Friday, 2 June 2017


Our European Adventure is coming to an end.  The last 25 days have flown by.  I am making this last blog entry riding in a Hellenic Seaways High Speed Ferry from Naxos back to Athens.  The journey takes three hours and forty minutes.  The catamaran ferry is much more luxurious and comfortable than anything in the B.C. Ferries fleet.  Free strong Wi-Fi, full restaurant and bar service, and plush seats that recline for those who want to nap.

Our time in Naxos was most enjoyable.  It is more suited to our style than Santorini.  The lifestyle is still touristy but without the large numbers and hustle of the more popular island.  Prices are correspondingly lower than our last stay.  Cold beer on Santorini was Four Euro while on Naxos it was two-fifty.  Our four-night stay cost only 296 Euros, including laundry service and full breakfast. 

Things Are A Little Laid Back on Naxos

Salt Taffy Pull

Just One More Sunset

Hotel Delfini - of course, Kostas took Pic for Us

The Hotel Delfini only has a one star rating but the service was closer to five.  Our host Kostas was outstanding.  He could not do enough for us.  He was always there to greet us returning to the hotel and even offered complimentary beer, coffee or ice cream multiple times.  Kostas went above and beyond when Deborah inadvertently left her hotel key in one of the local shops.  The shopkeeper phoned Kostas and he ran up to the shop, retrieved the key, and searched the beach until he found me to ensure I had access to the room.  When we were leaving he packed our bags into his car and drove them to the ferry dock, so we could enjoy one last leisurely walk through the town and seafront before departing the island.

Our routine didn’t vary much from Santorini.  We enjoyed the sunshine, walks through the historic core of the village, pre-dinner drinks, great meals, hikes, sunsets, and gelatos before retiring for the evening.

All Greek To Me!

Naxos Salad

Chicken Pasta

Bacon Wrapped Scallops and Risotto

Our first day was spent exploring Naxos Town.   An ancient arch built by the Venetians in the 6th century B.C marks the harbour.  The Venetians started an edifice dedicated to the goddess Apollo but never finished.  Over time everything was pulled down except the arch.  Speculation suggests it was simply too difficult to destroy by ensuing conquers.  The town itself has an ancient core and parts of the original walls are still visible when walking the rabbit warren of narrow alleyways.

Naxos Town

Calamari Anyone

Fisherman Selling His Catch

Day Two was an adventure in quad travel.  We were going to rent motor scooters but Kostas was very concerned about our safety.  He strongly recommended against it.  He said the locals were not good enough drivers to not hit us.  He felt the quads were more visible and that we had a greater chance of survival.  We spent 23 Euros each (plus gas) for a full day on the road.  We tried following maps but soon lost interest and simply went exploring in the mountains.  We stopped for lunch at Chalki, a small village in the hills before descending to the seashore and a return to town.  Good fun and it did not prove too dangerous.

Last Minute Instructions and Prayer

We Soon Tossed the Map

Lunch in Chalki

Day Three involved a hike.  We walked eight kilometres along beach and roads to Arsenio.  We were surprised to find the village’s only two restaurants closed for the summer.  It seems the local proprietors close shop in the summer to relocate their businesses to the seashore to better serve the tourists.  We did find a bakery and a local meat/cheese shop that was willing to provide slices of each for our sandwiches.  We had a picnic under a tree in the churchyard before Dianne, Warren, Deborah and I called a taxi to take us back to Naxos town while the rest walked back.  The beach was only 50 meters from our hotel and we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon sipping beers on the beach.

Only Cruise Ship in our Four Days

Prickly Pear Cactus

Bandanna For Sunburned Scalp

Unplanned Picnic

We are now returning to the Metropolis Hotel in Athens for our final night in Greece.  

Greece has been well worth the trip.  History, culture and antiquities are deeply embedded in every experience.  The Greeks are clearly struggling economically but that hasn’t seemed to deter the generally positive nature of the people themselves.