First off, an interesting fact about Samothrace: There are 33 goats for every resident of the island. (Factoid courtesy of Michael Page) Here are some of the 99,000 goats, skulking along the back fence that surrounds the Xenia Hostel:

Two goats lurking outside the back gate to the Xenia Hostel

Two goats lurking outside the back gate to the Xenia Hostel

Yesterday I made good progress. I now have some functional SAS code, so I can start doing analyses. And, I was able to go out yesterday and shoot my first Gigapan. I actually shot two, then started a third, but my camera batteries died in the middle of that one.

Last night was quiet around the Xenia. Amy, a recent Emory PhD (Art History) had organized a hike up Mt. Fengari. This is the highest point on the island, at over a mile in elevation. Homer recounted in the Iliad that Poseidon watched the Trojan War from atop Fengari.

Out of the 14 people who currently comprise the team (2 more arrive tomorrow, 4 others leave on Sunday), 10 wanted to make the climb. They hired a guide, and left at around 5 pm. The plan was to hike up as far as they could with the remaining daylight, then rest. They would then push for the top at dawn today. Although we enjoy great weather here at xx feet above sea level, Fengari is often shrouded in clouds. The guard had indicated that if it was cloudy, they would not go to the top. However, the day has dawned clear and bright. Although we cannot see Fengari from here, we cannot see any clouds anywhere, so the promise of seeing the plains of Troy should indeed become reality. (Note: since 1) I broke my foot last spring and am still reticent about hiking a rough terrain, 2) I have a bad ACL in my left knee, 3) I am a poky walker, and 4) I did not bring appropriate dress (pants, sweatshirt, hiking boots), I did not make the climb. However, I am setting a goal now to get into better shape so that I might be able to do the climb at some point in the future.)

With the diminished crowd, we had a slow evening. Kyra (one of the Emory Art History grad students) and I walked down to the Delphinia, the local fish restaurant here in Paleopolis, for a quiet supper, while Susan (another Emory Art History grad student) and Leah (a Harvard grad student in architecture), hiked up to Chora then on to a favorite restaurant, Sotero’s.

Fortunately, the slow evening left me enough time to start process the pictures from the Gigapan that I had shot in the morning. I started the stitching program at about 10 pm, and it was still processing at midnight when I finally gave up to sleep. However, the panorama was finished when I awoke at 6 am. Now I am uploading it. I was warned by the software program that uploading might take a while. And it is taking a while. If I am successful, I will post the link to it tomorrow.

That’s all for now. More later…

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