Day 38: Naxos

Well today was mostly travel. My ferry left at 4pm, and I didn’t leave the hotel until 11:30. I couldn’t go swimming like I wanted to because my sunburn was still pink and stinging, and the last thing I wanted was to burn more. Going to town for a while would have just ended it me spending money on buses and food and water, I had seen the main towns already. What I had wanted to do, and had planned for, was to go to the Minoan ruins to the south of the island, but apparently there was a roof collapse a couple of years ago that killed a visitor, and since then they have been building a new housing for the ruins, and putting in safety measures, so the place was closed to tourists. I decided to just go down to the harbor.

Today was not just hot, it was record breaking. According to BBC it hit 48C(118F) today in Athens, and was close to that in the islands. I tried to stay out of the sun as much as possible.

Waiting for the bus I met 3 Swedes who were also heading to the port. They didn’t have tickets but were going to try to catch a ferry. Which as it turns out worked better for them than me having my reservation. They got a ferry for cheap looking to fill seats leaving 3 hours before mine. In the end my ferry would be 2 hours later on a 2 hour trip… This worries me a lot for Thursday when I need to be on time to get to my airport with enough time left. Down in the harbor the relaxed Santorini is brushed away by people trying very hard to get you to sit at their restaurant, but personally pushy people just make me want to go away.

I looked around for the German woman I met the night before but wouldn’t find her until I arrived in Naxos. However instead once the ferry got underway I met a nice Greek couple, though it might be more appropriate to called them Cypriot. I got a bit of a lecture on western intervention being the reason for Turkish invasion of the northern half of the island. I’ve read up on the story myself so I know a little, but it was interesting to hear anyway the point of view of those who had lived through some major changes from the declaration of independence in the 1960 from Britain, to the Turkish invasion of the northern portion in 1974. He was very nice though, and though it was hard to communicate, we talked about a number of things, including politics over beers. I guess I seem to look like I’m saying “beer me.” I knew not to pay for it, or turn it down after reading so much about Greek culture from a Greek resident’s travel page, the Greeks take a lot of pride in their hospitality.

Arriving in Naxos I made my way to the hotel. The old Naxos town is gorgeous, its a labyrinth of narrow white painted pathways winding their way around town seemingly randomly. Supposidly the city was built like this to confuse pirates, whether thats true or not, it certainly confuses me at times. Like Venice though its a nice town to get lost in. Unlike Santorini, Naxos is less tourism centric, which is nice, I feel more like a visitor than a tourist once I’m off the main road along the water front next to the port.

My room for the next 2 nights is very simple, but very comfortable and cute, done up in teal and white. There is no AC but the ceiling fan seems to be doing fine, and I have internet, though I don’t think its from the hotel haha. The owners are an elderly Greek couple who are very kind, and always seem to be smiling. The hotel is filled with grape vines and from the terrace, you can see the sea. I think they over filled and put me in a nicer room than I booked since I booked a single room with shared bathroom, but instead I have my own bathroom with 2 beds. I don’t need one of the beds, but it means extra pillows for me! Part of me wishes I was staying in a hostel like that German girl, the night life seems nice here, not high paced, but still very happening, but i do appreciate the nice hotel I have tonight for 30 euros a night. The hotels I’ve had here in Greece have been great value I must say.

After dropping off my bags I hid my laptop the best I could, then went out for dinner, aiming for something a bit more upscale than the street food I have been eating. Since my stay here in Greece is about over, I wanted to have some nice Greek food, and something different. I found a nice cafe/restaurant just wandering the winding streets. They had octopus drying on a wire, and snappers grilling on an open BBQ, it just felt real Greek. I sat down and ordered Lamb Naxos, ouzo, and water. The lamb was boiled with vegetables and wasn’t bad but didn’t particularly strike me as very interesting or special. I’ve never even seen ouzo before ordering a glass. Its cheaper than beer out here, a can of Amstel will run you 2 to 2.50 euros, but a glass of ouzo is only 1.50. I was a bit surprised when it came to my table that it was a milky white color. I took a sniff and it smelled like licorice, the taste was as it smelled, like licorice. If you like black licorice this is the drink for you haha. It didn’t taste particularly strong, but after drinking the glass I realized how strong it actually was (especially on an empty stomach), it had about as much punch as 3 shots of whiskey for me.

Back at my hotel room I put on some after sun lotion, I don’t want to end up pealing and having this burn without any of the reward of a tan, then decided to chill out for the rest of the evening instead of going to the downtown area to enjoy the night life tonight. Tomorrow though I think I will. I really hope my burn feels better tomorrow, I want to go swimming at the nice beaches, though I’m debating buying a small thing of spf 40 and putting on some layers and going swimming anyway and skipping the after swim sun bath to keep from burning but still enjoy the beach.


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