Leaving a beautiful place where you have made memories is hard but unavoidable. You always dream of returning and reliving the experience you had first time around. This feeling is somewhat lessened if you are leaving to go to another awesome place. The fact that your travel is still not over renews your enthusiasm.
Mykonos, named after Mykons, the first ruler and the son or grandson of Apollo means “a mass of stones”. According to mythology, Hercules killed the Giants and threw them in the sea where they petrified and turned into huge rocks, forming the island of Mykonos.
There are two ways to reach Mykonos, we chose the ferry. Two reasons. One, we were in no hurry. Two, I wanted to take in the sea. We boarded a Seajets ferry from Athinios port in Santorini. The ride was wee bit bumpy but we sailed right through it!
The ship docked at the old port. The walked the short ramp and found a person waiting for us as requested who took us straight to the Hermes Hotel, a small family run boutique hotel. It is located on top of the hillside overlooking Mykonos town (even though the hotel website mentions it is in the chora, it is not!).
We didn’t realize how breathtaking the view would be until we checked in to our “Sea View” room. It was superbly amazing! We could see all of chora, the sea, the big cruise ships docked out there and the winding road below that young tourists would ride their bikes on to get to everywhere else on the island.
Of course the room was smaller than Ikies in Santorini, but the view was amazing. The soft summer breeze blew through the windows pushing the drapes away. You would simply sit there in balcony on the chair, put your feet up and spend the day reading a good book!
As was expected, the hotel and the rooms were all white. There were some artworks on the wall but nothing great. The TV showed only a handful of channels but we weren’t here for the TV were we now 😉 Breakfast spread was simple and was available in the basement which actually wasn’t a basement cos the hotel was built on a slope. The outside seating again had very nice views but we preferred to sit inside as both of us are non-smokers and get highly irritated by second hand smoke.
The very first thing I did after checking in was to ask for a map. The lady at the reception was kind enough to mark us a set of spots we could cover during our stay here. I had hoped to hire a bike in Santorini but was disappointed because I didn’t have an international driver’s license. So when I enquired if I could get one on my Indian license and the lady said yes, I jumped in joy. She then proceeded to mark a couple of more spots that we could visit if we had the bike.
After lazing around a bit in the room, we headed to the windmills to catch the sunset. I’m not a big sucker for sunsets but they are romantic and we were on our honeymoon. Here too we faced the same thing we faced at Santorini, the place was crowded. May had just begun and I cannot imagine how August would be like.
We found a nice spot and I sat wifey down. And though I did not have all the camera gear I normally take, I wanted a good picture. I tried a few places and frames but finally gave up and went back to my love.
In my to-do list was a restaurant called Caprice. It has beautiful views and outdoor seating facing the sea. The waves would lap at your feet on days when the sea swelled up. We went around looking for the place. We a map in hand we wandered the narrows streets of the Chora in search of it. After passing by it a few times, a local guided us to an empty place being worked on. My heart sank. I had dreamt of seating outside, looking at the sea, sipping on a beer. The place was being renovated for the tourist season which would start after May 5, a day after we were scheduled to leave Mykonos.
With all the crowds roaming the streets I thought tourist season had started. We later realised most of the establishments opened up after 5th May. To make things worse we were greeted by empty clubs on Paradise and Super Paradise beach. We went again in the afternoon and in the night but returned disappointed.
Clubbing apart we still had the bike. We rode off to the places marked by the lady at the hotel. First stop was the Armenistis Lighthouse at Faros. This lighthouse sits ate the northern edge of the island overlooking Tinos. You’ll also see all the boats arriving and leaving Mykonos. It dilapidated and crumbling but you can still climb up to the very top. This area is pretty isolated even in daytime the lighthouse was very spooky.
Leaving the lighthouse we went through Agios Stefanos and the new port enroute to Ano Mera. We had stopped at a roadside restaurant to have a bite when wifey pointed to my arm. It was toasted, red and burnt. The temperature was way cooler than back home but the sun was harsh. It was a surprise and I cursed myself for not wearing enough sunscreen. Halfway to Ano Mera we decided to turn back and take the rest of the day off. And I’m glad we did that cos the sunset we witnessed from our room that evening was the best sunset of the trip.
It was 1st May. We had kept a full day free for Delos. Walking down the road to Chora and onwards to the old port we found out there were no ships sailing for Delos. It was Labour Day. How could I have missed this when I was planning the trip!
Disappointed, we head back to our hotel. But stop on the way to have a gelato. On notice a group of women selling beautiful flower garlands besides the fish market. We picked up a beautiful garland with blue flowers; Skeptical on buying it we needed assurance if it will stay till the end of our trip and onwards to India and she said, “Keep it away from sunlight”; That’s all we needed to hear. We headed back to the hotel and took the day off.
Mykonos made us lazy. Don’t know why. Maybe such is its vibe. Maybe we came in at the wrong time of the year. But we enjoyed it. Especially the sunset from our room, Little Venice and Matoyianni Street and definitely the bike ride (felt like Goa all over again 🙂 ).