Day 301, Delos

Sunday, 9/29/2019

Want to know if you are in a five-star hotel? In the breakfast bar you pour orange juice from a pitcher and taste it and it is fresh-pressed. Not to mention there are platters of cute little cold-cuts and platters of different kinds of cheeses and fruit and…

I made sure to be in good time for the 9am departure meeting. We bused around to the opposite end of town, and then walked around the inner harbor to the smaller ferries that go to Delos. Ours was the Orca. What, in the Agean sea? I thoroughly enjoyed the half-hour cruise to Delos. The temperature was about 72F, the sea deep blue, and a brisk breeze had swept the sky clean and made waves just big enough to make the boat move around in a pleasant way. I stood by a railing the whole way and got my glasses all gunked up with salt spray.

Delos is another bare, brown, rocky island, with even less vegetation than Mykonos. However the whole foreshore is covered with ruins. This picture spans less than a fourth of them.

9-29 delos ruins (1)

We walked a lot (health app says, 12,200 steps for the day). There are a whole lot of old stones, many loose, many forming partial walls. Anastasia tried to make it interesting.

9-29 anastasia explains 1280

I wasn’t enjoying it, much. I think we weren’t prepped enough, or I wasn’t, at least. The ruins include evidence from 1,000 years. The island was a religious center for the Naxians, people from the island of Naxos, who made it the site of really big temples around 800BC. Then the Athenians became top dogs and they took it over and built stuff for several centuries. The the Romans decided it would be a duty-free port, and for a couple of centuries it was a commercial hub for trading vessels from all over and a population of over 30,000 — all living on imported food because no crops grow there. Then Mithradates, an ambitious dude from Anatolia, in one of his three wars with the Romans, destroyed the whole thing. So about 50BC it was abandoned by everybody and gradually covered over, until the 1800s when French archaeologists started uncovering it. But what’s left is just stones, jumbled together, and a lot of 3- to 5-foot high walls. It isn’t obvious what’s early Greek, Athenian, or Roman. The archaeologists can say, this little square of broken wall was a temple to Artemis, and this line of broken columns was put up by Philip of Macedon, and so on. But it’s just broken masonry. Anastasia tried but I’m not sure anybody could make it exciting. I just got hot, dehydrated (well, I should have brought a water bottle) and a bit grumpy, although I didn’t express that.

So back we came and walked through old town Mykonos to a restaurant for lunch. I should say that the Greek cuisine has been nice. Actually today wasn’t especially Greek, the entree was a pork chop.

After lunch we were at liberty, and supper tonight is on us individually, not provided. I spent an hour walking around the old town shops, hoping to find a nice straw hat, but all the shops had the same Chinese-made straw or paper fedoras, and none in my size. Took some pictures.

9-29 mykonos alley 8009-29 old town wall 1024

Then I walked on back to the hotel, up a fairly steep hill. There I took a pleasant shower — this has been my pattern for a couple of days, take a shower in the afternoon and change into tomorrow’s clothes for the evening — and did some hand-laundry. Later I think I will have the prix fixe menu at our posh hotel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s