I was in Greece for about 5 weeks. After spending some time in Athens, where it was really hot, Kostadis and I visited several of the islands.


Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades group. It is 100 miles from Pireas port near Athens), or about 8 hours by ferry, depending on the weather and the number of stops.

There is one town on the island, called Hora, and several pretty villages. It is also famous for its long white sand beaches. The island was conquered by the Venetians during the middle ages, who built a large castle in Hora and several towers in other parts of the island.
The ferry we took to the island. In addition to people, ferries also transport large numbers of cars, and trucks carrying marble from the island.
   Streets within the castle in Hora are a curious combination of Venetian and Greek style.
A seafood restaurant in Hora lets the octopus hang outside to make it sorfter before grilling.
This is the local landmark known as "the door". It's actually the remains of the temple of Apollo that stood on the hill near the port.
A shaded street in the village of Chalki.
The street leads to a Byzantine church, standing in a grove of old olive trees.
The trunks of olive trees are gnarled and full of holes.
Villagers in Chalki.
View of village of Filoti, in the inland mountains of Naxos. On the foreground is an olive grove.
At the top of this mountain there is a small church. In fact, there was a church like this pretty much on top of any mountain in the islands.
The seaside villade of Appoloni, on the northern tip of the island.
Appoloni is famous for its Kouros, a giant unifnished Mycenian statue carved from marble. Lots of people come to see the Kouros, which preety much is the only tourist attraction in the northern part of the island.
The mountains in the central part of the island contain large quantities of marble. It is quarries and is one of the exports of the island.
After quarrying it from the mountain, the marble is sawed into blocks in the quarry's workshop. In order to control the dust, the block is continually sprayed with water.
The Naxos marble is large-grained and is mostly used for making floor tiles. This is what marble looks like before it becomes a floor tile.


Rhodes is a large island in the Dodecanese group, very close to Turkey It's a very long trip from Athens by boat (20 hours or more), so we flew instead.
The main town on the island is also called Rhodes.
The island was occupied by the order of the Knights of St. John during the middle ages, who built lots of castles. In the center of Rhodes town are the walls and moat of the medieval town.
   Towers on the city walls.
   Narrow streets of the old town.
The castle called Monolithos was built by the Venetians on a cliff above the ocean.
This is a castle high above the village of Lindos, built on the side of an old acropolis.
One of the interesting archaological sites in Rhodes is Kamiros, where there are ruins of an old Roman city. Unfortunately, the week we were in Rhodes, all archaeological sites were closed because of a strike. People were not happy about that.
Undeterred, we found a hole in the fence, climbed through, hiked over a little hill and got straight to the site. Some of the other tourists did the same.
The view of the site from the hill.
Walking through the ruins of the Roman city. I think this was a temple.
In the northern-central part of the island is the natural park called "Valley of Butterflies". It is a shallow canyon in the forest with a river running through it. This canyon is a nesting ground of Rhodes's butterflies. The one in this picture has its wings folded up so you see the color of the underside of the wings. Their actual color is orange and black.
Going a little further into the forest, we see more butterflies in clusters on rocks and trees. It was pretty warm, so they were not flying around too much.
When they say there are lots of butterflies there, they really mean it. A little farther from the entrance to the park, there was a thick covering of butterflies on every tree close to the river. At that point I was actually relieved that they were not flying around...
This turtle was able to find one of the few butterfly-free rocks in the river.


Simi is a really small island two hours away from Rhodes. At this point you are so close to Turkey, you can easily see the Turkish coast on the horizon.
The island has one main village, built facing the harbor.
Street in the village. The dark band on the horizon is the Turkish coast.
This guy was sitting in a taverna in the village and drinking his ouzo.
  There are lots of small fish in the harbor. Throwing a piece of bread into the water creates a feeding frenzy. They are not pirannas, but they sure look like it.
On the other side of the island from the village is the monastery of Panormitis.
While driving to see the monastery, we met some goats.
  On the left is the outside view of the monastery. On the right is the inner courtyard.

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Last modified: Wed Nov 28 11:50:09 PST 2001