Monday, 10 November 2014

Best Foot Forward...

The significant other and I are keen walkers. We're only amateurs, mind you, none of this proper "walking shoes and a compass" malarkey - we just don the trainers and get out and about. We do, however, pride ourselves on how long some of our walks are, frequently being out on the plod for several hours at a time during the mild winter months on Rhodes.

if you've followed this blog for any length of time you'll be well aware that we spent over three weeks on Naxos last April and, if you're really sad and hang on my every word (not likely, I know) then you'll also know that I forgot to add a final piece about Naxos expressing our verdict. Well, since I probably won't get around to that now I'll just say this: Naxos is wonderful if you're a true Grecophile. The fact that it doesn't have an international airport keeps it free from the mainstream "Mirror/Sun/Star" brigade and firmly in the "Telegraph/Guardian/Times" bracket. No snobbishness intended, honest!

Having come home with the determination to go back there again as soon as we can, I decided to procure a walking guide to the island and the one I've now got in my sweaty palm is this one...

It's author is one Dieter Graf and he's described on page 2 as "an architect who has travelled all over the world" and it also says "he has walked the Aegean islands since the years when tourism was just beginning and is considered a connoisseur of the islands." These seem decent enough qualifications to have written a walking book or two about them, agreed?

Now, Mr. Graf is based in Munich, Germany, but to read the English editon of this book you'd never know he wasn't British or perhaps American. He either has a superb command of the English language or he's used a translator. Frankly, who cares? The book must stand or fall on how good it is, right?

Firstly I'll just say, he has published a bunch of these books and there is of course one about Rhodes and the Dodecanesian islands which you can take a look at in this link. If you do go to his site you'll be able to sample the book's interior pages and hopefully you'll come to the same conclusion that I did, these books are really rather good!

I only have the one about Naxos because, trying not to pull rank here or anything, I don't really need one about Rhodes now, since I'm in my 10th year of living here. I have to say though, that I really like the way he's set the book out. Firstly, inside the front cover there's a map of the island with all the walks marked in red, numbered circles...

Remember, clicking on any of the photos you can get a larger view. Then with a right click an even larger one.

Turning the next page you get the contents page where the island's walks are split into regions with each of the numbered circles and their page numbers listed for easiness in finding whichever walk you fancy doing at the time...

Since the beloved and I are dead keen to go back to Naxos we've both been poring over the book and we really like the maps, photos and walk descriptions...

Now, let me say here that I'm not under any brief to advertise Mr. Graf's work, rest assured. I only ever post anything on this blog if I think my dear readers will feel that it was beneficial, informative or helpful. I simply have to say - if you like to walk on the Greek islands you could do a lot worse than to get hold of one or two of Dieter Graf's guides.

Tell you what, next time we go to Naxos I'll be putting this book to the test "in situ" as it were. After having done that I'll post another update on how helpful it proved to be.

And now, just a bunch of snaps for you that I took over the last few days...

The beach near Gennadi, Monday November 3rd

Not the Cheshire Cat, Gennadi village, Saturday November 8th

A bunny in the churchyard at Kattavia, Friday afternoon November 7th

Taverna in Kattavia village, Friday afternoon November 7th.

Ditto, except it's across the road from the one above.

By the way, as I click "Publish" to make this post go live at around 3.15pm on Monday November 10th, it's pouring down outside!! Yippee!!!


  1. Hello John--it's the Tilos cheerleader here! Interesting to hear about the walking books for the islands. When you go to Tilos--a SUPER place for walking--may I reccommend "Exploring Tilos" by Jim Osbourne. Very detailed and over 50 walks--ranging in difficulty from "granny toddles" to "mountain goat!." Available from the Tilos Park office. Thought it was also on Amazon--but doesn't seem to be there.