After our zero-dark-thirty reveille and a two hour drive to Piraeus, we boarded our slow Blue Star ferry for a 5 1/2 hour voyage to Mykonos. In spite of lack of sleep, My Lovely Bride was quite chipper on the ferry ride which began right after dawn… doesn’t that drive you crazy sometimes when your partner is always bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when your butt is dragging and all you want to do is pull the covers over your head? “Stop moaning, Ty, and get another cup of coffee!”
Here is our hotel, the Porto Mykonos. It was very comfortable, with a view of the Mediterranean out our window. Our bed had a huge mosquito net suspended over it, and I asked our friendly porter how bad the mosquitos were; he replied with a smile that there were no mosquitos, and that the net was just there for decoration. (Well, not exactly… for three mornings, I was awakened between 0400 and 0430 by the buzzing of the little female beasts out searching for male blood… why do I say that? Because Suzanne was not bothered at all by the skeeters. It must be professional courtesy or something like that keeping them away… sigh… I hope I don’t pay too badly for that comment… Smack!)
After a brief rest, we got out into town for some sightseeing. Just across the very narrow road (yes, most roads in Greece are very narrow) from our hotel were some private homes with interesting entrances. These are new homes; that means they are less than 2,000 years old.
The Salparo seafood restaurant has unique advertising, far better than a billboard or a neon-lighted sign… seafood is very expensive here because the Mediterranean Sea has been overfished so badly. The average catch is a small fish about 8 inches long, and is grilled with the head on. They are tasty, but pretty small.
An example of the lack of fishing success here is this fish-cleaning station, made of beautiful marble, which never had more than one fisherman cleaning small fish… (I know My Good Friend Bob is about to make a wise-crack about it being my kind of fish cleaning station, but I will forgo any comments on his sense of humor in the spirit of neighborly good-will and because he and Jan have our little puppies in their good care.)
The harbor right in town is very small, suitable only for fishing boats and a small local ferry. Our hotel is in the center of the picture about halfway up the hill, only a 5 minute walk from town.
Did I mention that the streets were very narrow? Here is Suzanne in downtown Mykonos, flanked by shops and residences. Very small cars, trucks and motor scooters use these streets for delivery of goods, trash pickup, etc. Fortunately, tourists are generally not targeted by the drivers, although there were several close calls. You can imagine that you would not want to step out of a bar after a few glasses of retsina without looking carefully at what’s driving by!
My beautiful date and I had a wonderful romantic dinner out at an upscale Italian restaurant specializing in freshly-made pasta. The meal (veal Marsala and spaghetti with prawns) was delicious, and I decided to take up gourmet Italian cooking when we get back home… hand-making pasta can’t be that hard, right?
Shopping is apparently a Big Deal here in Mykonos, which is known as a favorite stop for the Rich and Famous. In June, July and August, the island is insanely crowded with tourists. We are here off-season, and the only day with crowds was when there were three cruise ships in port at the same time. This shop specialized in white cotton and linen, and is typically very small and cozy… and expensive. Fortunately, My Lovely Bride is not much of a Power Shopper, and I conveniently forgot to pack the extra bag she wanted for goodies… Sorry, Dear…