|In Quest of Santorini, part 3 (Paros)
Why? Paros is the source of marble for the Venus de Milo and Napoleon's tomb and the generation of another quest that of Venus to be continued with further travels.
On the way watching the waves from the ship interacting with small wind waves and the wake of a faster ferry that passed us and the evolved combination of all of the above showing great constructive and destructive interference patterns. Hey, I teach oceanography as well and this is a working sabbatical!
I jumped on the village bus and immediately went to Piso Lavardi on the east side of the island and found a small but nice apartment that had a view of the harbor across the street.
I rented a motor scooter and explored the eastern shoreline of Paros and found exposures of interbedded of schist and marble.
The next day, I rode the scooter out to the marble quarries. The path to the quarries is paved with marble. The blocks in the walkway show the variations from almost pure marble to folded schist layers.
This photo shows the entry to the 1880's mine where the marble for Napoleon's tomb was extracted. This man-made cave is beginning to take on the appearance of a natural cave with stalactites forming on the roof of the tunnels. The marks left by the miners are easily visible and there are blocks of marble strewn around the mine.
The obvious problem for the miners here was to find the right marble, not necessarily those that would interest geologists like these with included impurities.
After a visit to the quarries, I went into Parikia the main city on Paros. Walked more narrow streets meant to confuse pirates and tourists...and they do! A beautiful Bouganvillia and blue roofed church.
After visiting Parikia, I rode the scooter out to the northern tip of the island, near the resort area of Naoussa seen in this photo here across the bay and behind an impressive exposure of granitic rocks. The walls here are made of granitic rocks.
Further on near Monastery Beach, which is locally know as a nude beach, I found a LOT of interesting sights, including these interbedded marbles and schist, intensely folded dikes, and pinch and swell structures in the marbles.
I also visited the Sanctuary of Apollo on a hill high above Parikia
where they used marble for the walls but protected
it with plates of schist. From this vantage point I could watch
the never ending dance of the ferries as they come in, back into the docks
and depart as I will do tomorrow.
On to Santorini