Friday, August 07, 2009
JUNE 8 & 9, 2009 MYKONOS
The word "merry" being another word for "gay" seems appropriate for this fun-filled island which happens to be the gay capital of the Mediterranean, a title it's held for quite a few years. I've found though, that if you visit there before the height of the summer season you'll not be shocked or bothered by the antic of the groups of partying gays who descend on Mykonos each year. Believe me, I've heard the stories, straight from the mouths of friends who have worked there in tourism. But the town folk put up with it, because it's money. However, each time I've been to Mykonos, (this was the fourth time) I've always gone there before mid June and there has never been anything 'shocking
or lewd happening there. In fact, in spite of it's crowded narrow streets and the fact that next to Santorini it's the most expensive Greek island and the most touristic, it's quite a pleasant little island. Definitely the 'post card Greece', so unlike the little mountain villages I so love.
Mykonos is one of the Cycladic islands. The town of Mykonos, the island's main port, is build with a whorl of narrow streets. It's tricky to find your way around the warren of allyways but you'll never get really 'lost'. The town is not very big. The population is around 7,000 but when the cruise ships hit town and the ferries unload their hordes of tourists, you'd think the little island might sink.
The last two times I've been to Mykonos I chose a small hotel just on the outskirts, only about a 15 minute walk into town, with beach access. (Mykonos Beach: see top picture) I recommend this comfortable little hotel with it's lovely view and pleasant ambience. Just down the road is a wonderful beach taverna "Joanna's Nikos Place". Joanna, the proprietor is a British woman who has lived on the island for many years. If you eat or buy a drink at her taverna you can use the beach chairs. The beach there is small but sandy and reasonably uncrowded.
Of course there's a lot to do in this tiny town, especially if you like shopping like my sister and neice do. I love browsing the trendy shops too, and bought myself some gorgeous jewelry with money my Athens friends had given me for my birthday.
We wandered all around taking photos. Every corner you take is a photo op. There's the famous windmills and the sugar-cube houses, and the many churches with their red or blue domes, especially the famous and much photographed Panagia Paraportiani, which is actully 3 churches in one and looks like it's covered with white icing.
There's lots of good restaurants and taverns and yes, gay bars too. One favorite place to go is Little Venice which is right on the water (see photo above). It may be one of the most romantic spots in Mykonos. Especially if you go at sunset. Although not as spectacular as the Santorini sunsets, the ones you see on Mykonos run a close second. People cluster around the shoreline waiting for the right photo moment. The night we were there, a cruise ship was anchored off-shore.
We stayed on Mykonos for two days, then caught the ferry on to Naxos.