180 steps

2nd October 2012, Naxos Island, Cyclades, Greece.

Yineka Mou and I left Koufonisia this morning…we were booked on the 8:20 am ferry to Naxos. Black Anthony drove us the 800 meters to the port in his beat up little VW Polo…it’s a miracle that he even fits in it, as he’s quite a large chap… ( understatement of the year!) He dropped me and our luggage right at the end of the quay, ignoring the signs and barriers requesting embarking passengers queue behind,..this is Greece after all, where nobody takes notice of such things. Yineka Mou had gone to the bakery to buy our breakfast, a couple of Evangelias’s Mum’s delicious home baked ham, cheese and peppers pies.. ( hamon, tiri ke pepporonia pita )
I waited anxiously on the jetty, as the Skopeletis Express came into view…. YM had better hurry up if she’s to make it on time, but just as the ferry pulled in, she came scuttling along the jetty, pies in hand. A close call. After the usual chaotic rush to get aboard, dragging our two suitcases, plus assorted other bags bought in Koufinsia, we said our sad farewells to this most special island. After a couple of stops at Schinousa and Iraklia, both smaller villages than Koufi, we arrived in Naxos at 10:50 am. What a beautiful day today is…Not at all windy, just a nice cooling breeze, and clear blue skies. The day before I had made a reservation at Castro Residence, an apartment in the Castro part of the town, which is the very ancient part dominated by a Venetian Castle ( or Castro). The Castro Precinct is a classic tangle of white-washed houses and cobbled lanes, like a maze, spilling down from the imposing Venetian citadel at the very top. Our apartment is situated inside the thick fortress walls of this citadel, overlooking the port. After an attempt to carry our suitcases up the hundreds of steep steps to our lodgings, the heat and the exertion began to get to me…we stopped at a small cafe to ask directions, and was asked , by an Albanos ( an Albanian man…. They seem to be the ones who do all the work in Greece) if we wanted a hand with our luggage… Are you kidding me…yes of course… Efharisto poli…thank you soooo much… Not an offer without a catch though… The price was 5 euro a suitcase…I’d willingly have paid twice that amount, but he only offered to carry YIneka Mou’s case…” You follows me” he said …so I follows him…up, and up and up and up…after 5 minutes he paused at the corner… Yes, I thought, we’re here at last…but no, he was only waiting for me to catch up… More steps, up and up and up, past the entrance to the old Venetian Castle, around the corner, 20 more steps, and we had arrived… My tee shirt was by now soaked in sweat and my legs were shaky and I was puffing and huffing like the big bad wolf.. but the skinny Albanos hardly had a sweat up..He opened the massive doors, into our apartment, but we weren’t finished with the climb yet…downstairs was the small living room, while the bedroom and kitchen were up 20 or more VERY steep steps of a wooden staircase. Jeez, I could hardly carry myself up the stairs, so I left my suitcase at the bottom. Thankfully, this Albanian had a heart, and without asking came back and carried my heavy suitcase up to the top…thanks mate…
I’d have to say the climb was well worth it as the view from our place is stunning…we overlook the town and the peninsula where the Temple of Apollo is situated. What is the price of this little gem of a find… 65 euros a night… We even have a huge terrace for our use, with tables and chairs, deck chairs, sun lounges etc…

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2 thoughts on “180 steps

  1. Yia sou Tom

    Thanks for coming down to see us off and sorry that we were a bit preoccupied and didn’t come outside as the ship departed. We’ll tell you more on Wednesday.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip.

    Regards Frank

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

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