GREECE: Mykonos

Posted by on Jun 9, 2017 in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

It’s not exactly clear why I came to this island other than the fact that it is one of the most visited of the Greek islands. I don’t drink or party, and that is one of the major pastimes here on Mykonos. All the better since you can spend a fortune on overpriced drinks.

Also, loud and crowded venues hold little interest for me either so it is probably a wise move that I booked into a peaceful, luxurious hotel with an ocean view and a pool for six days. Tranquility in a beautiful setting is my trip these days.

It will, however, be a nice, posh chill out before my 20 night Russian Adventure where I will spend the entire visit in hostels. I’ll find plenty here to busy myself with, in between the naps, gastronomy, and lounging by the pool. OPA!

ILIO MARIS – FOUR STARS WITH A VIEW – Every so often I throw myself a bone, and since there isn’t much in the way of economical lodging on Mykonos, I managed something wonderful at a reasonable price. Also, there was no way I was going to put myself in a party hostel on this island. This is tranquility central except for the group of Brits celebrating their friend’s 50th. birthday. Blogging in the shade with this view is most relaxing.

MYKONOS TOWN

CUE THE CLOUD

CLEAR THE SET

AND CUT, PRINT…I can’t tell you how much vile invective I churned out in the process of getting this shot without all the selfie-shooting morons getting in the way.

MEGA YACHT MORNING

OLD PORT & FERRY TERMINAL

Tourists kept bugging this old man, taking pictures with him, and getting in the way of my shot. None of them had the decency to toss him a euro for the interruption. My cursing reasserted itself once more.

CHARM PERMEATES THE ISLAND – Although, I would surmise that it dissipates considerably when crowds of tourists descend upon the island in July & August so make sure and get here during May or the beginning of June to avoid the Mongol hordes.

As a rule it is best to avoid the waterfront restaurants due to the fact that the food usually takes a back seat to the view. If you must go seaside then check the rating and reviews on TripAdvisor. That will save you a costly disappointment.

Labyrinthine shopping can be found around every corner in Mykonos town.

A WONDERFUL AESTHETIC TOUCH

NOTHING BELOW 25,000 EURO IN THIS ROOM!

                                           TRIP TO DELOS

FERRY TERMINAL

DELOS – An island with a wealth of archaeological treasures is just 30 minutes from Mykonos.

RELIC WITH RUINS IN THE BACKGROUND

MOUNT KYNTHOS

ARCHAEOLOGICAL THEME PARK

As you can see these are more than just piles of rubble. Serious restorations are underway. Unfortunately, due to Greece’s financial woes, they are not going as quickly as they would like, but the French are helping out and maintain an ongoing presence on the island. There are a number of modern buildings dedicated to research, housing, and restoration.  Only one-tenth of the dig has been completed so many discoveries await.

AN ALTER OCCUPIES THE CENTER OF THIS SPACE

TEMPLE OF CLEOPATRA

Beautiful Wall Restoration

TEMPLE OF DIONYSUS – The House of Dionysus with its striking mosaic in the center of its court which depicts the god Dionysus with open wings riding a tiger which wears a necklace of vine and grapes.

Another Beautiful Wall Restoration

CISTERN SYSTEM FOR THE THEATRE

THEATRE

SEATING

HOUSE OF THE DOLPHINS

MOUNT CYNTHUS – KYNTHOS CAVE – That small mostly manmade cave-like structure is a small temple which is unfortunately inaccessible. It is roofed by monumental slabs of granite. It had a statue of Heracles in its center and an altar by its entrance. I would have loved to see it up close and personal. Those lucky archaeologists.

We thought we might get to the Temple of  Hercules via these stairs but just ended up with a 360-degree view of the surrounding islands.

Not a bad consolation.

TEMPLE OF HERA – Circa 500 BCE

TEMPLE OF ISIS – Poor Isis has gotten such a bad rap with the advent of these tongue chewing, babbling Islamist barbarians who have sullied her good name by peddling their own violent version of their bronze age mythology through kidnapping, rape, and murder.

Isis was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans and the downtrodden, but she also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers. This is quite a departure from those who would claim her name for their so-called Islamic State.

Nice Restoration – It would be worth a trip in the years to come to check in on further developments as they continue the extensive work on this enormous site.

ISIS

HOUSE OF HERMES – It is an affluent home of the 2nd century BC . It was built on four graduated levels.

WELL

If that boat leaves before I get there, I’m spending the night in the Temple of Hermes unless I can prevail upon an archaeologist for the use of a sofa.

ILIO MARIS SUNSET

ILIO MARIS NIGHTFALL – Now just click your heels together three times and climb a really steep hill.

