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Mykonos Town

August 11, 2007

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Pretty girls in full make up, very high heels and micro mini skirts look odd at 7:30 A.M. in the bright sunlight, next to still drunk boys also getting home after partying all night and fisherman and shopkeepers preparing for the day ahead. Mozart laughed at the sight and it was a little surreal as we joined a few in the streets and had breakfast next to the sea with others. One had a tiny leather cat purse just like the one Mozart got in Crete and loves to carry around.

We talked the owners into giving us a ride down to Mykonos Town early before the cruise boats unloaded and those already here woke up. He could only do it at seven, so we got there  even earlier than planned. It is really the only way to see the architecture before the crowds descend. The cruise ship in town was gargantuan and looked more like a skyscraper or city than a boat, so those thousands of daytrippers, added to the crowd already here did not bode well. Our plan was to see things early while it was cool and empty and then head for the hills to a glamorous beach at a distance via a bus to beat the onslaught.

Mykonos Town is the epitome of polished Greek island perfection, the archetype of a blue and white Cycladic village with narrow labyrinth streets. My sister Julie has a passion for blue and white, and put in a strong request for any and all pictures of beautiful blue and white scenes. Many Greek Islands are not white and  blue. I knew if I did not get there early, I would not get any good pictures. My early bird plan worked as I got so many photographic studies in blue and white that even my sis won’t be able to keep up with  them all!

We enjoyed our expensive breakfast (left too early for the free buffet at our expensive hotel) and had some of the best fresh squeezed orange juice I ever tasted. Mozart was tempted by the fresh squeezed lemon juice as she misses traditional lemonade as they call Sprite and such,“lemonade” in Europe. Well it was fresh squeezed alright, but so strong that even with tons of sugar packets added, it was still undrinkable due to how sour it was. So she traded it in and joined us with the OJ!

We soon met the famous Pelican named Petros who is the lucky mascot of the town and allows you to come very close to him which was fun for Mozart. We saw him again in the water when we wandered leisurely around the docks. We saw the famous windmills and the most delightful streets, following a
map and friends advice on “must sees”.

We walked around the Little Venice section and worked our way over to the famous Panagia Paraportiani, where tiny Mozart stands dwarfed by it in the lead picture. There are many churches in Mykonos like Santorini, but this is the most famous one on the island and a photographers dream as the interplay of light and shade makes this simple cobbled together church, a thing of great beauty.

After seeing the key things, we found Mykonos similar to Venice in the high season, its best to just “get lost” early and watch it come to life. I was surprised how similar it was to our beautiful white village in Spain that also is full of white wash, blue accents and overflowing bougainvillea and flowers. There were some hands of Fatima on the doors that looked exactly like they do at home in Spain.

Mozart got some ice cream at a darling little store, while I found a sweet nook covered in grapes hidden next to it. DaVinci gave Mozart a playful piggy back ride and of course had to check out all the gold and jewelry stores. We saw little old ladies in black and an old Orthodox priest sitting at one store.

We probably stayed just a little too long as it was almost like a title wave when the 3000 people from the Princess cruise ship arrived in town and one could feel the crowd push in. We got out as quickly as we could as it was suddenly mayhem and difficult to get taxi or bus.

Thankfully, a sweet Australian man who lives there half the year, gave us a lift in his van and dropped us off at the distant bus stop that would take us to the special, nearby beach we had picked out for lunch, away from the maddening crowd. We were surprised at how quickly the town shifted from peaceful and empty to chaotic and over flowing with horns honking and everything backed up in lines. He said it is always crazy like this from late July thru August.

What a relief to escape! Mozart headed to the back of the crowded bus and was very happy to sit next to some American kids that she started a little conversation with. They were on the Princess ship and the kids all compared notes about their recent experiences and how small beds are on boats. They got off at Ornos and we stayed on until Agios Yiannis.

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