Friday, June 6, 2014

The Island of Delos by Margot Justes

This is one of the islands I’ll be visiting with my granddaughter this summer. I printed the excursions, and asked her to choose what she would like to see, and she picked Delos. I told her it is an island of ruins, and her reply was ‘I like ruins’-so we’re going to Delos. The tour is about four hours, and the 
rest of the time we’ll have to wander around Mykonos. I’m curious to see what her reaction will be.

Included are a few pictures of Delos, the stark solitary and almost eerie island, and the lively enchanting Mykonos.

About a thirty minute ferry ride from Mykonos, Greece is the island of Delos. And what an island it is. 

Uninhabited, that is not exactly true-there are approximately 25 people living there, but they are either archeologists or security personnel. Everyone else stops for a few hours and heads back to Mykonos.

The island is bare, there are no snack shops, no hotels, no restaurants, and the wind can whip up in a quick frenzy,  it is in fact quite desolate.  There is a museum where you can buy books and other Delos souvenirs, but that is the extent of the touristy trade.

What makes this island unique are the ruins. Amazing ruins. The whole island is a ruin. It is an immense site and one not easily forgotten.

Delos is said to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Archeological traces indicate the island was inhabited as early as 3000 B.C. Some of the ruins are so well preserved that you can actually imagine what the structures looked like and how they were utilized.

From the Doric Temple of Isis to the Archaic Lions, and the mosaic floors the sites are truly inspiring.

Off the beaten path, I observed an archeologist crouched on a low portable chair, a pad and pencil in hand as he meticulously measured something on the ground and then put it on paper. I snuck up on him and watched as he quietly continued his research. Time stood still and the serenity on the island was disturbed only by the fierce wind.

If you ever find yourself in Mykonos, do take the time to visit Delos. I promise, you will not be disappointed, you will in fact be enthralled.

Margot  Justes
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