is almost like being invited over for dinner. Great food, wine and conversation...definitely one of the most memorable and enjoyable dining experiences we've had since arriving in Greece.
Another memorable experience was the "Bouzouki Evening" performance held in the courtyard of an old Venetian castle built in the 12th century. The bouzouki is a traditional Greek instrument, similar to a lute or a mandolin. The performance featured traditional dance, song and Greek music. This was our second opportunity to hear live bouzouki music in Greece and we've enjoyed both experiences quite a bit.
Tomorrow is the first day of October and it's time to head over to Turkey. We'll stop first on Paros to pick up the newly repaired dingy. From there we may stop on Amorgos and then Kos before clearing into Turkey near Bodrum. We'll have a week or so to explore before flying to Istanbul on the 14th of October where we will meet our friend Liz. Tyler heads off to spend a month in Thailand on the 19th while Chris, Liz and I return to the boat for a few more days of sailing. Interlude will be out of the water by November 1st but I suspect we'll spend a week or so after that getting her ready for winter storage. But before all of that, Tyler and I have a football game to watch. Kick-off for the Packers v. Saints game is in less than 3 hours and we'll be streaming the game live again on his computer. Such is the state of on-board technology these days. It's really quite remarkable...