Sam Bowker: The Grand Tour Diary (2005 - 2006)

This is the archived journal of a 2005-2006 'Grand Tour' around the Eastern Mediterranean and along East Africa, written by Sam Bowker, whilst in search of his PhD topic.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Greece - Naxos and Patra

Dedicated to the ice-cream guy

I've spent the last full day exploring the capital town of the island of Naxos. It was beautiful, especially the old city. Literally thousands of photogenic alleys and doors, etc, despite the overcast skies. Great sunset through the sole remaining structure of the Temple of Apollo, a massive arched doorway standing on a tiny isthmus near the harbour. Superb icecreams too - a pitch dark bitter chocolate and bailey's one night, and a cointreau with caramel chocolate the next. Huge serves from a guy who wasn't fussy about getting exact change! Also loved the collection of Cycladic figures in their small museum, said to be one of the best in Greece (therefore the world).

I also caught a live performance by two Russian musicians - a pianist and violinist - in the Venetian Museum. This was a house museum of an aristocratic family within the old city walls, but getting back to the harbour in time to catch the ferry was an exciting run. I negotiated the labyrinthine streets after dark using a system of landmarks - left at the stunning old door, right at the stunning old door, down the stairs beneath the interesting old window...

But the last 15 or so hours have been spent travelling on ferries and buses. I am now on the other side of Greece, in Patras, awaiting my next ferry to Italy (the city of Bari). Six hours to kill, and a minor emergency to deal with.

Next post (probably) from Italy! Bring on the fifth language barrier!


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