Distance from Rhodes to Mykonos, Greece: 173 Nautical Miles
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 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.
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).
Reflection from the Transport Boat
The nearby Cyclades Islands
Ellen on the Boat Dock
It had rained recently and the new pond gave the boat dock a lagoon feel (below).
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.
Shuttle boat from the dig
One structure had a remarkably well preserved mosaic floor (below).
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.
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 (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.
Statues of Cleopatra and Dioscourides
Mosaic Floors (two above)
What appeared to be Christian symbols were found on one stone. The crosses almost look Maltese in configuration (below).
Delos had a large portico (The Portico of Philip V), which ran along a long street in the city.
The Portico of Philip V
We are near the Portico of Philip V
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 Naxian Lions
The Minoan fountain dates to the Sixth Century BC.
Our final stop was the Delos Museum. Many of the items on the site are copies and the originals are in the museum.
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.
In about 30 minutes, the boat was approaching Chora or Mykonos Town.
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.
She may not be a Greek Goddess but she sure looks like one in the pictures below.
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.
Mythos and Mykonos – a winning combination
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