Thursday, 10 April 2014

Sounds Familiar

More photos further down (This is the portal of the unfinished Temple of Apollo, Naxos' most famous landmark)

It's photo time folks. Looks well and truly like we landed on our feet with our accommodation here on Naxos. We found the Oniro Studios by Googling around on line and so had no idea if we'd made the right decision until we were greeted by the owner Mrs. Georgia Kontopoulos on arrival. Georgia, who looks a lot younger that her 42 years is a very intelligent and "modern" person and runs the apartments with her husband Petros, whom we met for the first time last night.

We hadn't been here more than a few minutes when she rustled up a frappé each for us and took us up to the stunning roof terrace, where we had an introductory chat and she promised to give us some eggs from her own hens. True to her word she turned up around early evening time with a half a dozen freshly-laid eggs, a couple of which we boiled up and mixed with a little mayo from a local supermarket and my wonderful missus filled a couple of psoma'kia that I bought from the bakery around the corner yesterday morning to eat for lunch. I've never seen yolks so yellow or tasted eggs so delicious. I've told you a thousand times, I never exaggerate!

We got here at around mid-morning in Tuesday and had our first exploratory "wander" yesterday, after first - of course - stopping for a frappé in the nearby plateia. Walking along the harbour-front we soon heard the boom of loud bouzouki music and, as we approached, saw a man rigging up a large banner made from a trimmed down bedsheet, by the look of it. My wife's expectations of a musical event were soon dashed as we read the banner, which said, in approximate translation, "RESISTANCE IS A NECESSITY" and we realized that this was a public demonstration in support of yet another general strike which had been called for yesterday in protest against the austerity measures. I must confess to wondering why they do it this way, as we've seen this kind of demo before. Whenever there's a general strike, there'll be a few blokes with a huge banner in some public place and they'll always have a sound system rigged up to blare out traditional music. I don't want to get into the rights and wrongs of all these strikes, which have been a lot less frequent in recent times, but we were struck (notice how I just slipped that one in there, good eh?) with the feeling of how different the way they go about such things is here compared to the UK.

My wife could almost not have cared what the whole thing was all about anyway, since she was already dancing on the pavement. We did find ourselves feeling grateful, however, that they'd not chosen Tuesday for this one, because it would have meant us hanging around on Syros for yet another day and we'd already been pushed back three days with our plans last week by a national ferry strike that had lasted 3 days and took a couple more after that for the ferry companies to get their ships back on to their correct schedules.

I did, however, get the fleeting urge to wander over to this bloke with the banner and suggest that he consider what the country's alternatives are to the "austerity" measures and perhaps to ask him if he himself had always been straight with the tax man, but then he was considerably larger than me and so I very soon came over all indifferent and thought it best to allow him and his mates to have their little rant. At least the music cheered everyone up, even if there were no banks or offices open and no ferries running - yet again. Mind you, the coffee bars were heaving.

We soon found ourselves at the north end of the harbour front, where it's just a short walk along a causeway to the trademark relic that identifies Naxos every time if you see it in a photograph. That's the Portara of the Temple of Apollo, which some ancient despot around 500 BC or thereabouts, had started to build and never actually finished.

So that's where they get it from, eh? Problem solved. Anyway, here are a few photos from today's and yesterday's walks...

Back soon folks...

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