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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A RETURN TO THE CYCLADES AND CRETE

Add to Technorati FavoritesI usually try to go to the island of NAXOS when I'm visiting Greece, because it's my favorite island.  This year is no exception, however I've decided to also stop at PAROS.  Aside from a weekend a long time ago when I went to babysit a friend's little boy while she performed at a taverna, I've never spent time on that popular island. I've heard so much about this island from other people, I figured it was time to explore it myself.

 PAROS
 I've only got a couple of days booked on Paros but it should be enough to see a few of the sights although I have quite a list of options.  An interesting thing is that the town of Parikia where I will be staying used to be a Minoan city back in the 1400 BCs.  Later, in 338 BC it was taken over by King Philip II of Macedonia (Alexander's father), followed by the Romans.

There's a wide choice of things to see and beautiful beaches to visit so my little stop-over should prove to be really interesting. I'll probably wish I'd booked more than two days there!

From Paros, I will go to Naxos which is very nearby.  As always, I'm heading for Maragas Camping, and like last year I'm going to stay in one of the bed tents.  These are quonset-hut type 'tents' with a bed and electricity inside and lots of room to walk around.  I found it very comfy and it's cheap!
 NAXOS, Maragas Beach

 Spectacular Naxos Sunset

The beach there is just spectacular and there are some wonderful little tavernas along the beach where you can sit and watch the sunset. Besides that you can take the bus into town and there's lots to see including  the Venetian Castle, the Portala (doorway of the Temple of Apollo) and many other things. Naxos has a very interesting history and I've been on the round-the-island tour a number of times. It's a big island, with mountains and lots of greenery as well as those gorgeous beaches. It's the island where, in the myths, Theseus landed with Ariadne, the princess of Knossos after they had left Crete when the volcanic explosion on Santorini drove them all away.  Unfortunately Ariadne ran off with the celebrants of Dionysos and that's the last Theseus saw of her. This time when I'm there I must remember to visit that particular sanctuary and see if I can conjur Ariadne's spirit.
 MARAGAS BEACH CAMPING


Last year when I was on Naxos I wrote a lot of poems while on the beach and one of them was about Ariadne.I am hoping the Muse is with me this time too.  I find if a very inspiring island!

 IRAKLION, CRETE

 IRAKLEON, MOROSINI FOUNTAIN


From Naxos I take the ferry to Crete. I'll stop a couple of days in Iraklion in order to see the sights there which will include the Palace of Knossos famous from  Minoan times.  There is so much to see in Iraklion and other parts of Crete that I may decide to extend my time there because it's worth spending time. I've visited Crete on a couple of other occasions but not for a few years, so it's going to be fun to return. 
 THE PALACE OF KNOSSOS

 MINOAN ARTIFACTS AND PAINTINGS

Eventually I'll head back to Athens and then a lot of new adventures will take place.  Among those I am hoping that I can do some book readings as the second volume of SHADOW OF THE LION is supposed to be published in October. 

NOTE:  photos of Paros and Irakleon  from Wikipedia

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