Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Naxos, Greece

Naxos was our love/hate affair with Greece island hopping mainly for the reason of Ana's father contacting some sort of lung infection that put him in the hospital for three days. Ximena also fell victim to the same virus, but escaped with a round of antibiotics. Speaking of escaping, Ana's dad was ready to escape from the hospital. We all got a firsthand taste of how Government hospitals operate in Greece. They weren't bad, but then again we have been living in Egypt and Ethiopia over the last seven years. Blood tests, X-rays, checking in and out were mostly smooth and efficient. A tourist settling a bill has been a more complicated story.

The quality time we did have on Naxos was spent in a car winding up and down narrow lanes along the edge of cliffs with stunning views of valleys and waves crashing against rocks. As the driver, I didn't take my eyes off the road too many times. In the end, we left some unexplored terrain. At some point we will remedy our lost time and return to the beauty of Naxos to learn more about Bacchus and Ariadne.   

A small cup of local fresh wine helps with the nerves after driving around Naxos. Speaking of wine, I had several glasses of retsina during our trip. Retsina wine is of the white variety with a pine taste. While in Ethiopia, our friends Andreas and Lorna introduced us to it. I don't know many folks who like the flavor.
Naxos still life: goat cheese, fresh wine, aged wine, pizza, and olives is the perfect hotel room dinner. So, about the pizza. Pizzadelia serves up some of the best pies we've had. The owner uses local cheese and toppings on thin crust and bakes it with love. The owner and his brother also make a fresh red wine each season. We couldn't get enough. Another one of our favorite eateries that will leave you with a couple of extra kilos was Maro's Taverna. Tasty home cooking (the drunken pig) with excellent service. It was hard to try anything beyond those two places.      
The winds arrived and made the island shake.
Sweet ride.
The central part of Chora still consists of older building and a castle.
Sign painting is still practiced on the island. To gain entrance into the restaurant, one must duck under the arch as show by the painting. 
Plan on getting lost.
Who's there...
Another restaurant with romantic signage.
Bring your own brick, a knockoff of Egyptian architecture.
Another hand painted sign spotted next to our hotel. A cornucopia of goodness.
The internet states Olympic Air has ceased operations and was bought out by Aegean Airlines...I beg to differ.
When we were researching Naxos, this very parrot was on someone's blog. Now it is on mine too. Time to start a movement for Rusty the red parrot.
The castle from afar.
The port.
You can't escape Naxos without running into something associated with the Temple of Apollo.
Chora from the Temple of Apollo.
Agii Apostoli is a cruciform, domed Byzantine church of the 10th-11th centuries and of rare architectural style, being the only two-storey church found on Naxos. Source: http://www.naxos.gr/en/
Just driving around.
Looking for bees.

If you look for it, you will find it.

A common sight on the road.
Someone loves the beach.
One of the many views from the road. We were surprised that we didn't roll down the hills.
Sand = Yummy.
Ximena's Greek pediatrician has cool art on her walls.

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