The time has come to leave Athens. At 8:30 in the morning it was onto a bus and off to the port of Piraeus to board the Cylestia Olympia, my chariot to Mykonos. It was as if I was back in the military again as I did a lot of “hurry up and wait.” I was at the port by 9:00 in the morning to board a ship that wasn’t due to leave till noon. The passage to Mykonos took 6 hours, but to be honest, I slept for 3 of those hours in a lounge. Arrival at Mykonos was around 6:00 in the evening and was met by Dimitrius and Jenny from the San Marco Hotel. My hat’s off to Dimitrius, who navigated the narrow road in that small bus. The San Marco Hotel is an hour walk from Mykonos Town but they do provide bus service to town. It is beautiful and well worth the stay.
The island of Mykonos is known for two things: Partying and cats. This is the party island with clothing optional and gay beaches and a hopping bar scene during the summer months. In the winter the place becomes a ghost town. Even the shop keepers and hotel staffs are seasonal. Talking to the staff at the San Marco, they said they reside at the hotel during the high season and then return home during the off season. Believe me, they work hard for their money. Take the dining area crew for example. Amalia and her staff, Xenia, Effie, and Joanne, have to be present for breakfast which starts at 6 in the morning. It ends at 11:00 at which time they get a break for the afternoon. Then they have to set up for the dinner hours and that can extend well into the night. They do this day in and day out. I have been told that this is the case all over the islands.
I did not explore the party or beach scene as that is amply covered by other websites. The place I explored was a section of Mykonos Town known as Little Venice. Why is it called Little Venice? It is a jumble of narrow streets you can easily get lost in, kind of like the Venice canal system. As with the Plaka, some shops were high end while others sold tourist souvenirs.
Oh, and one last thing. I mentioned above and in my Athens post about cats. The one thing that you see, especially on the islands, is the cat. These cats are not skittish like cats in America. And they serve a purpose. The presence of cats keeps the vermin population down. On Mykonos you can even buy a calendar entitled “The Cats of Mykonos.” They have a revered place in the culture and community.
The trip to the port of Piraeus presented us with more graffiti.
The port itself is divided into sections with cargo ships on one side and passenger ship is another.
This is just two of the many cargo ships that were headed for Piraeus.
The gentleman on the right is Lucus. He is a former member of the Greek army. He and I (as I am a veteran as well) talked about the different militaries and equipment. I hope the other receptionist will forgive me for not remembering his name.
This is Valia, the bartender. She is friendly, vivacious and attentive. You would think she is Greek but you would be wrong. She is Albanian. I met hotel workers and shopkeepers who were from elsewhere in Europe including England and Ireland. They spend 6 to 9 months on the resort areas of Greece and then return home over the winter.
On to the cruise ship to be whisked away to other islands of Greece. First stop: Patmos.
Copyright © 2017 John J Campo