Cruising the Aegean – Day 7: Mykonos

Mykonos is the one stop on the tour that has little historical draw. I’m sure lots of interesting stuff happened here, but there are no notable ruins, no battle sites and nothing really to compare to Knossos or Ephesus. This is just a nice island that makes its living by looking pretty for the tourists.

Wikipedia: Tourism is a major industry and Mykonos is well known for its vibrant nightlife and for being a gay-friendly destination with many establishments catering for the LGBT community.

We didn’t dock, but anchored in the harbor and used the tenders hanging outside our balcony to ferry folks ashore. IMG_4704It was fun watching them lower the tenders/lifeboats to shuttle us to the island.

IMG_4703 They claim that each can hold about 200 people in an emergency.

IMG_4717 That would be a squeeze, but I can see it.

IMG_3052The tender dropped us on the town dock where we met our tour guide.

IMG_3054 Her name was Marie and she was tasked with turning 30 minutes worth of island into an interesting three hour tour they can charge for. She succeeded.

IMG_4729Marie led us through the narrow streets of the town. This is a prosperous island with cruise ships stopping by daily and luxurious homes dotting the cliffsides. Marie named several obscure European movies and equally obscure stars that had filmed here.

IMG_3058 These two were evidently ordered to go clean fish out on the rocks as picturesquely as possible with the tall ship as a background. Must have been 1,000 photos taken before they were done.

IMG_3061Local entrepreneur skillfully guilting me into giving him a Euro for this picture.

IMG_4731 Very colorful place, designed to appear in tourist photographs. Most everything seemed well maintained and freshly painted.

IMG_4733 Two ships in the harbor, so lots of tourists in this small town.

IMG_3067 Very Greek looking scarfs.

IMG_3069The locals call this “Little Venice”. One thing I love about Europe in general is that you can always get your hand on a beer or a glass of wine without too much difficulty, should the need suddenly arise.

IMG_3070 The old windmills lined up behind Zorba’s. Now purely decorative, they once had canvas sails between the arms. In the foreground can be seen the tourists from the second wave of tenders photographing the guys on the rock cleaning fish.

IMG_3071Reminds me a bit of Sweethaven from Robin Williams’ Popeye movie.

IMG_3079How Greek is this?

IMG_4759The Mykonos cat lady. On most every stop we have made on this cruise, you just had to notice an abundance of cats scattered around. Knossos, Ephesus, even Istanbul had an impressive number of cats, just lying about. I guess that makes this lady a critical cog in the tourist machine.

IMG_4762 A photo op paradise.

IMG_3087IMG_4769What must it be like to live here? I would guess very pleasant for the right kind of person. There are luxury villas and expensive resorts scattered about.

IMG_3091 IMG_3092 After all the ruins we’ve seen, Mykonos seems almost Disney-esque, with its freshly painted white walls and bright colors.

IMG_3093 IMG_4775The town hall.

IMG_3095 The beach. No attractive, trendy young Eurotrash to be seen, though.

IMG_3105 A church that we followed Marie to. She told us that there were more than 200 small churches on the island since it was a tradition to dedicate a small shrine-like church to bless a new fishing boat or someone opening a new business.

IMG_3113 IMG_3118An American girl at the beach. The water at the places we have stopped in the Aegean is just incredibly clear. We keep remarking on how you can see the bottom in eight feet of water.

IMG_3120 We followed Marie up to the monastery, which was billed as the high point of the tour.

IMG_4793 A beautiful little church…

IMG_4794 …with a lovely courtyard. A monk was sitting on the bench while the tourists wandered through.

IMG_3126 Beautiful flowers everywhere.

IMG_4795 Inside the Greek Orthodox church, the altar was covered in gold leaf with icons mounted on every available space.

IMG_4797 This contained a relic of some saint I did not know.

IMG_3135 This is where you can light a candle to petition heaven. One Euro.

IMG_3137The front of the monastery.

IMG_3140 Another shot of the windmills as we made our way back to town.

IMG_4802 Now there are three ships. Royal Princess is the big one on the left.

IMG_4805 Mykonos selfie.

IMG_3147 IMG_3151 IMG_4814As I said, beer is always available should the need arise. A couple of brewskies before we head back to the boat. Mykonos was very nice. A beautiful low-key gem in the Aegean. No “can’t miss” tourist sites, but an incredibly relaxing place to visit.

Tomorrow, Saturday the 11th, the cruise part of our vacation ends, as we are scheduled to disembark in Piraeus and take a cab to the Acropolis Select Hotel in Athens for a three night stay.

We now have to pack and figure out how to get off the boat. Exciting! Especially since I have somehow misplaced the hotel voucher.

Adventure awaits.

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