i am comfortably ensconced onthe balcony of my studio overlooking St George beach and sunset on Naxos. Santorini is quickly and bllissfully fading from memory :-) I guess it's good that I went, because otherwise I would have regretted not seeing it. I spent 3 nights there and longed for Crete the whole time. Maybe after a day or two here, I will write more about it, right now I want to soak up wonderful Naxos, though really I have no idea what Naxos is like. I've been here about 5 hours, have seen the beach from the balcony, and the nearby laundromat and supermarket in great detail, but I feel like I could stay forever.
Between washing and drying my clothes (€10 and worth every cent), I bought a bottle of local white wine and some local Graviera cheese (as good as on Crete). By the time my clothes were dry and folded the wine had chilled sufficiently in my fridge to sip it and nibble on the cheese, while the sun sets over the Med. The kitchen is fully equipped - a fridge with a little freezer comparment, some wine glasses and a corkscrew. I'm sure there is more but who cares! With so many people ready, nay eager, to cook yummy Greek food, bring it to me and clean up afterward, what more can a body ask?
The ferry experience was just that - an experience. As is apparently the rule in Greece, chaos reigns and everything works out incredibly well. The ferry was scheduled to leave at 12.30. Well, it was originallly scheduled to leave at 10.45, but a week ago I got 2 "urgent" emails that the time had changed. My hotel worked out that since I had my ticket printed out, I only needed to be at the pier about 30=40 minutes ahead. It can take up to an hour to drive there so I should leave no later than 11, to be on the safe side, 10.45. There was no traffic and the ride was about half an hour. There was already a long line of passenngers waiting to board. Some really nice folks from Texas were close to the front and invited me to join them and we passed the time standing in the sun and chatting. It couldn't have been earlier than noon when the ferry docked, then the cars drove off and after them a never-ending stream of passengers. I don't think I saw as many people - mostly daytrippers - in Fira or Oia as I saw disembarking. Boarding was a little less chaotic than I'd been told by some women I met in Heralkion who had arrived by ferry, but still somewhat of a free-for-all. With 20/20 hindsight, I could have sat in one of the cafes until 90% were on board and then leisurely walked on to the ship. Then my suitcase wwould have been on top of the heap and I wouldn't have had to dig it out when I got to Naxos!! What was amazing was that so many people were off the ship and so many more on the ship in a short time and we sailed on time. Of course, there were still some folks wandering around looking for their assigned seats half an hour later.
We docked in Naxos on time and it was a short walk to the parking lot where the complementary car was waiting to take me to my hotel (studio). It took longer to drive than to walk because of the one-way system, but it was so nice to not have to lug the suitcase for 500-600 m. The driver was friendly and refused a tip. The studio is wonderful and it's getting dark, and my stomach is telling me that it's time to leave.
More later . . .