Sunday, September 27, 2009


Friday, November 16th, 2007 Off to visit the Island of Naxos…..

Woke early, heater worked all night; we’re learning how to work the electrical system. Jim says that instead of a 10 amp breaker it should be at least a 25. Looks like another beautiful day outside. About 9 am we loaded the car, including the trash bag, and headed down the hill to the main road. Found the trash dumpster on the highway and then headed south through Drios towards Parikia. When we arrived we found parking for the day; walked to the port and purchased our roundtrip tickets to Naxos for the day at the price of 7 euros each way.

We now had two hours until sailing time so we first walked around to find the Catholic Church where we will go to Mass on Sunday evening. Then we entered one of the most famous churches in the islands. It is called the Holy Shrine of Panaya Ekatontapiliani, built in the fourth century somewhere around 379 AD by St. Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine. She had stopped in Paros as she traveled to Palestine to search for the Holy Cross. She prayed in a small temple on this site and promised to return and build a big Temple if she was successful in her quest for the Holy Cross. Some say that she built the temple and others say her son built if for her. She found pieces of the Holy Cross in Palestine and also other relics including the steps to the house of Pontius Pilate that now have their own church in Rome.

This is one of the oldest and best maintained Christian temples in Greece; of course like everything in Europe this is not the original building but has been repaired and reconstructed on this site over the centuries as fires and earthquakes required. The inside is truly one of the best of all the Greek Orthodox Churches that we’ve seen on this trip. There have been larger ones but this one definitely causes one to stop and investigate all of the nooks and crannies. One special spot is the Chapel of Osia Theoktisti that includes her tomb. Her story is very interesting and a part of the history of Paros and this church. They celebrate her memory on the 9th of November each year.

I then found a spot to sit and read my novel near the pine grove and Jim headed over for the Archeological Museum of Paros. Small but he found it very interesting he said when he came out half an hour later. Purchased a bag of popcorn and then headed to the dock to await the ship that will be stopping here; it left from Piraeus (Athen’s Port) this morning and stops here before going to Naxos and then it continues on from there to Santorini.

The ship took about an hour to go around the north end of Paros Island and over to Naxos. Departed the ship and walked up the inside walkways to the top of the Venetian Fortress. There was a large Roman Catholic Church but it was locked. We found the Naxos Archeological Museum but Jim passed on that one. We finally found the Venetian Museum that we wanted to visit but it is closed for the season. Winding our way down in a different direction, we ended up at the same place we’d started from near the port. The inside pathways were probably created both as safe passages in the winter storms but also because of pirates in the ancient times. Actually, I was reading a story one day about some modern day pirates that have attacked Corfu enough times that they actually increased the number of soldiers on the island to deter possible attacks.

We then walked back towards the port and on to the tip of the bay where the Archaic Temple towers over the town and has become its symbolic icon: when you think of Naxos you think of the romantic skyline arch of a ruined temple on the causeway-linked islet at the edge of the town. The books say that the temple-topped rock provides a beguiling promise to arriving ferry passengers of things to come. We found it a Kodak moment and I shot a photo of Jim posed just so that it appears that he is holding the column apart. We also set up the mini-tripod and did some timed photos of the two of us blowing in the wind that is coming in off the Aegean Sea.

It was nearly 3 pm and we walked till we found an Internet Shop with wireless access. There were several to choose from because of the rage with Internet Gaming that we’re finding all over Greece. Yes, I’d brought my laptop with me; it’s so small I find it easy to slip into my daypack. Signed on and enjoyed a very fast connection. We then headed downstairs and into an outside restaurant for an early dinner. We ended up staying at the table for almost two hours reading our novels; the place wasn’t crowded and we were not the only ones using this as a waiting room for the return trip at 6:15 pm.

Back on Paros about 7:30 pm we decided to take the northern route home through Lefkes to our house in Drios. I was very diligent in working with Jim to watch for cows on the road; we didn’t want a repeat of the other night. A nice day but it was good to be back in our snug little home at the end of the day.

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