Saturday, June 15, 2019

An Amazing Aegean Surprise


For those of you who like to know the punch line right off the bat (to mix a metaphor or two) the surprise is Naxos, the largest and possibly greenest of the Cycladic islands, and neighbor to Mykonos. It’s like going back in time…starting with today and marching back through decades into centuries until ending up somewhere six or seven millennia BCE when this island launched the Cycladic period. It’s had a storied history, but this being my birthday I feel a bit sensitive about discussing the ancients today.

Instead, I’m offering a brief taste of the sorts of surprises this fabulous island has to offer, all as photographed by Photobomber (who took the photos). To be sure, they and a few other surprises will work their way in my next book. I should add, that book is still in search of an alliterative title and all suggestions are welcome. 

So, without further delay, here’s just the briefest glimpse of the enchanting island of Naxos:

Imagine yourself following this road

You find this deserted undeveloped beach

You see this structure off in the distance

Curiosity sends you off exploring
It becomes more and more interesting

What can it possibly be?

Better still, what was it?

Not Stonehenge...perhaps ConcreteHedge?

Stepping inside and looking back at the spectacular view,
You wonder what harm can befall you exploring.
Perhaps it's time to rethink that conclusion.
And who's this?
Aha, uplifting thoughts.

A bit of a different perspective

I'm beginning to think getting out there's not such a bad idea.
Definitely not a bad idea.

Though this means of escaped does cause one to pause.
Ahh, free at last!
But what's this?

And this.
At last, a friendly face.

Can't say the same thing about these birds.
What happened to friendly face?
An interesting lady
Alfred E. Neuman's sister?
An editorial?
What is this place. I better go find out.

But first a stop at the beach.
And then a bite to eat.
The path up to our hotel....the other path looked more welcoming
A killer view back toward to speak.
On a journey to the Naxos Archaeological Museum at the top of the Old Town Kastro or castle.
Self Portrait by Photobomber.
On her way to the top.
Through the streets.
More streets.
The old castle walls (Venetian)
The Catholic Cathedral and Duchy Palace
The rear of the Museum
One of its treasures, some as old as 5th Millennium BCE
Just a cool shot of the Museum
Naxos harbor at sunset.

It's still setting.
A mountain vista

A broader mountain vista

A mountain vista with sea on the side.

A valley village.
Example of the fertile land in action.
Access to the islet housing the symbol of Naxos.

Here it is, The Portara.
The Portara panorama

Hard not to miss this place.


  1. Okay, it is far past time to return to your part of Greece. Tell Barbara her photos are fantastic and get to work on that next book. . .your fans are impatiently waiting!

    1. As it is well past our time to return to your part of Hellas! We love and miss the Mani. I guess you can say that Greece offers enchantment for everyone.

  2. Happy birthday, Jeff! And kudos to Barbara for the great pictures. Naxos seems to be my sort of Greek island...
    I guess we'll have to wait for the book to find out the story of those drawings...

    1. Thanks, Michael, and since you asked I'll give you the abridged version of the history behind it--the more intricate details will play out in my new book. So back in the days of Greece's Junta dictatorship (1967-74) a European company obtained the rights to build a hotel there--on one of the island's most fantastic beaches. The company went bankrupt and abandoned the project with only the shell completed. In 2015 a celebrated Balinese street artist living in Athens, known as WD or Wild Drawing, came to the site and did the drawings. He' returned every summer since to do one.

  3. I am reminded of the fact that Nikos Kazantzakis lived in Eggares as a child and IIRC went to the Ursuline School in Old Town. Suggested titles? Wow. So many choices. Themes to consider:
    Ariadne pathfinder to Minotaur, abandoned sweetheart hooks up with wine god. Venetians run amok but leave great mini towers behind. Pirates force inhabitants to interior where water is. Murderer can't get off the island. Holed up in Kinidaros...endless possibilities. Rakhi soaked crazies. Sigh. I await Siger treatment with words.

    1. Yeah, but what's your plot for Chapter Two? :)

  4. Great pics, Barbara! Titles for Jeff: Naughty on Naxos. Naxos Ninjas. Naxos At Noon. Noboby Knows Naxos. Naxos Noose. Knives of Naxos. The Naxos Nose. Kneel, Knave, To Naxos. Nipsy on Nifty Naxos. I could go on. I frequently do...

    1. I think I'd better start a competition, because despite your valiant efforts, dear EvKa, it's Nix on Naxos for those suggestions...even though they're better than mine.

  5. Great pictures of a fascinating island. And Happy Birthday, Jeff!

  6. Magnificent photos. Happy Birthday. Naughtiness in Naxos. Naughty Naxos.

    1. Thanks, Eliska, and I truly tried to live up to your suggested titles. :)

  7. Fantastic photos,Barbara Zilly! After reading the commentaries, your Naxos book will prove to be fascinating and filled with unexpected facts and details. "Never Naxos" "Never on Naxos"

    1. Barbara thanks you, Poppy, as do I for the suggestions. It hopefully it will have all that you foretell...and even a title. :)