28.05.2009 - 28.05.2009
Filoti was another inland village we wanted to visit and do some walking from – it was one of the bigger villages in the relatively fertile centre of Naxos. Had a coffee in Filoti to start the day and then realized that our planned walk was going to be up hill and down dale, and it was pretty warm. Set off undeterred and headed uphill (almost straight up the damn hill to start with!) towards our final destination of a monastery that was in a one of them Pirgos’s - Info said the interior was also accessible (which many of the churches are not). On the walk visited and saw a number of other churches/chapels perched on the top of mountains or ridges – they do look stunning. The monastery, to our surprise, had recently been renovated and although attractive to see, was therefore pad locked and inaccessible. Finished our walk pretty tired, but it was another good walk (and no snakes).
Another aim for the day was to visit a beach place on the East coast – Moutsouna - formerly a port for emery which was mined extensively in the nearby hills/mountains. It is now a sleepy seaside village with a few holiday type places, but supposedly a few good tavernas. We hoped one would be open. We both earned a peaceful meal given the walk and the pretty amazing (read scary) drive down the mountainside to the village. Lousy road with steep sides and crazy bends with no warning signs, and no roadside protection. Jan didn’t look at too much of the road or the scenery and was very pleased to reach the bottom (safely) – as was Dave. The most dangerous road we’d driven on – thank goodness we hadn’t met the bus that was down in the village when we arrived. Had fish at the taverna that owned the one fishing boat in the village.
Unfortunately although the temp was warm enough, the wind was horrific and we couldn’t get that third swim in that Jan was desperate for. Safely retraced our steps up the mountain road to the top and another destination for the day – Apiranthos. This was another mountainside village famous for being built with local marble. Found a stopping place (on the road that skirts the town – none through it again). Wandered up some steps into the village and turned left to see what we could see and find. Found lots of old and partly marbled houses and cobbled marble alleys, a few fascinating old men sleeping or peering down at us, a young lad trying to convince us in his very struggling English to take a photo of him on a mule, but no glamorous streets and buildings as promised or kafeneios or tavernas for a coffee or drink.
Eventually (thought perhaps we were going to be lost wandering the streets forever) found where we had started and turned right this time, and found the more glamorous part of town – marble everywhere including completely marble paved streets. Found a very nice tavern overlooking the valley and had ouzo with four different local cheeses – fab. Drove back home with the sun low in the sky and amazingly misty over the sea and surrounding islands – vey mystical!
Another interesting sideline about Greece is the signage - here are two examples. One is for a butcher, just so we know what meats they sell, and the other is an example of some wonderful English translations - reminds us of Footscray back home!