Island Hopping - Rineia, Greece
Rise and shine! We're off to explore two islands in the Aegean. Demetrius leads us to our ride, refreshments in tow.
We put our feet up and got comfy for the ride to our first stop: Rineia.
This fertile island was bustling with farm life and vineyards up until the 1980s. It is now completely uninhabited, save for a few that come to explore the ruins and occasional cow and goat sighting. Our Captain dropped anchor and offered to transport us in via dinghy, but we opted to enjoy a brisk swim in the Aegean to shore.
We spent the late morning and early afternoon exploring the ruins of our own private island.
Before heading back to the boat for lunch!
The Mythos, Greek salad, and salt-water cooked pasta were on deck. Seriously, Demetrius stuck a bucket in the water to boil this penne. Doesn't get better than this.
We took one last dip before heading off to our next stop.
A short ride later we arrived at Delos. This UNESCO world heritage site is one of the most important archeological sites in Greece. Mythology tells us that this is the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.
Not only was Delos a religious pilgrimage site for this reason, it became a major trading port in the 1st century BC. Today, visitors are allowed to walk among the ruins as if they are back in a thriving metropolis.
We paused at the Theatre where our wonderful tour guide, Amaryllis, reminded us how highly valued spoken word was to the Greeks. Socrates believed that once something was written down, it lost its ability to grow. Storytelling became an important part of Greek culture. She also shared that the government valued drama and the arts so highly, that it was mandatory for everyone to attend performances. Wealthy citizens of the community would pay a form of taxes for poor citizens to be able to attend. How cool is that?! Can we please start something similar today?
The Greeks were some of the first to master the design of sewage systems.
This is an example of Delos as an important pilgrimage site. A temple once stood here, and you can see that the top step has been worn down from all of the foot traffic. Pretty incredible huh?
As the Greek government has run out of money, all major digging has pretty much stopped. As a result, the island is only 1/6th of the way excavated.
Stepping onto this island was like going back in time. We were all in awe over the sophistication and craftsmanship that went into construction here. But it's just as shocking to see how abandoned a place can get. I sincerely hope that Greece can continue to preserve this archaeological icon. So go visit! Support these ancient sites!
Back on the boat, we toasted to our adventurous day. Thank you Greg and Melody for arranging this unforgettable excursion!
My last post of Mykonos is up next, where I'll show you more of the actual town. You'll also see that we went out with a bang!