Tuesday, 1 April 2014

"By Ivitation Only" - April

It seems to me as it was yesterday when we had the last post....
"By Invitation Only"
...how quickly time passes by....

Our theme for this month: 
"You're going on a cruise or any vacation.
What 10 items you cannot leave home without..
And, yes, one of them should be an outfit....."

Some time ago - in the "last century" - 
I went for several years on Holidays to the Greek island Mykonos.
I fell in love with the Aegean Sea, the special atmosphere, 
the ancient culture, 
the Greek Gods which seams to be much more human than the Roman ones,
the Greek people and....and....,
thought that it would be wonderful to spent a few weeks on a boat 
"hopping" from island to island, visiting all of the Cyclades.
But as life goes - it never happens.

On this "April the first" we have chartered a Yacht....

a Yacht with 6 cabins, just the right size for us and a couple of friends.

We're going on a sailing trip....
...an island hopping along the most beautiful Greek islands in the Aegean Sea
- the spectacular Cyclades

The Cyclades is a group of islands lying in the middle of the Aegean Sea 
 that form an imaginary circle around the island of Delos. 
These unique Greek islands are distinguished worldwide for their rough, 
rocky and elemental landscape,

 their white washed houses and windmills, 


narrow paths full of flowers, brilliant clear blue seas,
cats everywhere  :) :) :)
and most recently their never ending nightlife in some of them.


But - before we finally start...
So, here the items I could/would not "leave home without":
- I hope that plurals count for/as one ;) please! -

1.  My Camera

 2.  White linen shirts and blouses

3. Dictionary German-Greek

absolutely essential!


4.  don't know how these pieces called in English
but highly practical - easy care!

like these...


5.  two outfits in linen

6. Make up....yes!

7. Sunglasses + 3 pairs of Spectacles

7.  Aspirin!!
(just in case - having had too much Ouzo - hangover)


Cast off!  -  Leinen los!.....

by Johannes Gruenwald

Short history of The Cyclades:
The significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic culture 
 is best known for its schematic, flat idols carved out of the islands' pure white marble 
centuries before the great Middle Bronze Age ("Minoan") culture arose in Crete, to the south...

  Harp player, example of Cycladic art,
at the National Archeological Museum, Athens

A distinctive Neolithic culture amalgamating Anatolian and mainland Greek elements 
arose in the western Aegean before 4000 BCE, 
based on emmer wheat and wild-type barley, sheep and goats, pigs, 
and tuna that were apparently speared from small boats (Rutter). 
Excavated sites include Saliagos and Kephala (on Keos) with signs of copper-working. 
Each of the small Cycladic islands could support no more than a few thousand people, 
though Late Cycladic boat models show that fifty oarsmen could be assembled
 from the scattered communities (Rutter), and when the highly organized palace-culture of Crete arose, 
the islands faded into insignificance, with the exception of Delos, 
which retained its archaic reputation as a sanctuary 
throughout antiquity and until the emergence of Christianity......
 (info source  here )


A few images and a bit of history of only 
some of the many islands we will visit:


 Maganari Beach - IOS   (nicely empty -just right for me)

Excavations on Skarkos hill unearthed a prehistoric settlement, 
proving that Ios has been inhabited since the early Cycladic period. 
The architecture at Skarkos is preserved in places up to a height of almost three meters, 
with most of the buildings evidently having two storeys, 
stone-paved floors and a sewage system. 
Numerous well-preserved pottery, tools and utensils made of metal, 
stone and bone were also discovered

 View of Chora - IOS



Demeter temple and Portara - Apollos Temple

According to Greek mythology, the young Zeus was raised in a cave on Mt. Zas ("Zas" meaning "Zeus"). 
Homer mentions "Dia"; literally the sacred island "of the Goddess".
Karl Kerenyi explains (speaking as if he were an ancient Greek):

"This name, Dia, which means 'heavenly' or 'divine', was applied to several small craggy islands in our [Aegean] sea, all of them lying close to larger islands, such as Crete or Naxos. The name "Dia" was even transferred to the island of Naxos itself, since it was more widely supposed than any other to have been the nuptial isle of Dionysus."

One legend has it that in the Heroic Age before the Trojan War, Theseus abandoned the princess 
Ariadne of Crete on this island after she helped him kill the Minotaur and escape from the Labyrinth
Dionysus (god of wine, festivities, and the primal energy of life) who was the protector of the island, 
met Ariadne and fell in love with her. 
 But eventually Ariadne, unable to bear her separation from Theseus, 
either killed herself (according to the Athenians), or ascended to heaven (as the older versions had it).

The Naxos portion of the Ariadne myth is also told in the Richard Strauss opera Ariadne auf Naxos.

The giant brothers Otus and Ephialtes figure in at least two Naxos myths: 
in one, Artemis bought the abandonment of a siege they laid against the gods,
 by offering to live on Naxos as Otus's lover; 
in another, the brothers had actually settled Naxos.


