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…