It was like leaving home when we left Koufonisia. There were hugs and kisses, “Kalo taxidis!”, and when we came back to Naxos we were greeted with “Welcome back home!”. Two fantastic places that could easily steal your heart. Some people live here. They see the sea every morning, and every evening. They feel the sea breeze on their way to work and back. Their hair is coated with sea salt and their skins darkened by the rays of the sun. Their lives have always been here. With the blue shadows of the Mykonesian mountains and the pink sunsets.
When I’ve been here, I have thought about the Talented Mr. Ripley and Alain Delon. I have thought about Zeus, his sons and lovers, Apollo and Dionysos. And I have thought about Venice and how many times I’ve got lost in similar narrow alleys there. But most of all I have thought about Jacques Cousteau and Sylvia Earle and my love for the sea. Here it makes me happy to see it clear and clean.
Today I was thinking about the Greek language. Anywhere I travel I try to learn a few words of the local language. Sometimes I am understood, other times – not so much. Here it has been great to exchange a few words in Greek and be understood. Up in a mountain village today I talked to a boy called Fivos who seemed to be happy to practice his English, but with similar enthusiasm I practiced my Greek and took home the best prize: a reply in Greek, that I could understand.
Today I have also thought about the Greek people. How happy and friendly they always seem to be. How much they adore little children, and take time to socialize with each other. In the bus today we witnessed the bus driver giving an elderly lady a free lift to where she was going, a few miles up the hill, just out of courtesy and good will. Just a friendly wave of the hand and she was in, almost like in the old movies where people hop on streetcars.
A few days ago we met a woman who said that she visited Naxos in the eighties and it has pretty much stayed the same ever since. Leaving the Aegean sea and leaving these sunsets won’t be easy. I hope Naxos will stay the same at least for another fifty years.
– – – –
Sunset photos were taken from the terraces of Hotel Grotta. We enjoyed a most friendly stay there. Thank you!