03 Jul

Mykonos – Paraportiani Church

The subway was not so full in the morning and brought us in 25 minute to Piraeus and after getting a frappe, the famous coffee specialty, and some snacks for a quick bite we bought tickets, E29.5/adult, kids half, and boarded the boat that will bring us in 5.5 hours to Mykonos. We are on the boat to Mykonos. Two Blue Star ferries are leaving in the morning, one to Mykonos and one to Santorini. Besides them is a full plethora of fast boats, the Flyingcats, operated by Hellenic Seaways, very slick, but you are completely isolated and sealed inside like in a plane, and obviously far away from a Greek island experience. The boat was packed and we hardly found a seat in the 3 deck boat that was full of vacationers who were talking on the phone continuously; in Greece you don’t loose reception on the mobile phone like you do on LIRR….The boat is full of young people that go to party in Mykonos, mainly Europeans or local Greeks, for whom the Greek islands are similar vacation destinations like the Caribbeans are for Americans. Well, they have the cultural value that is missing in the Atlantic. The young boys and girls are dressed in beach attire and they lay down in chairs to absorb as much sun as they can. Cameras flash, a drink here and there, a Greek coffee with lots of sun surrounded by the blue of the Aegean Sea. The ship stopped in Syros and then in Tinos, the most important place of pilgrimage in the Aegean Sea. Many of the youngsters that were looking that geared for the wild parties of Mykonos, disembarked in Tinos pointing that the appearances are always deceiving. Tinos is close to Mykonos and is on the route of the grand ferries, so it can be easily visited.

At 1 pm we arrived in Mykonos where the locals congregated in the harbor to offer accommodation, domatia, at relatively reasonable prices, of E100/night/apartment. I am sure that it can be negotiated down from that. Greece is more expensive now than 8 years ago but is still much cheaper than any other country in Western Europe. It turned out that the only way to get to our hotel was to grab a taxi, a highly prized mode of transportation in the island. There are a total of 31 taxi in the whole island so after we waited for about 30 minutes we asked a guy with a pickup truck to bring us to the hotel, who for a three times higher fare drove us on the 7 minutes winding road up the hill to Thomas Hotel, that we had booked on The hotel is isolated, all the way on top of a hill, but superbly positioned. We dropped the luggage and left on foot to the city, on a combination of roads and paths that bring you right in the harbor in about 20 minutes. The first thing to do in the city is to get info about the boats. In the middle of the harbor that is the heart of Mykonos town. We stopped at Paraportiani Church, the famous church of the island, and walked to the emblematic windmills. We stopped for a first bath in the Aegean, on a beach located in the back of the windmills. On the way we got to sample the town with its multitude of shops of all sorts of kind walking all the way till the end of the town, close also to the windmills from where we hopped in a bus to Paradise Beach, the place of the wild beach parties in the island. The parties were on at Cavo Paradiso, with music and dance all day and the dance floor/tables being full with girls dancing on posts. We shot lots of footage at the parties and after another quick dive into the sea we had dinner in a restaurant on the beach. We took reluctantly the bus back into town where we got a long walk in a town flooded in light that you don’t need a flash to take pictures. All stores were open and the ice creams stores were doing remarkable business. The taxi stand is right in the middle of the city, in its main square, but we did not find out this till the next day, so all our desperate efforts to stop a cab being useless. The car access in town is limited, being guarded by a barrier. We kept trying to stop taxis at the barrier with no luck, till the guard at the barrier offered to give us a lift after 10 minutes when his shift was over. Nice guy, and one of the first incidents of nice encounters with the locals. I was wondering if in France anybody might have given you a lift at 11:00pm. He kept his word and we arrived safely in no time in our beds.

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Posted by on July 3, 2008 in Blog, Greece


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