Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Apollonos bound

There is something slightly surreal about sitting at a seaside taverna on a small Greek island, watching the local fisherman bash a kalimari into mouth watering tenderness on a rock whilst listening to Aretha Franklin belt out R.E.S.P.E.C.T. on tinny speakers. I am in the tiny fishing village of Appolonas on the island of Naxos, approximately 100 miles from where you would be lost forever.

The road pretty much ends here. A bus of dubious mechanical health comes here once a day, after navigating hair raising switch back roads without benefit of guard rails but lavishly decorated with tiny heartbreaking roadside shrines to all who have failed to negotiate these twists and turns.

Appolonas’ main claim to fame is that this is where you can hike into the surrounding hillsides and see the giant sleeping kouros statues resting where they were abandoned by the carvers so many thousands of years ago – for reasons no one quite knows now.

But I’ve climbed the mountain paths and found the kouros many times in the past. Now I come just to drink in the mountains spilling down into the sea. And to drink a glass of wine in the country the grape was grown in while the kouros sleeps on.

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