Jun 21, 2018 - Sea Cloud
The sun rose over the island where Artemis and Apollo were born. These twins were very important to the ancient Greeks, who sometimes identified them with the Moon (Artemis) and the Sun (Apollo), both so necessary for navigation!
Delos is an uninhabited island today, but in antiquity it was the religious center of the Ionian Greek world. In the Hellenistic period, it became an international trading center; in Roman times, it was a free port. Its population reached 30,000, but it all ended violently when it was attacked by Mithridatis, king of Pontus. Walking through the ruins, we saw the cult center, temples, gathering halls, and the famous Terrace of the Lions, overlooking the Sacred Lake, where Leto gave birth to the twins under the sacred palm tree.
After the museum visit and morning break, some members of our party headed for the top of Mount. Cynthus, while others explored the oldest residential quarter as far as the theater district. Stunning peristyle courtyards over huge cisterns revealed to us the beauty of the homes, which all had painted walls and mosaic floors.
When we returned to Sea Cloud, we had a chance to swim in the Aegean Sea. Refreshed, we enjoyed another great meal on the Lido Deck.
In the afternoon, after an interesting lecture on Greek Orthodox icons by Tom Heffernan, we went ashore to explore the jewel of Paros―the town of Naoussa. It’s a lovely town by the sea, with a marble waterfront! Many of us stayed in town for dinner, sampling the octopus and calamari. Late in the evening, we returned to Sea Cloud, where our pianist Peter was playing familiar tunes on the Lido Deck. What a great day!
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