The holy isle of Delos

Well, now I really feel that my Sabbatical has begun in earnest. This morning I took a boat from Mykonos to Delos, and explored this incredible island for a few hours before getting the afternoon boat back.

It is a place I have wanted to visit for a long while, and it did not disappoint. There is a tangible sense of something significant – I hesitate to say holy, but certainly important to the spirit of the culture I have spent so much time learning about and teaching. It is a remarkable place, partly because it is uninhabited, and the boats which landed are regulated so that at any one time not much more than a boat load of people are on the whole island; I escaped the crowds by getting ahead as the guided tours were introducing the island by the port, so felt as though I was almost alone.

The temples, the theatre, the houses, the terrace of the lions, the treasuries, the mosaics – it reminded me of Delphi and Pompeii rolled into one, on an island!

I had lunch, a feta cheese, tomato and salami baguette, on Mount Kynthos, a smallish hill, but one which affords the most amazing views. I took the opportunity to perform the first few lines of Callimachus’s Hymn to Delos at the summit, which you can hear (and see) here.

For the rest, I shall let (a small portion of) the photos do the talking…


3 thoughts on “The holy isle of Delos

  1. How disappointing that Mount Kynthos is a smallish hill. In my mind it is huge, wild, sprawling and rugged. Good to hear about the views though! Looking forward to following the rest of your sabbatical!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I spent a fabulous week excavating here with the French School……many, many aeons ago. Believe me, climbing Kythnos at midnight (for the heck of it) by only the light of the moon, it certainly felt ‘huge, wild, sprawling and rugged’! Very atmospheric!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow, amazing! What an experience. It is one of my favourite ever places to visit. I’m determined to return before too long. Not sure I will manage to do so by the light of the moon though!!


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