Allegedly the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo, the island of Delos (Dee-Los), a 45-minute boat ride from Mykonos, is one of the most important mythological, historical, and archaeological sites in Greece.
It is a barren and dusty outdoor museum, but nevertheless, walking there among the ruins raised plenty of goosebumps on my arms as we explored the ancient Minoan civilization, including the Agora, temples of Apollo, the Hippodrome, Amphitheatre, and more.
Imagine standing where the ancient Greeks stood well before 500 BC! Just gazing at the tiled mosaic on the floor of the House of Dionysus was enough to bring tears to my eyes. (Okay, so I’m becomingknown as the American Tourist who is so emotional she cries at everything, but so be it!)
Like many other visitors to this island, my favorite section was to the west of the Sacred Lake (no water now, no trees, but a few grasses to mark the spot). My favorite area was the Lion Terrace. And it’s totally OK by me that these outdoor lions are “reproductions.” I’d read enough before I got here to know that there had been at least 12 lions to start, that 7 survived the ages, that one original was now in Venice and that 5 more are protected inside Greek museums. The mystique is all that matters. (That and the fact that I was there on Delos!)
The amphitheatre also attracted my attention, as I imagined Greek theatre being performed there in the open air. I racked my brain for the names of the earliest plays, and came up with only Oedipus Rex and Antigone, but it thrilled me to stand where they might have been performed centuries before the birth of Christ!
The tour guide for this island was hugely knowledgeable—an educator and archaeologist—and spoke loudly enough for me to be able to peruse the area and still hear her well. What a blessing! Consequently, I got many “group” photos and angles that some of the others didn’t see.
As during all my worldly explorations, my emotions bounced between tears of joy and just pure, unmitigated JOY!