The largest island of the Cyclades, it is apparently self sufficient in most foods – potatoes, olive oil, wine and a marble not as pure as that in Paros but still lines a lot of the porches and streets. At the entrance to the harbour is a huge portico made of four enormous, 20 ton blocks of marble. One of the conquerors of long ago was finally going to build the biggest and best temple to the god Apollo – but the initial gate was as far as it went. We stayed at the Porto Naxos hotel. Beautiful hotel, great staff, lousy management again. ‘Do you have some ice?’ Go to the pool bar. ‘Do you have any boiling water to make some tea?’ Go to the pool bar. It seems like a demarcation dispute. One person working like mad and three standing around doing nothing. Great pool bar though they lost the club sandwich bar for an hour so they gave us a free Marguerite each! Who’s’ complaining? About a ten minute walk from the ‘beach’ and the main port. All the usual restaurants and bars along the front complete with deck chairs and umbrellas. We went for a bus tour of the island. About 9-5. Naxos is VERY mountainous. Good for goats but can be terrifying for those who can’t stand heights. Frankly, I think people should have been warned. OK for me – just – but a couple, including Chris, did not enjoy it at all. The streets in the little villages are the same as the rest in Greece but the interesting thing is that were built up in the hills where the Pirates couldn’t see them. Good move. The other interesting thing on the tour was an olive works. Seen many old presses – very ho hum – but not here. They now use a modern press and extraction plant but we saw in their ‘museum’ a very heavy truncated cone made of stone being pulled around the grinding slab using manpower. That was new to us. Glad to get back after a long hot day. The other claim to fame of Naxos is the remains of the Venetian castle. Built of wood, sacked, rebuilt, sacked again then a stone castle was built. Nowadays there are many houses and buildings built on and into the castle – a bit like a rabbit warren. Dress shops, coffee shops, the old bazaar, two museums – one closed – only opens two days a week (seriously? with all these tourists around?) and the other – managed by a lady, showing architectural marble artefacts. Interesting.
Tomorrow off to Amorgos. 5 hours by ferry.