Winter wanderings

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Naxos pier.

I think Naxos is a nocturnal town. OK, I know it’s Greece and things get going late anyway, but on this island capital the streets are quiet, restaurants empty and most shops closed while the sun shines feebly through the clouds. But come sundown, suddenly people are out. They’re walking their dogs and browsing through the shops, sitting in cafes, playing soccer in the alleyways. I think it’s a habit continued from the summer. But I’m not Greek. Nor do I live on an island. And I prefer doing my sightseeing by the light of the sun (however weak).

Naxos is a bigish island. And it’s full of mountains. The port town climbs a small hill to the old castle and the teeny tiny streets reminded me of all the medieval European towns I’ve visited along this trip. Ten minutes walking out of town though, and you’re well on your way through village after village and into the mountains.

It’s quiet now and I didn’t get myself organised enough to find out about the buses so I just hit the road in my takkies. The slopes were gentle and the countryside more scenic with every turn so I kept on walking. For one hour. Then two. Then the sun set, lighting the mass of clouds and making the cliffs glow red, and I reached a crossroads with absolutely no idea which way to go. So I stuck out my thumb and got a ride back down the mountain. It took 20 minutes.

My sightseeing wasn’t very practical but here’s what I saw along my feet tour.

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This is all that’s left of an uncompleted temple, built on an outcrop looking back towards Naxos town.

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The old town is a winding maze of alleyways, each one smaller than the next, with doors big enough for half people peeking around corners.

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Out in the countryside the green grass and rocky soil shone under the grey sky.

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Up, around, along, all in my red takkies.

Some reminders:

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Greece is in deep financial poo, everything is expensive and people are unhappy, frustrated, angry and exploding all over the country.

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It’s Movember and moustaches (especially epic old man ones like this) are awesome!

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