ELYSIUM SUNSET CABARET – And you will find yourself at the highest elevation drag show on the island.

One of my former coworkers knows the owner and filled me in on the place. It’s str8 friendly and a lot of fun.

The show is free, but the drink prices are as steep as the hill leading up to the place.

Coke Zero = 10 euros  Red Bull = 12 euros  Alcohol = Cher Tickets

What a dress.

CAMPING OUT – These two guys are not actually part of the act but have a whole YouTube thing going on called Mommie and Me.

The two interlopers were clearly having the time of their lives.

I just had to set this shot up using the palm tree as a showgirl headdress.

                                 TINOS DAY TRIP

TINOS TOWN

SYMPOSIUM – Up those stairs and through those three doors is an amazing restaurant, and I’ll show you why.

Sole lightly battered, sautéed in clarified butter, and served with grilled vegetables and basmati rice. Look at that mushroom, will you. There is no way I can fully express how delicious that piece of fish was. It was cooked to perfection, but never in my life have I had sole with such a flavor. It literally melted in my mouth. It would have been worth the 45 minute ferry ride just to dine in this restaurant.

And I thought they rolled out the red carpet for me until I did a little more research.

PANAYIA EVANYELISTRIA CATHEDRAL – I just found out the reason for the strange outdoor carpet on the street going up the hill to the church. It seems that people crawl up the hill on their hands and knees on the two feast days every year. And here I thought the red carpet was a welcome mat instead of yet another tool for compelling forced humility and groveling before an imaginary being. At least it’s only compulsory two times a year. Those poor Muslims are on their hands and knees five times a day.

Looks like a baptismal urn of some sort. Dipping a child in some magic water accomplishes what exactly? You get to have a nice party afterward.

People were crossing themselves right and left. For Christ’s sake, why do they do that? Do they think Jesus would enjoy being reminded constantly of the torture device he was nailed to and left to bleed and suffer upon? It’s a reminder of the day of his murder for goodness sake. If Jesus were to return, why would he come back to people who would constantly remind him of man’s brutality toward him while wearing that symbol of his execution around their necks? Seriously, think about it. If you want Jesus to return, it’s time to ixnay on the ossingcray, and while you’re at it ditch the miniature execution devices you’re wearing around your necks. If you have to wear something, give the fish a try.

I just realized what this statue is all about. It is on the hill with the carpet runner leading up to the cathedral so it must be a representation of one of the faithful crawling up the hill beckoning to the savior for a little help. Okay, enough groveling already.

DENOU – One of the few really interesting shops in Tinos town center. Inexpensive handcrafted jewelry, accessories, and artworks adorn this small unassuming store.

Most of the stores on the main street leading to the cathedral are heavily laden with Jesus based paraphernalia. Icons, rosaries, images of the Virgin Mary, and the bleeding Jesus line the streets. Frankly if you’re not looking to stock up on Christian ornamentation then you’re pretty much out of luck because everything else is pretty much run of the mill jewelry, bric a brac, and other lame souvenirs.

Thankfully this little store presented itself as I took a stroll out of the main part of town. I wandered in and found an interesting ring for 12 euros, and was able to have the rubber strap changed on one of my other rings for a pittance. It turns out my strap was just about to break. It’s not particularly easy to find someone with the materials and wherewithal to do it. So between my lunch, good conversation, and the timely repair, my day was a complete success.

PAROS JET – Our sleek ride back to Mykonos.

FINAL SUNSET

14 Comments

  1. Sarah Drover
    June 9, 2017

    You have arrived in Mykonos already – I am very jealous! Are we missing anything ?? Or is it much like Santorini but even more expensive??
    We both grew up watching The Two Ronnies – the Fork Handles sketch is my all time fave as I am sure it is most peoples !. Loved and still love Faulty Towers and The Young Ones too and we will always howl with laughter if we see them on one of the re run channels today – the channel is called ‘Comedy Gold’ which is very apt!
    Have you ever come across or heard of Peter Kay? He is a comedian from the North of England (Bolton) and very funny – I recommend looking him up on You Tube and another guy we ‘cry laughing’ at is Mickey Flanagan who is a Londoner. Let us know what you think when you have seen then. ?
    Corey was straight back into work when we got home but I am lucky enough to still be on a break until the end of next week as we are looking after our neighbours little dog – so I had a great few hours snuggled up with her on the sofa yesterday reading your earlier travel reports. My paternal heritage is Polish, both my grandparents left Poland during the Second World War – my grand father was in the Polish Air Force. Thankfully they made it to the UK after lots of challenges and married here – my Dad and his siblings coming along in the late 1940’s. I have – I am almost ashamed to say – never been to visit Poland (yet) and so found your thoughts and photos on Warsaw, Krakow and of course Auschwitz very interesting, poignant and emotional. So, Thank you for that.
    I chuckled at your Cuba reports – Opera in the Jazz club !? A rendition of My Way!? And the Cruise – Abba tribute band caption and picture made us both laugh.
    We have now decided if I suggest a new holiday destination we are going to look it up on your blog to see if it gets the ‘JH thumbs up’ first and if not give it a miss!
    I am looking forward to some Mykonos pics. Enjoy the posh hotel!

