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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

NAXOS: ARIADNE'S ISLAND

My friend A.B. and I went to Naxos Island for a few days. I'd been there on a couple of other previous occasions, usually camping, and I've always been impressed with this island. Here's where, according to the legend, Theseus abandoned Ariadne after they had fled the labyrinth at Crete following the earthquakes and tidal waves that destroyed Santorini. Here she languished only to be carried off by Dionysos, the god of wine. (And they do make good wine on Naxos to this day!) This is a view of the town. Where the crane is visible, is the old Venetian castle which is under reconstruction. And this is the walk-way out to the little island where the Portals loom over the harbour.
This is the Portals of the unfinished Temple of Apollo, Naxos famous landmark.

There is a great deal of Venetian influence in Naxos and some of it can be seen by these vaulted streets. Up in the old residential area of Kastro, where the Venetian castle is located, you can also see the Lion of St. Mark on some walls and Venetian family coats of arms on doorways. There's a Venetian museum too, although on this trip I didn't take the time to visit it.

Naxos is one of the largest Cycladic islands and well worth a visit. I have lots of excellent photos and will put up some more of them on my blogspot. In particular, the beaches of Naxos are spectacular!
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