We all take a lot of pictures on our digital cameras but it always surprises me just how many I take each week on Naxos. Today, I downloaded 331 pictures starting with our hike in Melanes last Saturday with Manolis and Maria and ending with our drive to the Naxos airport with Rob and Kelly.
Manolis and Maria have been friends of ours since 2000. Marilyn and Maria walked each day on the beach when we lived here before. Manolis is a doctor who now has his practice on Paros (the island next to Naxos) but they still make their home in Naxos. They took us out for the day last Saturday for a hike which lasted all afternoon and ended with an amazing meal in Melanes (a small village).
Rob and Kelly and Amy and Val arrived on Monday after having spent two nights in Athens. We picked them up at the airport and, after dropping off their bags at Rena Valetta, we could hardly wait to start showing them around. There is so much to do and see on the island and we knew our time was limited.
When Marilyn and I travel, we are always interested in meeting people in different countries. Our friends from Canada had a great time this past week getting to know our friends on Naxos who have been so generous with their time and have opened their homes to all of us. Here’s a few pictures which will try to capture some of that generosity.
OUR FRIEND NIKOS OPENED THE CASTLE AND GAVE US ANOTHER TOUR.
VISITING WITH STEPHANOS AND KATARINA IN FILOTI
While driving through Filoti we saw Stephanos and Katarina out for a walk and stopped to say hi. They immediately invited us back to their home for food and drinks. Later, Stephanos took us to the old home of Katarina’s late aunt which is located at the very top of Filoti.
SPENDING TIME WITH ANDREAS AND NELLY
Everyone had a lot of fun meeting Andreas and Nelly and they had fun with our friends from Canada. Andreas and Nelly invited us to a picnic at their country garden where they have grape trees, fruit trees, olive trees, and chickens. Nelly cooked an amazing meal over an open fire while we all sat around enjoying the tales of Greece as told by Andreas.
OUR FRIEND KATHY OPENED UP HER ‘FOLK ART MUSEUM’ AND GAVE EVERYONE A TOUR
Kathy, who came to Naxos on holiday from Australia, has spent the past 37 years on Naxos. It is a familiar story – meet a Greek guy, fall in love, get married, and start a family. Kathy and her husband started a museum a few years ago which is open for tourists in the summer high season. Kathy opened it for us and gave a tour of so many interesting artifacts and stories.
We took everyone to Moni Fotodoti which is the monastery Marilyn and I visited earlier during our stay. The last time we were disappointed to find the doors locked since all churches were open in 2000 when we lived here. We’re not sure what has changed but it seems many are now locked (if only for the off season). However, we had the most incredible luck. A woman from the village Damakos, which is about 2 km away in the valley, was there lighting the candles which she does each day. She let us wander around inside.
On Wednesday, Rob and Marilyn played a gig at The Jazz Bar to a full house of revelers.
The weather has been nice but a bit windy and therefore it has felt cooler. However, we did get to the beach where everyone got a chance to hunt for Naxos eyes and on another day we spent most of the day on the beach when the sun shone all day and there was no wind. Our white skin was a bit sensitive to the rays after a Canadian winter.
We drove to Filoti on Thursday to a community celebration which takes place each year just before lent. There was free wine and food and lots of Greek dancing.
The stores and restaurants are starting to get ready for the tourist season which will start in April. A man named Nikos was working inside his jewelery and gift shop while we were walking through old town. All four women bought bracelets with naxos eyes and then decided to take a photo.
Amy and Val caught a Ferry to spend two nights on Santorini before flying back to Canada. After they left, we took Kelly and Rob on a hike to Kourounohori which is an old Jesuit retreat which is ruins. Manolis and Maria took us there the week before and we were amazed at the structures. It is really starting to crumble and some people want to restore it but apparently they can’t find out who owns it. It could be Jesuits who came from anywhere in Europe.
Rob and Kelly left for Athens this morning (Saturday March 9) and will fly to Canada tomorrow. We are staying on Naxos until Tuesday in order to say goodbye to our friends and tidy up Rena Valetta. We arrive back in Canada on Wednesday March 13th.
While we were here, Marilyn’s uncle Wayne from Toronto, passed away. Marilyn jokes that she always had a crush on her uncle Wayne and Mel and Wayne said Marilyn has always been their fourth daughter (they have three others – Lisa, Leanne, and Nicole). We have spent many wonderful times with the whole family and were so sad to hear about Wayne’s death. Marilyn was able to record a song which is being used as background music for slides which are being shown at the funeral. We wish we could be there with the family but will visit as soon as we get back.