Town of Naxos
photo by Sergio Alvarez


Attribution: Frente


Attribution: Bgabel 
Traditional streets of Naoussa and Lefkes - Paros

Parian marble, which is white and translucent (semi-transparent), 
with a coarse grain and a very beautiful texture, was the chief source of wealth for the island. 
The celebrated marble quarries lie on the northern side of the mountain anciently known 
as Marathi (afterwards Capresso), a little below a former convent of St Mina.
 The marble, which was exported from the 6th century BC onwards, 
was used by Praxiteles and other great Greek sculptors.......(more here)

Before I'm getting completely lost again in history....as usual...
quickly a few more images...




 Terrace of the Lions

Ancient theatre, Delos 

Established as a culture center, 
Delos had an importance that its natural resources could never have offered. 
In this vein Leto, searching for a birthing-place for Artemis and Apollo, addressed the island:
"Delos, if you would be willing to be the abode of my son Phoebus Apollo and make him a rich temple –; for no other will touch you, as you will find: and I think you will never be rich in oxen and sheep, nor bear vintage nor yet produce plants abundantly. But if you have the temple of far-shooting Apollo, all men will bring you hecatombs and gather here, and incessant savour of rich sacrifice will always arise, and you will feed those who dwell in you from the hand of strangers; for truly your own soil is not rich."
Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo 51–60

House of Dionysus floor mosaic  -  Mosaic from the Insula of the Jewellery






We probably leave out Mykonos this time....
it became too crowded and posh I've been told....

...not like in the "old days" when I went on holiday....

 ...we might stop for a "Sundowner"....one never knows...
There are many more of these beautiful islands,
so, our sailing trip, our island hopping will take a few weeks, 4 or 5 or.....
But - so what/who cares - the charter price is (depending on the month) only  

15.750 - 28.350 € per week  

Which brings me to the last items on the list:
9. Credit Cards!!!
10. LAUGHTER !!!!!

Should we be well on the way to being bankrupt before....
I'll have a comfortable "Armchair-Cruising" for 50 minutes

Please visit Marsha's blog for all posts
from our international group



With this post I send special and warmest greetings to
Susan K., California, who lived nearly half of her life in Greece
 and to

   from the beautiful Greek blog "Things and Thoughts"

together with one of my favorite Greek music:

Perigiali - "On the seashore"
 is a song by Mikis Theodorakis 
made on a poem by the great Greek poet George Seferis. 
It is a poem about inevitable changes in our lives 
where we have to let go of things we love and cherish and move on. 
The song was written in 1962 .
It is a song that carries many of the distinct colours, 
phrases and sensations that make up what is Greece.

Yacht from:


  1. A marvelous post ! There is something so unique and special about the Greek Islands, I long to return....

  2. What can I say Karin? You surprised me so beautifuly and kindly! Your photos are magical and you made a great tribute to the Greek islands in a unique way ... and a great honor to me and my little blog. I really thank you from the bottom of my heart!
    Love, Olympia

  3. Karin, the generosity in your blogging never ceases to delight me! I always learn, am inspired and have beautiful music to listen to each time. You really give us so much. And even though I have had the good fortune to travel a bit, I have never been to the Cyclades and I loooong to go. They really are at the top of my list and now I want to go even more.
    Gros Bisous d'Arles,

  4. A wonderful post. Makes me want to go back to Greece, immediately! Your pictures are stunning, which explains the importance of your camera. And of course, laughter...is always essential for me. Lovely to read and meet you. xoJennifer

  5. Oh my these pictures were the perfect virtual getaway,closing my eyes for a few seconds I imagined I was really there
    !! LOVE your pictures and all for something linen and something white.....ahhh, would love to be plotting a getaway this very minute!

  6. These images are gorgeous and bring me back to a long, long ago trip to Myknonos, Santorini, Delos... a very different time and place in my life.

    Truly, all one needs for this trip is an eye for wonder and yes, a camera - though je suis ravie de voir un petit dictionnaire pour traduire le Grèque - Greek-vlaams ? Waarom niet ?

    Lovely post!

  7. What would make this trip-of-a-lifetime even better would be if you were there to be our history guide, to illuminate the ancient stones with your wonderful stories and knowledge.

    A truly extraordinary post.

  8. OH MY!I love the history lesson!!!!!!!
    I applaud you for number 10…………we NEED more of that everyday!
    Thanks for visiting me and I have signed up so I do not miss another HISTORY LESSON!!
    Beautiful Post!

  9. HI Karin, What a wonderful, magical, educational, fantastic post. This makes me wish I truly was packing a bag and setting sail on the Aegean. Love that we chose the same destination, a place where I have never been. I think that we should drop anchor and enjoy sundowners together when we get there! Thanks so much for the warm welcome to the group, this is going to be fun! XO

  10. Oh, Karin, once again you have enchanted us. Your brilliance always comes shining through. I love this post, except that I know I could not sail on such a small craft unless land was in sight as I am not very comfortable. It's OK if I can see the land, then I could be in a row boat. What do you think causes this? And, the Greek islands? No doubt.
    Sending love to La Pouyette, my precious friend.

  11. My bags are packed and I'm ready to join you :) Yes I'm ready for sunshine and blue skies. Goodbye DC! What an adventure we'll have. xo Loi
    ps - I can't swim so no pushing me off the boat :)

  12. Envious but verrrrrrry happy for you and your friends. Will live vicariously through your posts....sigh.