Lazy days on the greek islands

Trip Start May 01, 2010
1
23
33
Trip End Jul 10, 2010


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Flag of Greece  , Cyclades,
Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hi everyone
It’s Ly here and we have been here in Mykonos for the last five days. We caught a ferry from Santorini to Mykonos which took just over three hours. We caught glimpses of the other much smaller islands on the way as people were let on and off. Once we arrived at out port we had a driver to take us straight to the hotel which was a lovely place overlooking the ocean. We had a sea room view with a small balcony.

The owner and another male staff were quick to shake Daniel’s hand wishing him all the best for married life and giving him that knowing look, I was ignored making me feel like the old ball and chain! We were quick to head out to the beach which was in front of the hotel. It was a small beach and it seemed that every bit of sand was occupied by sun lounger beds and cafes with their tables and chairs. The beach was very calm with no waves really so perfect for swimming. The beach was nestled between two other beaches which we explored in the coming days.  The sand was quite pebbly and not comfortable to walk on with bare feet. We really do have beautiful beaches and sand back home!

After some late sun tanning in the afternoon we went out for dinner and I must admit I’m over Greek food by now. All the restaurants and cafe serve up the same options. It’s always:
•    Moussaka – Greek lasagne but with eggplant
•    Souvlaki – meat skewers with capsicum and tomato and cucumber sides and tzatiski sauce which is loaded with garlic
•    Gyros which is like a kebab with pork meat shreds and again loads of tzatski sauce
•    Saganaki prawns which is prawns in a very tomato cheesy sauce
•    Stuffed tomatoes and capsicum with rice
•    Calamari
•    Octopus in vinegar and oil
•    Spinach and cheese pie
What is great about Greek menus though is that it seems by law they have to tell you what is frozen so you can have your pick at fresh seafood.

On our second day we decided to catch a bus into Mykonos town to have a look around at the shops.  The town is filled with blindingly white buildings with that bright azure blue you see everywhere on the islands. The walkways are narrow and rocky and it seems motor cycles and tiny trucks still get through them with all their stock deliveries.

It was mostly souvenir shops selling more Greek sandals and handmade jewellery stores. We were hoping for a cheap bookshop but the prices were ridiculous. After having wandered around for an hour and dodging all the old people with walking sticks out on day trip from the cruise ships we were keen to head back to the beach to sunbake and sleep. The bus didn’t come for another hour so we decided to sink our teeth into some great burgers. We definitely weren’t going to be venturing out to the town again.

Daniel here:
Well we spent the next few days not doing too much at all; I guess that is what you are supposed to do nothing on holidays!  The beach to the left of our hotel is called Paradise Beach and is supposedly the main party beach in Mykonos.  It was only a short walk over a hill to the beach so one afternoon we went to see what all the fuss was about.  The beach itself was bigger than our local beach (called Paranga) but probably even more crowded with sun lounges.  There were a few bars but everything was actually all pretty quite.  I had been expecting something like Haad Rin on Koh Phangan in Thailand which is like a huge outdoor club spread along the beach but this place was pretty tame.  I have been assured that everything gets a lot busier in July-August but it is hard to imagine.  It was great to relax on the beach though and go in for the occasional swim to cool down.

On the other side of our local beach around 15 minute walk away was Platis Gialos which was also one of the most popular destinations on the island for tourists.  We decided to spend one of our afternoons there for a change of scenery.  It was by far the biggest beach we saw and again covered in sun lounges.  If you just want to walk along the beach it is just not possible with all the lounges.  Not my idea of a beach!  There were plenty of restaurants to choose from and we had a fairly nice lunch at one of them.  Lunch was octopus in vinegar and oil and gyros as expected!  After our excursions we decided that we liked our beach the best as it was quiet and calm and so close to our hotel.

I went swimming almost every day (unfortunately we had one day of bad weather) which was great.  Our local beach had buoys not too far out from the shore which I could swim along and use as guides while swimming laps of the beach.  I’m sure my Uncle Charles would have loved the perfect swimming beach too!  The water was just so clear, the clearest I have been in by far.  The water was actually quite deceiving because often the bottom would look so close that you could stand but not until I would swim down would I realise how deep it really was.  Unfortunately there was not really any marine life to speak of so I didn’t bust out my snorkelling set but there were a few small fish around to look at while I swam my laps.

The island of Mykonos has quite narrow roads and the traffic is mainly made up of four and two wheeler motorbikes, small hire cars and huge old buses that barely fit on the road.  I was told I couldn’t hire a motorbike without an international driver’s licence which was a shame and I’m sure I could have got around the restriction but we were happy on our little part of the island anyway.  The island interior is rocky and dry and often run down looking with old house and garden refuse alongside poorly maintained houses.  The actually hotel and beach areas were all very well maintained though.

Mosquitoes were again a bit of a problem and we both scored a few more bites but insect repellent seemed to keep most of them away and our bed actually had a mosquito net around it too which was a nice comfort.  The staff of the hotel where always happy to help and one of them was a guy from Melbourne helping out his Uncle who owned the place.   For some reason he picked us as Canadians.  Maybe we have been spending too much time around the American and Canadian tourists!  For some reason I was spoken to in Spanish by several people while in Greece.  I blame it on my new tan and my striking looks.  More likely my mumbled English is so poor they must have thought I was speaking Spanish!

On our last night we decided to try a small restaurant not far from our hotel on Agia Anna beach called Nikolas Restaurant which we had passed by earlier on in the day.  Before we looked at the menus I was invited to look in the kitchen at some of the prepared food and the fish caught fresh that day.  There was a small Tuna we could have shared for around $40 and various other fish and squid.  The squid looked great so I ordered it grilled while Ly ordered some meat paddy things which were surprisingly soft and juicy.  I was surprise when my squid arrived because it was in fact the whole squid grilled on a plate.  I thought it tasted fantastic but there was so much of it.  Like always our meals came with potato chips which were very good and show why the Greeks in Australia are the kings of takeaway!  The Greeks really know how to cook good chips.  I still had room for dessert and being our last nigsht we decided to get baklava one last time which in this case came with ice cream.  I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before but the crunch of the pastry and nuts and the sweetness of the honey just goes so well with the cold milkiness of the ice-cream.  I would say that it was the best baklava I had tried in Greece and the perfect way to end what was our final and tasty meal on the island.

Again this is the sort of place you wish you could share with your friends and family so we thought of you all often.  Miss you!

Daniel + Ly

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Comments

Ivy Mai on

The water looked absolutely amazing and your descriptions made me crave greek food - hope you guys are enjoying that sun.

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