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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NEWS FROM THE HOTEL ARTEMIS

Hotel Artemis, Samos (Vathi)

Trust me to be staying at the Hotel Artemis, the goddess who preferred intellect to sex!  I keep wishing Aphrodite would speak to me as I need to write some poetry and so far I've come u p with pure drivel!
Anyway, I have this nice room, small but appropriate for a writer, overlooking the port.  A bit noisy on the street below with motor cycles and cars, but nice just the same.  A cool meltemi breeze blows fresh air into my room so I retreated there all afternoon after a morning of Museum visits.

I was heading for Turkey, via Samos, but like Odysseus, I seem to have been blown off course and never quite made it to Turkey, though its just a few nautical miles away.  It was an easy decision to stay here though, as this island has an alluring charm that attracted me from the first time I visited here 26 years ago, and on several subsequent visits when, like now, I was en route to Kusadasi and Ephesus.


This is the island of Pythagoras and the Goddess Hera.  It's a mountainous island with a mild climate.  The cooling meltemi wind blows almost constantly in summer fanning the air and making it pleasant. It's a green island, known since antiquity for it's vineyards.

I started my morning at the archaeological museum which has an interesting display of artifacts mostly from 6 - 7 cent. BC from the Heraion which I intend to visit tomorrow.  One votive offering to the goddess is a gigantic kouros, but there were many other object including some lovely little faience birds from Egypt and other unusual things that were gifts to the goddess.

Wine Tasting

Samos is known for its sweet wine and the Samian wine has been famous since antiquity.  So I took a taxi to the Samos wine museum and spent an interesting hour there browsing the displays, then relaxing in the wine tasting area.  About 8 bottles of wine were set out, various vintages and types (except 1 rose, all white wines) and you could pour and taste as man and as much as you liked.  I tried each one and decided on the Samian Nectar,  a delicious dessert wine.  When I spoke to the manager and told him who I was and that I was a travel writer, and asked for English info about the wineries, he gave me a large bottle of the Nectar as a gift!  Another Greek wine for my collection to be served at my novel's wrap party!
Samos town square

I walked back to the Samos port along the well-paved sea wall, keeping mostly to the shade and enjoying the ea breeze.  It took about an hour, but was a pleasant walk.  These are 'working' days for me now, not beach days, so I'll spend the afternoon in my room or out on the balcony overlooking the port, and contemplate my writing tasks.  So far though, the Muse has been avoiding me and I wonder why?

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