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OK, who broke that, own up!!

Yes, it is what you think it is, but it's not some form of ancient Greek pornography, it's back to our old friend Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. Turns out he's a pretty busy god, he's also the god of grape-harvest, orchards and fruit, vegetation, insanity (you need a god for this!), ritual madness (what on earth is ritual madness!), religious ecstasy (hummm), festivity, theatre and of course fertility. So that's where the phallus comes in, fertility, this particular one is at the temple of Dionysus at Delos, and there's lots of them, all broken. Not so clear who broke them, might have been the Christian romans or possibly the Ottamans, anyhow, at some point someone took offence, though some may still be offended by what remains. More about Delos in a bit but it's been a busy couple of days here on Naxos, so more to tell first.

We wanted to see more of Naxos so hired a car for a couple of days, as usual this turned out to be the ubiquitous Fiat Panda, the work horse of hire cars on Greek islands, they're a bit rubbish but apparently cheap and easy to repair. As usual cash was preferred, although the price has gone up, 50 Euro's all in. The car worked well, had no squeaky doors (they often do) and even had working air conditioning.

So what about the rest of Naxos? What a treat, the first day we explored Central Naxos and it was just beautiful village after beautiful village, Sangri, Halki, Filoti and Apirathos, we stopped at each for a wander but they all would be idyllic for a longer stay. The villages are also still pretty Greek, as you'll see from the piccies of the local chaps at the Kafenio (or Ouzerio, not sure which) and other chaps playing cards. The scenery of central Naxos is also beautiful, mountainous, green with agricultural plateaus. If Greek islands are your thing and you've not been to Naxos then you need to. We also made an abortive visit to the temple of Demeter, closed on a Tuesday (of course!) so had to go back the next day. The temple is a mini Acropolis, over 2,500 years old, built by local farmers from marble. You cannot imagine what it must have looked like in a 2,500 year old landscape. The second day we toured the coast south of Naxos town which really surprisingly is stunning beach after stunning beach, sand dunes and scenery not unlike the Algarve (if you've been). Naxos really has been a surprise, so much more than the beautiful Naxos town, for which the island is famous . A few piccies just to give you a taste.

Whilst on our travels we had an example of how friendly the local people are, which relates to Yassas and Yassou. Both are a form of greeting, hello or goodbye, but the nuances of when they're used is tricky. Yassas is used formally to someone you don't know well or in a one to many situation, Yassou is informal, to a friend or an adult to a child. You need to be careful using Yassou with a stranger, especially someone older. Yassou'ing an old lady you don't know might get you a slap! So we were walking through a village and I said Yassas to an elderly gentleman tending his garden. He was clearly keen to use his English so asked where we were from, I said England and Scotland. We wandered on and I said Yassas, as one does, then he shouted after us Yassou my friend! Just lovely.

Yesterday we were back on a boat, a day trip boat, going to Delos and Mykonos, the later was not especially on our list to visit but was just part of the trip. We were really interested in Delos, a small island which was the most important island in ancient Greece in the Cyclades, and probably only the second most important archaeological site in Greece. Delos is said to have been the birthplace of Apollo and as such had huge religious importance to the ancient Greeks. We've always wanted to visit Delos, but it's almost impossible on a yacht, and WOW, it didn't let us down. The site is huge and fascinating. Won't bore you any more as there's plenty of stuff to read if you google it. If you're on a Greek island anywhere near, go. A piccie that might give you an idea.

The it was on to Mykonos, which whilst beautiful has never really been on our list when sailing because parking is in a marina which is very remote from the town. As is probably usually the case there were 3 huge cruise ships parked up as we arrived and whilst we have nothing against cruises they make a huge difference to a small town like Mykonos. There were probably an extra 10-15,000 people which meant the place was rammed, as you'll see from the piccie below. Mykonos has also become owned by the rich and famous, so whilst it still has charm you have to look hard beyond the mass or people and Luis Vitton shops to find it. Mykonos might no be for us, but here's some piccies of windmills, cruise ships and people.

I'll leave you with a fright I had in Mykonos with the price of a Pitta Gyros, I thought the cost of living crisis had made it to Greece. A Pitta Gyros, or as we call it 'the cone of shame' (primarily because it's not very good for you) is the 'go to' fast food of Greece, consisting of shaved pork (or chicken), Tzatziki and tomato wrapped in a soft pitta cone with chips added for effect. See the piccie below.

A cone of shame doesn't vary much in price, hovering around 3.5 Euro, above 4 is ridiculous, below 3, non existant. Imagine my surprise when I found the rich and famous on Mykonos are prepared to pay almost 10 Euro's!!!! If nothing else that will be the thing that stops us going back. The Pitta Gyros, I know I've posted a picture before, but it is a thing of wonder. It's also a wonder to see it being made, and you're in luck as we're now off to Paros, the home of Pepe who makes the best Pitta Gyros I've ever had. I'll take a video of one being made.

More soon,


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