  2. The Travel Zealot
    June 9, 2017

    Yeah Sarah,
    I think you guys would really enjoy Krakow during the Dragon Festival. It’s cheap as dirt, and Vodka is less than Coca-Cola. My hostel provided breakfast, dinner and vodka. By the way do you have a selfie from the Volcano Cruise because I would like to add it to the blog? It let’s people know I’m not a complete and utter lone nomad. Just send it as an attachment to my email address. Cheers.

    I’m glad you two are enjoying the blog. I think it’s perhaps due to our similar tendencies toward a sly, acerbic wit.

  3. Jason
    June 11, 2017

    Hey John, What did you purchase at the art gallery?

  4. Sarah Drover
    June 11, 2017

    Thanks for suggestion about the Dragon Festival and Poland. I will look into that!
    I will ask Corey to email you a photo from the Volcano Cruise no problem.
    Mykonos looks lovely !
    When do you leave for Russia?

  5. The Travel Zealot
    June 11, 2017

    I leave for St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

  6. The Travel Zealot
    June 11, 2017

    Jason, I picked up a ring at the art gallery. Matte black oxidized silver in the form of an androgynous figure doing a back flip around my pinky. It’s very cool and can be worn in a number of different positions. I bought another ring for 12 euros today that is just amazing. It’s a white sphere with an abstract design in black and held on the finger with a black rubber strap. It can spin on it’s axis so the design can be changed. I guess it symbolizes my love of Modern Art, and my endless visits to museums and galleries as I travel the world. I may buy one of those awesome fish sculptures one day. Not that I really need any more art.

  7. BigD
    June 11, 2017

    Notwithstanding Mikonos and Santorini are inherently photogenic places you managed to get some really transcendent snapshots. The woman with the blue shirt in Santorini and the old man sitting in front of the church add an element of the narrative. There’s something of an emergent visual melody in pictures like that and as an audience member I think your efforts to get the timing right and limiting distractions are worthwhile.

  8. Yanni Babelis
    June 12, 2017

    Great job capturing the essence of the Ancient Greeks and scenery of the Island!

  9. The Travel Zealot
    June 13, 2017

    Thanks Yanni,
    That’s a great compliment coming from you. I look forward to revisiting Delos, and seeing the things I missed and any new treasures they may have unearthed.

  10. The Travel Zealot
    June 13, 2017

    Yes D, It can take a lot of patience and a copious quantity of invective to capture some of those images. It’s what separates some of the photos from everyday snapshots, I find that a little muttered foul language helps to capture quality, and gain victory over the legions of selfie stick wielding tourists. One of the reasons I get some good stuff is that I have a compact, semi-pro camera that I have with me at all times. That would not be the case with a bulky SLR. As many a photographer has been heard to utter, the best camera is the one you have with you.

    Thanks for the insightful comments and awareness of my artistic process. Having had to put up with my filthy language, I’m pleased you are now able to enjoy some of its positive fruits that have come to bear. 😉

  11. Sarah Drover
    June 13, 2017

    Your travels around Mykonos and the surrounding islands look wonderful John. Everything from ancient archeological sites to drag cabaret ! On that note I was rather alarmed to see Corey had popped over there to take part as a backing dancer – muscular bald guy on the left of the singer!! ?

    Enjoy you last few days relaxing, the hotel does indeed look lovely for the price & one for us to note for future reference. That is if I can persuade Mr D to tackle the Greek plumbing again.

    We will look forward to and will keep up to date with your next chapter and Russia!

  12. The Travel Zealot
    June 14, 2017

    Mrs. D, God help you if you go to the Drag Cabaret, they might want to kidnap Corey so they have a matched set, and definitely have him skip the spandex, wear a hat and a loose shirt.

  13. Karen Devers
    June 18, 2017

    I loved sharing the sunset with you. The photo is a nice reminder. The only thing better would be enjoying while in the lovely pool. Maybe some day! Here’s hoping.

  14. The Travel Zealot
    June 18, 2017

    Karen,
    You definitely need to get to Greece, but I would recommend Santorini over Mykonos. Also the smaller more unspoiled islands are on my itinerary in the future. Less tourists, mopeds and four wheel jobs whizzing around belching fumes.

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