Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Naxos, Greece, Day 6, September 15, 2015

We decided to drive inland to Melanes where there is a 6 metre statue of Kouros, which dates back to the 7th century. When we got to Melanes, we proceeded into the village and failed to notice that the road had narrowed dramatically until it was barely one car wide. 

We could see that up ahead it was even narrower so we stopped. Bruce got out and helped me do a 9-point turn coming within an inch or two of both sides of the houses. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that we needed to hike in quite a distance to the statue after checking the map.

We abandoned our plans to see the statue and proceeded to Egares, a tiny village, where once again the road narrowed, but this time I backed out with Bruce’s help. Egares is home to an olive museum. 

Pomegranate tree  

We explored the town up and down, but couldn’t find it so we decided to head to Apollonas (another 29 km), a small seaside town on the northern tip of Naxos. As we exited Egares, we found the Olive Museum on our left. 

Olive press

Admission was free and we were given a short tour and explanation of how olive oil was made in the olden days. We then had a tasting of extra virgin olive oil and various olive products. The outstanding product was olive jam which goes great with cheese. Between us we bought three jars. Then it was on to Apollonas.

The northern tip of Naxos is rocky, rugged and dramatically spectacular; marble cliffs and deep drops into aqua water. It was a crazy hairpin infested road on sea-view cliffs on one side and mountain faces on the other. 

My backseat girls were holding their breath the whole time. We traversed up then down many times. We were all relieved to reach the seaside town of Apollonas with its taverna by a small sandy beach. It was 1:30pm and we were hungry. 

 The water tap for filling water bottles

We had high expectations for lunch but some meals were disappointing. Bruce’s gyro was dry as was Pam’s stuffed tomato and stuffed pepper, which did not come with a sauce and was only stuffed with rice. My calamari was fried in very old oil and came with a ton of crunchy oil-logged bits. The saganaki, which Jill and I shared, was delish and Jill’s Greek salad came with the reddest, tastiest, sweetest tomatoes ever and a tasty slab of feta.

We took the same road home and stopped at the Olive Museum for coffees. The road was starting to hypnotise me and a double espresso perked me right up.

 Marble quarry mountain

On the way home we stopped and bought some groceries and went to the butcher shop for mixed sausages with pork, beef, and lamb. Jill made orzo, Pam the salad, and I fried sausages, eggplant and mushrooms. Bruce walked up and down the outside steps carrying plates and everything we needed for our dinner upstairs on the terrace.

It cooled down nicely and we enjoyed our dinner outside. We finished our meal with baklava and Metaxa. Delish!            

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