Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 – Mykonos, Greece – Mostly Sunny - 75F

Distance from Rhodes to Mykonos, Greece: 173 Nautical Miles

 20121031 ships position (Small)

Inside Information:  Mykonos is a small (33 square miles) island belonging to the Cyclades group of Greek Islands (Tinos, Siros, Paros, and Naxos). The Cyclades (circle) get their name because they circle the Holy Island of Delos – birthplace of Apollo and his twin sister, Artemis.  The island has only 5000 residents but gets nearly a million visitors per year.  The main city is Mykonos Town or Chora (“capitol”).

Reflection docked Rhodes 3 (Small)

Reflection Docked in Mykonos

We have an early tour today (“Ancient Delos”) and meet at the Reflection Theater at 7:30 AM.  The tour consists of a 30 minute boat ride to Delos and then a guided tour through the ruins of this ancient island.  The island – considered Holy because it is the birthplace of twin gods – Apollo and Artemis – is currently uninhabited except for archeologists. It is the largest archeological dig in Europe. Our guide is Yolanda.

Aerial view Delos (Small)

The Delos Archeological Site (Aerial View)

Delos – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site - is a small island (5 km long and only 1.3 Km wide) with essentially no vegetation other than scrub. Delos was a major religious center since the 7th century BC (peaking at a population of around 30,000 inhabitants).  The neighboring island of Naxos was the dominant power and built structures and monuments on Delos (to honor Apollo).  The Sacred Palm Tree near the Naxian Lions was the mythical location of the birth of both Apollo and Artemis by the Titaness Leto.

The boat ride was on a very comfortable vessel (seats inside and out including a mini coffee shop and decent washrooms).

20121031 Sailing to Delos (Small)

Reflection from the Transport Boat

On the way to Delos (Small)

The nearby Cyclades Islands

 20121031 Delos 1 (Small)

Approaching Delos

E at the Boat Dock Delos (Small)

Ellen on the Boat Dock

It had rained recently and the new pond gave the boat dock a lagoon feel (below).

Delos Boat Dock (Small)

We started our walking tour of Delos along with about three other groups.  It was a little difficult to pick up everything our guide was saying.  Some of the pictures below are unlabeled because of that.

Our boat was visible from the ruins affording a nice photo op.

Delos Boat and Ruins (Small)

Boat and Ruins Delos (Small)

Shuttle boat from the dig

Delos A (Small) 

One structure had a remarkably well preserved mosaic floor (below).

 Delos Mosaic (Small)

I was aghast to find a marble artifact inscribed with an archeologist’s name and date – doesn’t that ruin the integrity of the relic – I think so.

Ruining an ancient artifact Delos (Small)

Signed sealed destroyed

The “House of the Trident” was one structure identified via a nearby sign.  The floor of this house is also decorated with a well preserved mosaic.

 House of the Trident (Small) House of Trident 2 (Small)

House of the Trident (two above)

One house had two headless statues as part of the structure.  The statues are of Cleopatra (Queen of the Nile) and Dioscourides (a Greek Physician who lived a century after Cleopatra.  A strange duo.

Statue of Cleopatra Delos (Small)

Statues of Cleopatra and Dioscourides

Mosaic in floor Delos (Small) Anchor Symbol Delos (Small)

Mosaic Floors (two above)

What appeared to be Christian symbols were found on one stone.  The crosses almost look Maltese in configuration (below).

Early Christian Symbols (Small)

Delos had a large portico (The Portico of Philip V), which ran along a long street in the city.

The Portico Delos (Small) The Porticos of Philip V (Small)

The Portico of Philip V

20121031 We at Delos (Small)

We are near the Portico of Philip V

Water Drainage Conduits (Small)

Water conduit

Forum perhaps at Delos (Small)

Agora of the Italians

The Terrace of the Lions was constructed by the Naxians (neighboring island). The Lions were to eternally guard the sanctuary.  A few of the original lions remain.

The Lions of the Naxians (Small) Lions of the Naxians 1 (Small)

The Naxian Lions

The Minoan fountain dates to the Sixth Century BC.

Minoan Fountain sixth  BC Delos (Small) 

Minoan Fountain

Our final stop was the Delos Museum.  Many of the items on the site are copies and the originals are in the museum.

Delos Museum Lion (Small)

After the museum, we made our way to the boat dock to meet the other passengers and head back.  There was a very small gift shop near the boat dock.

Neighboring Cyclades (Small)

Neighboring Islands

In about 30 minutes, the boat was approaching Chora or Mykonos Town.

Chora Mykonos (Small) Chora Mykonos A (Small)

Chora from the Boat

Another ship was at anchor near Chora – our old friend, the NCL Spirit.  I still remember lecturing in the bar on that ship to people who were unaware I was even there.

  20121031 NCL Spirit Anchored (Small)

She may not be a Greek Goddess but she sure looks like one in the pictures below.

20121031 E and Chora Mykonos (Small)

E and Chora Town (Small)

We don’t usually eat off ship but it was late and we needed some lunch.  We ordered a Margherita Pizza, Mythos Beer, and Coke Lite.  We caught up on our emails and tried to conduct some business while eating lunch.  A good try anyhow.  The beer was good and the pizza was Greek. 

IMG_20121031 Mythos Beer on Mykonos (Small)

Mythos and Mykonos – a winning combination

 IMG_20121031 Checking E mail in Chora (Small)  

On Line in Mykonos

We took the shuttle back to the ship and spent the rest of the day taking it easy – we did have an early tour.

Tonight’s Showtime featured Mark Donoghue – Multi instrument vocalist – we only caught part of his show.

Caught up on some reading – two sea days in a row – sounds great.

Pedometer: 8,390 steps; 3.98 miles; 411 Calories

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