Saturday, August 15, 2009

Naxos


"Give me again your empty boon,
Sweet Sleep - the gentle dream
How Theseus 'neath the fickle moon
Upon the Ocean stream
Took me and led me by the hand
To be his Queen in Athens land.

He slew the half-bull Minotaur
In labyrinthine ways
But, threadless, had he come no more
From out my father's maze:
Yet I who taught his hands this guile
Am left forlorn on Naxos Isle."

-Dionysiaca XLVII by Nonnos


Naxos, a gentle island, with another mythological tale. It is said that Theseus abandoned Ariadne on Naxos, after she helped him in his efforts to slay the Minotaur on Crete.
Mt. Zeus is also on Naxos - the highest peak in the Cycladic islands.

As we got off the boat, we started walking....UP!! We managed to get lost more than once in the maze of alleyways. This is an area of town called the Kastro, which is true to the poem by Nonnos, a labyrinth or maze of alleyways and exquisite homes. These were originally built around a castle by the Venetians, and remain today, much as they were, centuries ago.

I have given you a peek at the exteriors of these homes, as the interiors remain a mystery (we were told that only the very wealthy own these homes, and that the inside of these homes are quite exquisite). There were also many small restaurants and stores, tucked into the quiet streets. This was a favorite on our tour of the Cycladic islands.

A view as you enter the harbor.
You can see the Castle (Kastro) that appears to be brown,
the maze of alleyways takes you up to the castle.


Another beautiful Greek Orthodox Church
awaits at the top of the Labyrinth.




Looking back at the Aegean Sea on a sunny, hot day


Ah, the beautiful homes and charming flowers abound


Looking up to the castle - not open to the public

p.s. I have used the "Greece" guidebook, by Lonely Planet for much of the history and details of these posts...... it's a great guide book for any travel, and it deserves the credit for so much of the details in my blogs. Thanks Lonely Planet !!

No comments: