First class travel at 64kph on a half empty twin hulled ferry to Mykonos. Very smooth.
The Cyclades – Greek for circle – are a group of islands of which Mykonos is just one – the centre of the Cyclades being Delos. Delos is a major archaeological site and five of our fourteen Meetup.com member travelling group – Travel Companions For Seniors, are going across via a 30 mins ferry trip today. Looking forward to seeing their photos. Mykonos is a stoney (granite outcrops) island, very windy, with calm spells and the bluest sky we have ever seen. Oddly the seagulls are not plentiful and are silent. No nostalgic mews as in the UK – just – silent. No binoculars so suspect they are actually gannets as they never seem to land, are far offshore and have black wing-tips as in Oz.
Not the usual thin European sky, sadly slightly better than ours even. Sob … Sob. With the high winds and low rainfall, little grows here. Bougainvilleas and oleander are prevalent with few olive trees. All the land is owned by the church and ‘purchased on a 99 year lease. By government decree, the buildings must conform to rounded shape, be not over two storeys and painted white. As usual there is a four storey building – the owner tried – there’s always one – the government refuses him access – so it remains empty!
Pretty little harbour, crystal clear blue water (unfortunately we were totally spoilt by the one at Crete), all the usual shops, restaurants on the tourist front and then you walk into Old Town. Quaint little alleyways, organised like a maze – to confuse pirates and act as a windbreak, lined with the same boutique shops and restaurants but also houses and a school – yet the ground is made of a white painted, grouted crazy-paving.
Very pretty. So we have the usual blue and white of the Greek Islands but then a startling splash of brilliant red of the bougainvillea – magnificent. We are all staying at the Harmony Hotel.
Big rooms, nice balcony, lots of steps, two bars and a pool. Heaven. Tomorrow a cruise round the island and four of us quad biking in the arvo? Well, the ‘cruise became a bus tour with a guide. Apparently, here, when you kark it, you have to be buried within 48 hours. Land is short so after being wrapped in a limey mixture (to speed up decay) and buried, you are dug up around five years later and the bones presented to the family. They in turn put them in their own little chapel with a plaque – and there you stay! Cremation is out of the question. We went to the Super Paradise Beach where all the ‘beautiful’ people hang out and where in the evenings they all ‘pulse’ to the rhythm at the famous Havana Club.
From there we called into a tiny beach, where in the Shirley Valentine film her namesake met the fisherman – somewhere in the 1980’s. Fully built up now, the driver said there were only three or four buildings then. Pic on the other camera – will find it eventually. May need to watch that and the Bond movie again when we get back!
In the bay opposite are a few of the ‘yachts’ of the rich and famous. Very pretty. Been out for some interesting meals with heaps of beers, wine and masticha – a brandy based liqueur, combined with essence of the mastic tree (the original chewing gum) – and ending up as a clear, sweet, liqueur – often given free at the end of a meal. The most notable of the restaurant for food quality would be Eva’s Garden Restaurant.
Having a day off by the pool
– hence the blog update – may swim in the bay later if the wind drops – 33C yesterday.