Greek Trek 2017: Mykonos

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.

While the port at Mykonos is small and nondescript, the yachts in the harbor show that this is the playground of the rich and famous.

You can take a stroll along the waterfront and enjoy the view.

One of the hotels in the main town of Mykonos even has a small (very small) beach in front.  Most people have to walk from the port to the hotels due to the limited taxi service.

This gives you an idea of how small the beach is outside the hotel.  You need to take a bus to the main beaches.

All along the waterfront there are tavernas to get a delicious repast.

You can’t get sea food any fresher than this.

Little chapels and shrines are all around Mykonos City.  I guess that is so you can pray that you find your way out of Little Venice.

This is an entrance into Little Venice and it is one of the wider streets in the area.

A boutique gift shop which was closed at the time.

I guess that is what you need after you buy jewelry from this shop. 

Some streets had souvenirs aimed at the tourists.  The ever present Mykonos cat is catching some shade.

Streets in Little Venice are about this size.  It is hard to walk two abreast on these streets.

To my amazement, there is at least one hotel within the labyrinth of Little Venice.  I saw two people doing the dreaded bag-drag to get here.

This is about the only motorized vehicle that can get down the streets.

This clothing shop posted a mannequin at the door to model a dress.  Makes it look like someone is standing in the door.

Of course, nearby is another of the cats of Mykonos.

The Piano Bar is hidden within the labyrinth as well.

Mykonos is also known for its windmills.  They sit on the far side of the town. They can be reached by either going through Little Venice or. .

. . . by walking along the waterfront on this very narrow pathway.

Believe it or not, this is a public bathroom along the waterfront.  Blends right in with the rest of the town.

The San Marco Hotel, while away from town, offers a pretty spectacular view.

The lobby has an inviting feel to it.

George is the general manager of the hotel.  He takes an interest in all his guests.

The hotel is very open and is built on a hillside so it has four different levels.  This is the lobby level.

Every room has a small patio area where one can just sit and enjoy the day.  This is the second level.  The staff, who stay at the hotel through the tourist season reside at the highest level.

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. 

This looks like a good place to end my visit to Mykonos.  How better to end this visit than to show two more of the ever present Cats of Mykonos enjoying the shade.

On to the cruise ship to be whisked away to other islands of Greece.  First stop: Patmos.

 

 

Copyright © 2017  John J Campo

 

1 thought on “Greek Trek 2017: Mykonos

  1. Great job, John. Loved revisiting and remembering the beauty of Mykonos. Thanks for being so interested and appreciative of such a beautiful heritage.

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