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NAXOS   2014

BELOW : Our next four nights are to be spent at a family owned hotel on Naxos, called The Birikos Hotel. This hotel was only a few hundred metres from Agios Prokopios beach, with a lovely flat road to walk.    

BELOW : The Hotel also had a nice swimming pool which provided shade and sunbeds for times when the 300 m treck to the beach seemed too far !  

BELOW : The wind at this beach was a little more brisk than on Mykonos, hence there was some actual wave activity happening. The front row sunbeds were not in such high demand on this day !

BELOW : The ‘windswept look’ was what Helen was going for here, and I think she deserved at least an 8.5 for her effort ! We enjoyed a nice cup of coffee at this cafe, and enjoyed nice Aegean Sea views.

BELOW : This is part of the view from near the cafe above, taken on a less windy day. We are only a few hundred metres on from where the sandy beach and sunbeds were all located.

BELOW : We went past the Naxos Island Hotel each time we walked up to the beach. You can probably just see their swimming pool water cascading, as we did !  

BELOW : One afternoon Steve and I went on a bus ride to a town up in the hills called Filoti. About 10 minutes short of our target the bus broke down, and the passengers belongings needed to be transferred onto our replacement bus. There were some interesting items on the check list !  

BELOW : In the little village of Filoti we meandered through some of the back streets, and saw some of the locals in their own environment, away from the tourists.

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BELOW : Looking back at the town of Filoti.As you can see it is up in the hills, and has even higher hills surrounding it in the distance.

BELOW : In the main street of Filoti, we found a pastry shop with only one other customer. The owner spent nearly an hour chatting to us, answering many of our questions about all things Greek. Born on Naxos, married with 2 young children, and it was a delight to spend time together with him, over coffee.  

BELOW : The owners of The Birikos Hotel invited all the hotel guests to attend the Baptism service for their first Grandson, Vasilis. We all went along, and although it was all in Greek, it was interesting to see the Greek Orthodox customs relating to this event.   

BELOW : The Godfather (holding Vasilis) and his wife (Godmother) are listening as the priest carries out part of the service prior to the full immersion of Vasilis. This required removal of all his gear.(The baby’s)  

BELOW : After his immersion, he was re-clothed in his little Baptismal suit, and Grandmother, Grandfather, Mother and Father are all on hand for a photo op !

BELOW : Back at the hotel, a lovely lamb lunch was served for around 200 people (about 30 were hotel guests). Dancing, drinking and eating continued until nearly midnight.

BELOW : The Godparents and one of the Uncles of Vasilis are busy dancing after the great meal.

BELOW : We are leaving Mykonos to head to the island of Naxos today. While we are waiting for our ferry at the port Steve (like Darryl Kerrigan, in The Castle) had an urge to ‘feel the serenity’.  

BELOW : It’s just a 45 minute hop over to Naxos for us today. A much smaller vessel, but again the sea was very calm, and this Fast Ferry soon had us safely transported to the largest island in The Cyclades.

BELOW : The dining room in the Venetian Castle. The castle is built near the main sea port on Naxos, and is about 30 metres above sea level, with a commanding view over the town.     

BELOW :  The view out one of the castle windows, showing some of the town’s fishing and leisure fleet. Like many of the Greek islands, there is also a range of restaurants along the waterfront.  

BELOW : In Naxos town centre (about a 10 min bus ride away) there is an old castle open for display. Built around 1207 by the Venetians who conquered Naxos at that time. This is one bedroom of the castle.

BELOW : A view from one of the castle windows, looking towards the remains of Portara, the giant gate of the Temple of Appolo. (Seen on the last piece of land before the sea) Although construction of the temple began around 545 BC, it was never completed.

BELOW : The town centre of Naxos provided plenty of opportunities to acquire ‘a little piece of Naxos’. The decision making process was played out in the back streets, and at least one trader benefited from our deliberations.

BELOW : Sunset from the Temple of Apollo in Naxos harbour area. One of the Hellenic Seaways High Speed Ferries is just moving through the frame during this photo.

BELOW : We join many other tourists today to make the journey from Naxos to the island of Santorini. Aboard the Blue Star Paros, we had a pleasant 2 hour journey, and stopped at the island of Ios en-route.   

BELOW : Departing from the port on the island of Ios.

BELOW : Remember the Temple of Appolo remains in the distance in an earlier photo ? This is a close up, and it measures 6.2 metres high and 3.7 metres wide. The castle in town is framed by the remains.  

BELOW : A zoom photo taken looking back to the castle in town, taken from the Temple of Apollo remains.

BELOW : A church by the waters of the Aegean Sea, on the island of Ios.

BELOW : When the ferry arrives at the island of Santorini, it’s time to go down into the lower deck to retrieve our bags, from a big pile !

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