Afterwards, we would visit another small town and look at their archaeological museum. It was an unbelievably tiny place but they had some neat artifacts. Unfortunately, no cameras where allowed in this museum. We sat in the town and I looked at a store with pottery and glass. Everything was so beautiful, but I was far too afraid to buy something at that point because we still had much travelling to do and I was certain something would break. On the way to our lunch stop in Apollonia, we went to see a Mycenean tomb. I was silly and followed one of my instructors and we ended up taking a wrong turn and hiking through this little village. I certainly did not mind, although villages here tend to be built straight up a mountainside, but I got to experience first hand what one of these villages are like. Once we got to the top, we had a great view of the valley below. We went back down and were able to find the tomb and discovered two black baby goats! They were absolutely adorable. I didn’t even really look at the tomb because I was so enthralled with these goats. I uploaded a video of them to my facebook to show everyone because they were just too cute. They jumped around the edges of the tomb and went everywhere together, practically stepping over each other. The bay at Apollonia was beautiful and I only had fries as the menu was fairly basic and there wasn’t much on there for a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian foody like me! Next, we visited the Kouros outside of Apollonia. The Kouros was a giant marble carving, probably of Dionysus, from sometime 4000-5000 years ago. Kouros were basic carvings that were unique as they were the first statues to show movement. Should you see one finished and standing up, you would notice he has one foot forward, as if captured mid-step. This Kouros was broken in the neck by a mistake from the carvers, and so was abandoned here in the marble quarry.
Our tour was definitely a little silly. We were not taken to see the temple of Apollo at town of Naxos, we were not taken to see the sanctuary of Demeter nor of Dionysus. Nothing except the mycenean tomb and the Kouros was something of particular interest to our studies. It was quite unfortunate and left the members of our group quite upset that we had paid money to be driven around like a bunch of silly tourists and treated as such. The next day, we had a free day. A couple of girls from the group and I took the public transit to Hora and decided to do some exploring on our own. I cannot say why, but the feeling of being on public transit in a foreign country was pretty cool! I am starting to recognize some Greek and especially the Greek letters and we actually took the bus a few times to go back and forth.
I have more updates on gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian in Greece! Until that free day, I would have said it was absolutely no issue. Yes, I had been eating french fries that had possibly been contaminated. But I wasn’t really feeling badly. I had also chosen a few snacks in the grocery stores that I figured I could eat. Then, I started to slack a little and be less rigid when it came to contamination. Bad idea! One night, I ordered rice with my stuffed aubergines. When the meal came, it was not rice, but orzo! I scraped as much of it off as I could, but there is the possibility that a few pieces snuck into my eggplant and was eaten. On our free day in Naxos, I had a meal at a very neat restaurant with a very enthusiastic waitress who spent the winter months in New York. I decided that that day was a day for food pictures.
Our hotel was right near a beach, and that beach had volleyball nets! An instructor purchased a volleyball and for two nights we played beach volleyball for a few hours until the sun set. I was so happy, finally a sport I knew how to play and I sure had fun! Yes, my knees are pretty skinned and my legs pretty bruised but I had a blast. At sun set, these giant moth/bee like bugs come out. It was hilarious to see people batting them around. They are stupid bugs, but once you hit one of them, more come out. I think at one point there was like 15 of them swarming around and trying to sting us! Luckily, they only come out for approximately 45 minutes and then they are gone. All was well!
The waitress in Naxos told us to come back at night time to visit the Temple of Apollo and the Venetian Castle. We went to the castle at sunset, and wandered around inside until we stumbled upon an amazing art show with very beautiful greek music playing over the speakers. The entire experience was amazing, just to look at all the photographs and listen to the music, with the view of the sunset out the windows. Naxos was truly a beautiful place and I had an unbelievable experience there. Effie, our waitress, told us to go to the temple at night when we wouldn’t been seen, sneak past the rope, and stand under the temple, touching both sides. I did it, feeling the earths energy and listening to the world around me. It was a great experience, to touch something to ancient, to feel what they may have felt. At the end, I had this feeling like it was time for me to leave the temple. It was nice of me to appreciate it, but the temple had not been built for me. I cannot describe the feeling I had, but it was a good one, and so I climbed back down the hill and sat at its base along the ocean, listening to the sounds of the city and hearing the lapping of the oceans waves. There was a giant rave type party going on in the centre of the city. The music echoed through-out, and its energy radiated. It was so peaceful just to sit there and listen and feel. Eventually, the small group I was with and I wandered over to where the music was taking place. It seemed no one wanted to stay as the last bus back to our hotel was leaving soon and it was 10 euros entrance. I wanted to stay. What an experience it would have been! I was not not comfortable being there alone, plus having to find and fund a taxi back to the hotel alone, and so I left with the rest of my friends. That rave will probably haunt me for a while, any of my friends at home would certainly have wanted to stay! It was from then, that I started to really miss those I had left behind.
Next stop, CRETE!