Palm Where Leto Gave Birth to Apollo and Artemis

Up on a hill on the Island of Delos, Greece~  I take in the island laying before me and stretched out to the north. From up here, I see the circle of greenery that in antiquity was the location of the Sacred Lake, the spot where the goddess Leto gave birth to Apollo and Artemis, divine fraternal twins. This is the reason Delos was considered so sacred in ancient times. More recently, the Sacred Lake was drained to rid the island of malaria mosquitoes, and now it has filled in with a small forest.

Agora of the Italians and the Terrace of the Lions

Delos, Greece~ Beyond that patch of green where the goddess Leto gave birth to Apollo and Artemis, stands another set of ruins that I want to draw next. I locate it on the map as the Koinon of the Poseidoniasts. It was used in the worship of Poseidon, the sea god, and was built in the 2nd Century BC. We make the trek down the hill, and I break out my drawing tools, and go to work.

Later in the day, as I’m walking back towards the entrance, I encounter the Terrace of the Lions, a row of marble lions facing the Sacred Lake. At the end of the 7th Century BC, the Naxians placed them here on a level terrace. The lions have weathered considerably through the millennia, and only six of the many originals now stand.

Temple of Isis with Rain Drops

(Excerpt from my book, The Artist on the Road: Impressions of Greece)

The Island of Delos, Greece~ We arrive at the dock and exit to partly cloudy skies. We pay the fee at the entrance, and I pick up a free map before shuffling off through the ruins. Lizards crawl everywhere, big ones too, a foot long head-to-tail. The island is uninhabited by humans but teeming with life. Artemis, the Goddess of all things wild, was born on this island, so maybe that’s the reason this place overflows with critters.

At the far end of the site, I see a temple on a hill that looks particularly interesting. The map I picked up at the entrance reveals the ruin as the Temple of the Egyptian goddess Isis. Walking through an ancient theater to reach it, I find conditions there damp with a few puddles, but am excited about drawing today, and with my newfound enthusiasm, a little rain is not going to stop me.

My dad takes off to climb Mt. Kynthos, the highest spot on the island, but I stay behind to draw. Raindrops splash on my page, but I continue until the rain really picks up and forces me to stop. I pack my gear and hunt for shelter but with no success. Then as quickly as it started, the rain stops, so I unpack my gear and once again continue to draw. The rain returns, but this time I’m saved by Dad’s umbrella. He made it back from Mt. Kynthos just in time. Overall, the weather has cooperated quite nicely for this time of year in Greece, so I have nothing to complain about.