Monday May 25th
Sites Visited: Emporio (Geometric town), Mastic Villages
Where did we stay tonight?: Chios Town
Leaders: Kathryn Mammel and Alex Maceda
FSP by the Numbers-Redux
Number of days completed: 65
Number of islands to go: 6 (!)
Number of pages of the Iliad collectively read: 5460
Number of pashminas purchased in Istanbul: 33
Number of cat photos Charlie admits to having taken: 7
Number of cat photos we believe Charlie has really taken: 15 (at least)
Number of liters of Fanta Lemon consumed by Barber: > 46 (and counting)
Number of “selfies” taken by Barber (estimated): 300
Number of covert owl photos (“owlies”) taken by PCC (complete guess on our part):¬¬¬ 31
Number of electronic items quitting on, lost, or nearly lost by C.J.: 4 (and counting?)
Number of romantic aristeiai experienced in Istanbul: 1
Number of inches Jason’s hair has grown since London: 2 (and counting) for a total of 5-6 inches
Number of memories made so far: Countless
Today was 1 of the 4 days on the FSP thus far made infinitely better by a museum closure. Finding the Chios Archaeological Museum closed (a “case of the Mondays”), we were whisked away by 4 cars to Emporios, 1 of the less than 50 Geometric settlement sites in Greece. The guard at Emporios had another, more curable case of the Mondays, and let us into the site despite its being closed. We watched an 8 minute DVD on the history of the site, climbed an 800 meter rampart, spent about 80 minutes on the site, and left for lunch on a cove in the small town of Emporios. We ate lunch at 2/3 of the tavernas in town, and then the math got tricky: we had 7 hours until the cars were due, 8 potential sites to visit, 18 people, and 4 rental cars. Given that we’re Classics majors, we forgot about figuring out the possible permutations and combinations (having even forgotten the difference between permutations and combinations), and split up into two contingents: the sandy beach contingent and the 19th century ghost town contingent. We all hit 2 mastic villages, Genoese sites developed around the tapping of the sap (“the tears of God”) from the mastic trees, now used to make soap, orthodontics, medicine, beauty products, gum, and soda (of which we collectively consumed 8 cans). Charlie took (at least) 2 more cat pictures, and then the groups parted ways.
The sandy beach group hit the beaches at Karfas. Of the 15 who went to the beaches, 10 swam and the other 33.333333% of the group stayed out of the water and read the 5 assigned books of the Iliad. After swimming, Professor Faro and Sarah gave the group a surprise assignment: building sandcastle models of famous buildings we’ve seen on this leg of the trip, setting the bar with their hippodrome. The group responded by building the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, which were judged to a disappointing tie. Sieging ensued. 4 sandballs were cast, and the mosques fell as if at the hands of the Greeks effacing Turkocratia from the landscape. To settle the score and win ultimate time, the group engaged in a “Dora the Explorer towel-poncho walk-off.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the island, the remaining 3—PCC, Charlie, and Kathryn—skillfully maneuvered 2 small town traffic jams, passed through 5 Chian villages, and avoided 1 potential rockslide (and countless bands of roaming brigands), to discover the Chian ghost town of Anavatos, abandoned 187 years before by Greeks who jumped to their death in the War of Greek Independence rather than await their fate at the hands of the Ottomans. The brave 3 climbed over/slipped through 1 fence (when the 2 other tourists weren’t looking), explored 30-something abandoned houses (with wood elements still in situ!), and only narrowly evaded death countless times. Making it safely back to the car, the group then head to the 11th century monastery, Nea Moni, which houses dozens of pregnant cats, 1 donkey tied to a phone booth, and the 3rd best collection of Byzantine mosaics in the world (according to someone who knows this sort of thing).
Around 7 o’clock, all the groups returned to Chios, grabbed dinner, divided into our 5 Iliad groups, collectively wrote 3750 words, enjoying our 11 hour extension. All in all, it added up to 1 great day.
Update from Emporio:
Testing the well water at Mesta:
Ghost town on Chios:
Day 65 Photo Gallery:
A Greek fellow tackles the grueling commute.
Waiting to climb up to Emporio.
Enjoying the view on Emporio.
Dallis decides it might not be so bad being a Geometric.
The group explores the temple of Athena at Emporio.
Flowers and sea at Emporio.
Ben, Charlie and Prof. Faro consider the remains of the temple of Athena while Chris momentarily relieves Kait's of her self-photography duties.
Joe and Chris discuss the temple remains.
View from the megaron featuring Kait and Ally.
Exiting the acropolis at Emporio through the impresive Geometric wall circuit.
Ally descends through the settlement at Emporio.
Alex A. pauses on the descent to inspect one of the Geometric houses on the slope.
Jerry takes a break under the shady trellis after our trek up the citadel.
KT and Dallis at the picturesque little harbor at Emporio.
Synchronized stone-skipping at Emporio.
Into Pyrgi, one of the famous Mastic Villages of Chios.
Genoese-inspired vernacular architecture in Pygri.
Jason photographs the Genoese-inspired church at Pyrgi.
Charlie and PCC prefer the domestic architecture.
Prof. Faro gives a mini-lecture on mastic production.
An illustration of mastic producers at work.
More mastic architecture.
Proof that Christopher Columbus is in fact a Chian, as local legend tells us.
Sampling the local Mastic soda in the plataea at Pyrgi.
Mast: like a Christmas tree in your mouth!
Alex M. gets her fix of the good stuff.
Ben and Ally enjoy the well-preserved medieval village of Mesta, another Mastic village.
Ben checks to see if he can call Scandinavia from a Genoese phone booth.
A feline friend attempts to join our tour of the Mastic villages.
Jerry and KT try to dissuade the young scholar.
KT befriends the kitten.
Prof. Christesen gets the down low on Mastic production from a reliable source.
Ben reads the Iliad on the beach at Karfas, just outside of Chios town.
The historical sand monument contest begins!
Jason labours upon the sand Ayia Sofia.
The rival team tackles the six-minaret Blue Mosque.
Chris the Elder and Prof. Faro and their mini-hippodrome.
The sand blue mosque in all its glory.
Kait presents sand Ayia Sofia with justifiable pride.
A heated debate over the relative merits and demerits of the dueling entries ensues.
Dallis, KT, and Ally attempt to lobby the judges.
After inconclusive balloting, sectarian violence erupts.
The sad aftermath.
Jason models the fashion find of the season - the towel-cloak.
After some trash-talking by Ally, a towel-cloak walk-off throw-down was inevitable.
Alex A. "working it" on the runway.
Dallis works out the kinks before she takes her moves 2 the streets.
Holding nothing back, Dallis breaks out the trump card: shimmy dance move.
Final verdict: the Jason dance, unanswerable.