Monday , May 12, Naxos

May 15, 2008

We awoke to a chilly, overcast day and decided that the scooter option was out. Way out. Naxos is BIG…and big means that we would not only freeze our butts off, but that they would be sore from riding around on such a little seat. I guess I should qualify “big”–it is 428 sq. km…that is about 265 miles. It also has the highest point in all the Cyclades–Mt. Zas (Zeus). So what that translated to for us is “CAR.”

Mynde woke up not feeling well. I am not sure if it was allergies/sinus (like I have been dealing with for a week now)…or if she had a touch of a cold/flu (and no, it was not at all associated with drinking as we have not had more than a beer or 2 the entire trip)…so that was another pro in the direction of the car vote. I know we have been pushing ourselves with as much moving and shaking we have been doing…our bodies are bound to put the brakes on at some point.

Nonetheless, trooper that she is, we headed to the interior part of the island. It is a very beautiful island–more lush and obviously more fertile. We made our way to several little villages–basically following a bus sight-seeing tour route. There were not too many tourists, but we did see one bus carting people in and out of places. Naxos is known as the “white island” as it is a huge producer of marble and thus, many of the villages are built entirely of marble. Also, they have huge marble mining in the quarries around the island (see photos–it is amazing and kind of sad to see the harvesting). We wandered around one of the villages, but we had some difficulty navigating because the signs were non-existent (or at least English versions). So we pretty much did a car tour of this island–stopping here and there for sites and walks.

We did then head down to some of the neighboring beaches…Agia Anna and Agios Prokopios (both much nicer and very quiet compared to St. George Beach where we were staying). That pretty much was the extent of our adventuring on Naxos. We returned to the port and found food and people watched for the rest of the night. Our absolute favorite part of the island was the sunset. We walked up to the Portera-Gateway to Apollo’s Temple and waited for the sun to go down enough to see it through the gateway (again see photos). We also made a ‘lil video and will get that link up soon. It was very windy but just seeing the beautiful sunset made the trip to this island great!

Back on Santorini island, we received an email from our friend Lorie regarding her childhood friend, Amy, that now lives on one of the Greek islands. It just so happened that she lives on Paros with her Greek husband and baby. Because Paros is literally 40 minutes by ferry, we decided to go ahead and hop over to meet Lorie’s friend (and see a little of another island–6 is a nice round number after all!)

Naxos was a little less exciting or filled with wonder and amazement than the other 4 islands we had visited thus far. I am not sure if this was because we had heard from several people throughout our trip that Naxos was “disappointing” and “not worth going to”…or if it was just because we had come directly from Mykonos with our superb accommodations, view, and overall experience. I guess it could be that the island just is not set up for tourists the way that other islands have been and the weather was less than cooperative so we could not do the “beach thing.” The way I see it, it was still a beautiful island and experience and we are glad we had a sampling, but it would not rank as our favorite of the trip. So tomorrow, off to catch Paros–the last of our Cycladic Island experience.

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