see naxos in a day

Today we drove around to explore Naxos.
That means we got into a car and drove through towns at the speed of light. I tried to take some photos as we drove past things and got photos like this:
I mean, I’m hanging out the window and manage to snap the photo JUST as we pass a telephone pole. I couldn’t have done this if I tried!
The landscape in the interior of Naxos is quite beautiful if you like rocks and bare mountains. Very striking.
That tiny spec on top of that peak is a church. Its a church for the Prophet Elias. 
I’m guessing, but given that his churches are always in spots only eagles can get to, I’d say its a safe bet.
My mom told me the story was that Elias was a fisherman who was the sole survivor of a shipwreck. Apparently when Elias (not yet a prophet, obviously, or he’d have prophesied the wreck and his life would have gone down an entirely different track…) washed up on a beach he swore he would never look at the sea again. So he set off on foot carrying an oar with him. Every place he met another person he’d show them the oar and ask what it was. They would answer “Its an oar of course” so on he’d trudge.
Eventually he’d gone so far from the sea that when he asked a peasant what it was he was carrying the man said “Its a stick of course”. And that’s where the man-soon-to-become-prophet Elias built his church.
Anyway, our destination was the Temple of Za (another word for Zeus?) This is the information I found with a quick google search:
Naxos History Many myths in Greece involve Naxos as some point. Zeus, the highest god, was born on Crete, but grew up on Naxos. The people of Naxos used to worship him, and a temple was made to his honour at the mountain Za (Zeus).
When Zeus‘ mistress Semele died before giving birth to their child, Zeus took the embryo and put it in his thigh. When the baby, Dionysus, was born out of Zeus thigh on Naxos, the nymphs Philia, Coronida and Clidi brought him up on the island, which was to be Dionysus favourite island. The god made the island fertile and full of grapevines, forever blessing it.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that is a really wierd story if you ask me! Children born out of men’s thighs…?
The sign pointing the way to the cave in which Zeus was raised said 20 minutes. 
Up hill.
Maybe. If your name is Edmund Hillary.
But for us normal, not so fit and vertigo-suffering people… What clinched it for me is that about 1/4 of the way up the path disappeared and we had to climb over rocks like mountain goats.
I turned back. And I wasn’t alone in that decision.
We did stop in Apiranthos, the town on top of the highest mountain on Naxos I believe. I’d been there before when I was about 12 so I knew the town well. Not.
What struck me most is that its so different to Paros. Similar in that its an island of the Cyclades, but quite different in architecture and building materials.
I visied a small grocery which sold all kinds of things: herbs, soaps, baskets, antiques…
Found the finish on these ceramic pots interesting. They’ve managed to create a really gorgeous copper patina on them.
Of course they’re way too big to take home so I settled for a couple of bars of olive oil soap.
That’s the kind of soap my mom used to insist on buying when I was growing up, saying its all natural and good for me. I wanted nice smelling fancy soaps, none of that plain, hard, square mucky green soap.
Now I’ll pay top dollar for that same hard square mucky green soap.
Things do come full circle don’t they? I am turning into my mother.

2 thoughts on “see naxos in a day

  1. Bebe lovely pix, dunno whether that countryside is my cup of tea. You wouldn't want to ride broncs there I'm telling you. So there goes my scale of comparison.

    Oh and I'm getting an oar from somewhere b4 you get back!!


  2. LOL I agree on the landscape… sort of reminiscent of the hills behind Ouse,.. not for me. But the sea views!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the sea itself…. sigh……. that I can live with!

    Btw they have 2 riding clubs on Paros now!



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