Saturday, July 7, 2012
The Island of Delos by Margot Jutes
I thought I'd post this blog again, it's been a couple of years and wanderlust is visiting me once again; time to plan another trip. Hope you enjoy the post.
About a thirty minute ferry ride from Mykonos is the island of Delos. And what an island it is. Almost uninhabited, there are approximately 25 people there, all either archaeologists or security personnel.
The island is bare, there are no snack shops, no hotels, no restaurants, the wind can whip up in a quick frenzy, it is in fact quite desolate. A museum, the only modern accommodation for the tourist, books and other Delos souvenirs can be bought, but that is the extent of the touristy trade. The rest of the island is in ruins. Magnificent ruins.
What makes this island unique are the ruins. Amazing ruins. The whole island is covered with them. It is an immense site and one not easily forgotten.
Delos is said to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Archaeological 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 to the mosaic floors, the sites are truly inspiring.
Off the beaten path, I observed an archaeologist 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 whipping 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. The terrain is rough, wear comfortable shoes, you will be walking in worn and uneven footsteps that are three thousand years old . It doesn't get better than that.