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Thursday 22 November 2007

Delos – The Open Air Museum on an Island

Delos is a small island a few kilometres west of Mykonos. It is the birthplace of the twins Apollo and Artemis according to the Greek mythology. Being one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, this island is considered as a sacred island that no visitors are allowed on the island after 3 p.m.

Visiting Delos from Mykonos is very convenient as boats leave the quay of Hora (Mykonos Town) almost every half-hourly starting at 9 a.m.

The first thing that will surely catch the eyes upon arrival is the tallest hill in Delos, the Mount Kynthos.

Mount Kynthos is 113 m above sea level.

My first quest on the island of Delos was to conquer Mount Kynthos, so I followed through the paths on the archaeological site leading to the summit.

Shops lining the street at the archaeological site.

One of the many paths for exploring the archaeological site.

A view through the window of history.

An excavated street used to be a lively place in the ancient time.

As I climbed higher, the view became more spectacular.

The whole island is an open air museum.

The Theatre Quarter is a site that one must pass through on the way up to Mount Kynthos.

It is still a long way to the summit of the rock-encrusted Mount Kynthos.

When I was almost up the top of Mount Kynthos, I was offered this spectacular view of the archaeological site and the surrounding islands. All the tiredness in climbing up was just well-worth the effort.

The panoramic view of Delos and the surrounding islands on Mount Kynthos. Please click on it to view a larger picture.

I have finally made it to the summit!

On the way down from Mount Kynthos, I stopped by another few important sites on this island. That includes the House of Dionysus and the House of Cleopatra.

The House of Dionysus (2nd century AD) was named after the mosaic that depicts Dionysus, the god of wine, riding on a panther.

The House of Cleopatra houses the beheaded owner.

Apart from Mount Kynthos, the land on the island of Delos is quite flat. There is a very important site on the flat ground that is called the Terrace of the Lions dedicated to Apollo. The name itself has already suggested what to be expected for the visitors.

These lion statues are replicas.

The actual artifacts that once lined on the Terrace of Lions are kept inside the site museum.

I took one last glance of Delos with all the scattered sites around Mount Kynthos.

If you would like to read more of my travelogues on Greece, here are the links:-

1. Athens – The Homeland of the Gods

2. The White Dream in Mykonos

3. Santorini – Almost Heaven

4. Miscellaneous


Brede said...

simply breath-taking...

CK Ng said...

Hmmm... shall I rename the blog post title as "Take Your Breath Away"? LOL.

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