22 September 2010

Delos and Mykonos (19/9/10)

It is fascinating how different some of the Cycladic Islands are from one another. Sunday we went to Delos and Mykonos. Delos is an extremely sacred place to Greeks, being the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. They myth goes that Artemis and Apollo were born on Delos because their mother, Leta, was the victim of Hera’s jealousy. Hera’s husband, Zeus, became obsessed with Leta and convinced her to have sex with him. When Hera found out Leta was pregnant with Zeus’ children she kidnapped the goddess of childbirth and threatened anyone who offered Leta any help giving birth. One myth claims that Poseidon felt sorry for Leta and stuck his sword into a rock he fetched from the bottom the ocean forming Delos Island for Leta to give birth on. Artemis, knowing that her mother could not give birth without help emerged from her as a grown woman, proceeding to help her mother give birth to her brother, Apollo. In the 5th century all of the graves were dug up in one of the steps taken to purify the island for the proper worship of the gods. To this day it is illegal to be born or to die on the island.

Delos is an island of ruins, with a spectacular view of the surrounding islands from the top of Mount Kynthos where it is believes that Homer went to to write. On the top of the mount there are numerous small rock sculptures, of course I had to get in on it too and left my mark.

Mykonos was another bustling town with even narrower winding streets than Paros. Supposedly there are pelicans there that can get over 200 pounds, but none that I saw. There was, however a spectacular line of old windmills on a bluff. We walked the winding streets exploring the little shops before
boarding the ferry back to Paros.

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