Sites Visited: Archaic Naxian Marble Quarry
Where did we stay tonight?: Naxos
Leaders: Charlie Clark and Kathryn Mammel
Travels of Gulliverian Proportions, or: FSPers on Naxos, land of sizable extremes
Dedicated to the memory of Sarah C. Murray
After a short flight on a small plane, we found ourselves this morning in the land of very littleand very big things. The people seem to be normal sized, for the most part, but the airport, the cars, the Jacuzzi in Professor Christesen’s hotel room, the margaritas, the marble sculptures—way out of proportion, all of them. Welcome to Naxos the land of extremes.
We left our hotel in Athens, realm of normally sized Greek people and things, around 9:45 and fought our way for seats on the bus to the airport. Once there, we checked all of our normally sized bags (so as to avoid excessive weight fees), and hurried off to eat McDonald’s ® meals of varying sizes, ranging from Assaf’s Super-Size Big N’ Tasty ® to Kathryn’s itty bitty Happy Meal ®—let the extremes begin.
Things got kooky soon after, as we sought for our departure point (in fact a bus stop disguised as an airport gate) among the sequentially-challenged gates and duty-free liquor shops. And then things got small. Really small. We climbed the stairs to our plane (all four of them), and hunted among the rows of seats (all 13 of them), and counted the propellers—yes, propellers—both of them. We climbed to our cruising altitude (1500 feet), and were quickly presented with a not-so-vast array of drink options (three—water, orange juice, and Nescafe ®). The flight attendant wheeled out the drink cart soon after takeoff, and by the time she had reached the final row, our descent had begun.
We narrowly avoided landing in a goat pasture, and descended the steps to Naxos Airport—all three rooms of it—and made our way to the five feet of baggage claim conveyor belt. Needless to say, we were surprised and relieved, to find that our luggage had not been shrunk by the journey.
We took a van (a surprisingly spacious automobile for this island of little things) to our hotel, where we realized that things were more complicated than they first seemed. We found ourselves in spacious accommodations featuring a dazzling array of showerheads, at least one plus-size Jacuzzi (party in PCC’s room?), and bed canopies. What sort land is this?
We then settled in the hotel lobby on tiny stools for a lengthy discussion of a little bit of Odysseus’ long journey home and discourses by your humble correspondents. Size confusion continued further, as five of us piled into a teensy yellow rental car to take a longish journey to see a biggish kouros and really biggish kouros in the ancient marble quarries in the inner part of the island.
Back in Naxos town, we ventured to Picasso, famous (and only) Naxian Mexican (Naxi-Mex?) restaurant, home to colossal iguana décor and itty bitty drink umbrellas. We feared the large iguanas might have eaten the itty bitty beach goers. Sipping margaritas in miniature (margarita-itas?) as an aperitif from the friendly normal-sized expats, we contemplated how to best achieve ultimate happiness on this strange island via dessert.
We settled on Waffle House [read: Vaffle House], where we faced nearly infinite options of flavors and an incalculable sum of calories to consume. And consume we did. We then retired to our big rooms for a little well earned unwinding and a long night’s sleep. Soon we will drift to sleep in this strange land, thinking of tomorrow and hoping the assignment will be tiny and the grade inflation large. We like it here on Naxos, land of extremes.
Itty Bitty Baggage Claim
Wandering the Naxian Countryside
Day 72 Photo Gallery