Carnival! The island is suddenly packed with people. Thousands dressed in togas and mask makeup, forming a long procession with flaming torches and drums. People came from all over to experience this and I just happen to be here!
8 March 2019
Hiked up to this chapel. I read that the whitewash used is crushed marble—that’s why it gleams. On the way down, I saw critters: a hawk, two kids and a snake. Normally I try to lift snakes off the road but I couldn’t find any long sticks. Sorry, snake. Good luck.
7 March 2019
An American couple arrived at the Airbnb to stay in a room across the hall, and told me of being robbed in Athens, losing a wallet and iPhone. I wasn’t going to mention it, but I was robbed in Athens also. After reading this post, my cousin told me she was also robbed in Athens. So...if any of you plan to visit Greece, I recommend skipping Athens or keeping it very short and beware not just of pickpockets but of new friends. The man who robbed me was someone with whom I spent several hours talking and walking! While he didn’t take my phone and didn’t get much money, it now will make it more difficult for me to make friends. 😣
My own private cove! I haven’t seen a single fish or even crab though. Very strange.
Waded in the cold water—refreshing. But too cold for a full swim.
Hidden in this hillside are some sheep and a newborn lamb. I’ve been fortunate to spend time watching it the past couple of days. It is tiny and naked. It lays on the grass and tilts its little face toward the sun. So precious!
6 March 2019
I joined a committee! Helping to twist raffia belts for people to wear over their toga costumes for this weekend’s Carnival festivities.
More colorful fresh salads (some don’t even need dressing). After having real spanikopita (spinach pockets in Filo dough) I don’t think I can ever eat a boring sandwich again.
5 March 2019
The peak off in the distance is the one I climbed yesterday.
4 March 2019
Climbed one of the highest peaks on Naxos today. Could see the sea in almost all directions. Of course, there is a church on top.
On an average day, I see way more sheep, goats and cats than people. Not so many birds though.
2 March 2019
Took a bus to Chalki in the middle of the island, and walked the 16 km back. Historian Mark Cartwright says “Ares, the god of war and general trouble-maker amongst the Olympian gods, sought shelter in the bowels of Naxos - described as siderobrotin petran - the place of iron-eating rock (meaning emery, the island’s famous export material used to fine-polish the marble so often used in Greek sculpture).”
I stopped a man and asked him (with pantomime mostly) if there was a shortcut, and he showed me a path through his property and gave me two oranges for my trek. So nice. I was hungry.
Climbing a hill near Chalki. Many old buildings and stone fences. Silent except for bleating of goats and sheep.
1 March 2019
Yesterday the water was whitecaps and waves violently crashing into the rocks. Today it is still.
Watching kids here in the school yard playing, realizing they don’t have to worry about being shot like American kids. They are still innocent.
28 February 2019
Got off the island bus at a random village and found a festival! Music, dancing, men loaded with cowbells who jump up and down, and free food—meat skewers and French fries. And an adorable parade of pre-schoolers in fairy tale costumes. I have the best timing!!
27 February 2019
1)Cool tree in restaurant.
2). Citrus digestif. Beautiful amber color and really smooth taste. Sweet but not too much.
The food in Greece is fantastic! Lettuce with grilled peppers, goji berries, tomatoes, apple, seeds, cracked wheat, and honey-balsamic dressing. Yum!
26 February 2019
Sunset from my terrace
Extremely local olives. I love roadside vendors! He grows delicious peanuts also.
My Airbnb is on the hill on the right.
My new friend. She gave me a tour of the castle and told me stories of pirates and princesses.
Cats in castles.
And in shops
Arrived by ferry to Naxos. It was a huge ship and very luxurious, with cabins and a restaurant. 5 hours from Athens to this island of 20,000 residents. Wasn’t sure the ferry would be able to run today, since weather cancelled the last three days. It was challenging carrying my heavy pack in the strong winds getting off the boat. The wind was blowing me into other people like bumper cars.
21 February 2019
Greek salad with the most delicious tomatoes and cucumber I’ve ever had. Super creamy cheese, olives, capers, peppers, and onions. With fantastic olive oil. Huge salad was five bucks.
19 February 2019
Changing of the guard in front of Parliament.
Uniquely Greek experience today at the Hellenic Post Office. First of all, the post office is only open a few hours a day. You take a number and then sit in the waiting area with about twenty people. The young woman next to me talked loudly on her cell phone in Greek, but in the middle of the conversation exclaimed “whatever!” In English. I laughed. It took so long to get to my number I went next door and ate a snack (chestnut-filled donut rolled in sesame seeds!) and came back and still had to wait.
I don’t know what this sculpture is but I like the gecko. And the crazy Calaway toes.
Horseshoe-shaped stadium. Over a million cubic feet of marble.
Stairs nearly everywhere seem to be made from marble. My Airbnb is on the 6th floor and the stairs and lobby have beautiful old marble. Even the deck of my balcony is marble.
I just like the caterpillar and locust hanging out together.
17 February 2019
I am reading a book on Greek myths to brush up on my gods. I love that Athena was born in full armor. She reportedly gave the citizens of Athens an olive tree as a gift and so they dedicated the city to her. And built her a temple.
Views of Athens from the acropolis
February is a great time to be here. Most of the tourist tickets are half price and there aren’t very many tour groups about so things aren’t crowded.
Don’t you wish I would bring you back a Greek penis bottle opener?!
Monastiraki square was buzzing today.
14 February 2019
National Archeological Musuem
13 February 2019
This dragon totally belongs here. Athena should have had a dragon companion.
I’m in Athens. My Airbnb host sent a trusted taxi to pick me up at the airport and we had an amazing conversation about travel, marriage, god, gender, and economics. My Airbnb host has a map of Athens on the wall and spent 30 minutes giving me tourist tips. He and the cabbie both said the economy in Greece is so tough everyone has to work 14 hours a day to stay afloat. They both said they appreciated me and other tourists coming and giving them business. Very warm and gracious.
12 February 2019
Cesear salad. Mostly corn and cheese with a few scraps of lettuce and chicken under a mustard sauce