There is something beautiful about arriving to an island by boat. Obviously flying into Santorini was stunning, the island spilling out beneath me as we came into land.
Naxos appeared in the distance, its white buildings lifting from the sea. As we got closer my eyes were drawn to the monument of Portara.
Portara is a huge doorway (and its literal meaning) made of blocks of stone. An entry to a temple that was never complete, facing towards the island of Delos.
Its emotion is in the story of ambition which never quite reached fruition. Its beauty is in its framing of the island,particularly in the evening, the sunset and sea on one side and the lights of the harbour restaurants and bars on the other.
The harbour itself is busy, working from the fisherman of first light. If you go at various times of the day you can almost see the circle of fish from sea to restaurant to table, including the sight of octopus legs hung to dry in the Greek sun.
It is the starting point for some winding walks to the old town. It appears from some of the history that these pathways would have been dangerous in times past, the castle at the top of the island offering warning of, and refuge from, invaders. Now though, the only danger is the slip after a cocktail on the shiny cobbled walkways or the temptation of ice cream. They wind and you duck beneath the stone archways and at every turn there is something else to explore.
The excess can be slept off the next day on any of Naxos’ beaches. I stayed close to one for all but one of the nights I was there. I forgot to book one nights accommodation but error became advantage as on the last night I booked into a hotel on the harbour and sat on the baclony, drinking and thinking of the days ahead.