We walked in the town of Káristos on a balmy evening in the city square centrally located on the beach and leading to the water. In the light of a silvery moon, the voices of the town’s folk rose midst the patter of numerous children at play. It was 10:30 p.m. and all the perambulators of Káristos were out and being wheeled in the square. Around the square at little tables small groups of townsfolk conversed. It seemed as if all of Káristos was in the square and was in fact a large family. All sorts of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins, in-laws, and young and old lovers. Relationship was hard to imagine without the almost instant knowledge of the whole family at Káristos.
Carriages and horses were silhouetted in the filtering lights of the lamps that ringed the square. High at the top of a stairway on the summit an official building stood and to its right a Byzantine church. Its traditional cross decorated in fluorescent tubes all glowing in the soft night. Over the archways were more lights. Perhaps this seemingly incongruous electrification is in actuality a continuance of the want of illumination emanation. That same impulse that required the gold ground and halation of icons and the silver reliefs that sparkle about the painted heads of the Byzantine saints.
Later back on the boat sitting around the table, quiet talk, the pace of approaching slumber and the sight of John, his brandy and huge Habana cigar.
July 16, Thursday
After breakfast, we sailed to the island of Andros and swam in a bay there.
In the afternoon we water-skied, but the choppy waters made the going strenuous. Still, it was pleasurable and a bit more challenging than lake smooth water of our past skiing.
We arrived at Tinos at 6:00 p.m. We walked through the main shopping street of Tinos up to the monastery on the summit overlooking the town. The interior of the main chapel was extremely elaborate Byzantine. A service was being held and a strong voice sang solemnly. The voice filled out the room, rang through the many hanging chandeliers, ruby lit lanterns, brushed cross the embossed silver images and the intensely colored icons, rose to the peak of the vaults and dropped down through the attentive worshippers. In the courtyard, there was a “magical tree.” It was filled with birds, which one would not see for the density of the foliage, but the effect was surprising a multitudinous sounding a vestibule “singing tree.”
Later, I walked through the streets and took pictures. The facades fascinated and details of sections of buildings, streets and groves all were notable in unique character and special charm.
Dinner on the Daphni was excellent (this excellence has become habitual and we all look with excitement of anticipation to see what new wonder will come from the master’s kitchen: a seeming endless repertoire par excellence).
After dinner, we stopped in to a small café in Tinos. Teenagers were dancing to rock and roll and to traditional Greek music. Everyone was friendly and it interested me to see that there were occasions when only the girls would be on the dance floor to either traditional Greek or rock. On other occasions two, or at best three young men would do a traditional Greek dance. This was interspersed by all couples dancing—usually in half time to pop Italian records. We enjoyed it and stayed over an hour. We returned to the Daphni and retired at about 1:30 a.m.
July 17 Friday
Up at 7:00 a.m., breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
We arrived at Delos at 9:00 a.m. and were taken by Manuel in the Daphni launch to the island. Manuel is a remarkable fellow. Expert in all that he does. I think that he is the first mate. He is always involved in seeing that we are securely anchored and all is ship-shape. He handles the small boats and is exceptionally good in towing skiers.
We could see all the fragments covering the ground and remains of temples and houses. Here remain the famous lions of Delos. They alone are worth the trip to Delos though certainly there is much else that is remarkable here as well. I was disappointed that I was not permitted to take photographs in the museum. There were superb examples of archaic sculpture. I took one photo of an extraordinary male torso before the guard informed me that it was forbidden. The lions are indescribably impressive in power and mystery. Without explanation, they bring with enormous impact their presence in time present their insistence of a life of the past.
At about 12:30 we swam in an inlet of brilliant turquoise crystal clear water. One could not tell how deep the water was as it was absolutely clear to the bottom.