Mykonos. I’d heard such mixed reviews. In my mind before we went, all I could really think about was the fact it was called the party island, and also the gay/lesbian friendly island. That sounded interesting! We weren’t going to be a part of those worlds, obviously, but it really meant I didn’t know what to expect in terms of the island itself. No one really had seemed to say anything about Mykonos besides that.
We took the ferry from Santorini. The taxi to the old port cost about €10 and we ended up sharing it with another couple. I guess the cost is the same whether you are one couple or two, so that was a bit of an experience. The Korean couple were as perplexed as we were, but it all worked out and the distance of the taxi made the €10 and uncomfortable ride more than worth it.
The ferry company was called ‘Hellenic’. It was kind of cool to see as we stepped on the ferry that it was made in Perth, Australia; by one of my old tax clients! Who would have thought. The ferry ride took about 2 ½ hours and cost around €55 each – so about the same as flying. It was fine, nothing really to write home about, and we got to see a couple of other Greek islands along the way. Seats appeared to be allocated randomly – Nick and I weren’t seated together. It was ok though, he met a lovely older American lady who was revisiting where her husband and her honeymooned 50 years prior, after he passed away recently. What a darling woman.
As we pulled up to Mykonos, I guess I wasn’t really that impressed. It looked dry and uninteresting. There was a horde of people waiting at the port – our hotel pick up turned out to be one of those people. Hotels were waiting with signs trying to get people to stay with them – that was a first in all of our travels! We eventually found out hotel amongst the chaos and headed off to our hotel.
Poseidon Hotel was one of my favourite hotels to date. It was modern, had great facilities, an excellent breakfast buffet, wonderful location and to top it off I had got an excellent deal on an accommodation website. Let’s just say, this place was more than half price and was an absolute steal. I would stay there again at full rack rate without any hesitation (and the aircon and comfy bed ended up being a godsend when I was in the hotel sick for almost an entire day).
As luck would have it, my friend Danielle was also visiting Mykonos and we were able to see her once I dragged myself out of bed for dinner. We hadn’t actually planned to meet that night. She didn’t have any phone credit left, and I was still feeling sick, so we didn’t make any definite plans. As it turned out, fate decided it for us – as we were wandering down the many beautiful alleyways and lanes of Mykonos, I heard my name. Low and behold it was Danielle & co! She was still there with her sister, and also another group of their friends. Nick was the odd one out again – this time 5 kiwis and only one American!
While I was sick, Nick had gone out and organized a scooter for us. I had requested a quadbike, but Nick being Nick wanted a little more speed. He had gone out exploring on his own and we were able to hear from Danielle what direction was the best to take on the scooter.
The next morning I woke up still sick. I couldn’t believe it! We are in Greek paradise and I had a cold! I pulled myself out of bed after awhile and we eventually made it out for some exploration. The island truly was beautiful. The port did not do it justice at all. Not only were the alleyways of white and blue houses more vibrant than Santorini, but the beaches were stunning, the weather was incredible and it wasn’t as populated. That being said, we did stop in at some of the tourist known beaches and yes, they were packed full of umbrella stands. Those umbrella stands cost around €20 to secure your place. There were so many secluded beaches though that it wouldn’t have made sense to even waste a minute at those places.
That night we were able to meet up with Danielle one last time. It’s still kind of unbelievable that we didn’t even know we were going to be in Greece at the same time, and somehow managed to see each other three times! We had a nice dinner at a music bar and ended up at a random bar. Danielle did try to take us into a gay bar at one stage, which she got a bit of a fright at. It was hilarious. The place we ended up at ended up being the most expensive place possibly in the entire country. I paid €16 for a single cocktail! It was a delicious passionfruit daiquiri and it came with a slice of fresh passionfruit, which was impressive.
Eventually it whittled down to the four of us wandering the alleyways after nightfall and some ice cream; trying to find Patrick the elusive magnet that he had regretted not buying. Eventually we found it and it was time to say goodbye. I’m not too ashamed to admit it, but after Danielle walked away, I ended up having a good old cry in the alleyway. Nick hugged me and said, ‘you want to go back to New Zealand with them, don’t you?’ That was part of it, and the homesickness did last for a couple of weeks even after we got back.
Danielle and I had shared many great memories at college and I miss that level of deep friendship. I can’t wait to move back to New Zealand (only eight years to go! haha) and enjoy that feeling of belonging and having your feet firmly planted in one place again. Until then, I have to remember all the things I’m thankful for, I couldn’t be happier to be given the opportunity to explore Europe and eventually explore the USA again.
The next morning, to cheer me up Nick got me out of bed and we zoomed off on the scooter to a beach that we were directed too by the kiwis. It ended up being absolutely awesome. It was secluded – there were only about six people in our vicinity at any one time, and we were able to swim and be relatively on our own for the day. It felt like we were at our own resort cove. If we ever go back to Mykonos, that beach will be our regular stop.
On the way back to the township, we had some scooter issues. We were heading up a particularly steep hill that we had had a good run up to. On the way up the scooter started putting away. ‘Putt putt, putt putt.’ Nick looked down at the gas tank and to our shock and horror, apparently it was out of gas! We sat there for a minute on the side of the road, while quads we had passed rushed past us and wondered what on earth we were going to do. Eventually w
e decided just to give it a go again. As soon as we were at the top of the hill, we were able to sail back down the other side of the hill and the wee scooter miraculously recovered. Magic! We stopped in at the petrol station just incase, and the lady said we were completely full.
Later that night, we returned our trusty scooter and had some delicious gyros for dinner. We wandered the beautiful alleyways, dodged the people scurrying back to their cruise boats, and enjoyed the peacefulness of the village from behind our hotel by the water. Mykonos couldn’t have made us any happier – it is a must visit. As for the partying, we didn’t really notice it – perhaps due to the time of year or perhaps due to where we were on the island.
Our hotel dropped us off bright and early to Mykonos airport and we caught our plane to Thessaloniki. It was with Aegean Air again and cost around €40. I am not going to blog about Thessaloniki, mainly because our hotel was a disaster and we vowed we would never go back there again. That was, until, I discovered we were only 1 ½ hours from another resort area and yet had no idea while we sat there miserable for the day before we caught our Ryan Air flight back to Frankfurt Hahn.
Furthermore, I always made fun of people for incurring Ryan Air fees. I always thought to myself, who would be stupid enough to not print boarding tickets? Who wouldn’t prepay for baggage? Who would do that? Well. I ended up being one of them. We drip paid for the trip over a period of four or five months, and after booking the flights I gradually paid the baggage fees separately for each of the six or so flights that we did. Except for that one. I forgot. We ended up with a lovely €140 bill at the airport that we weren’t expecting. Needless to say, I’ll never live that one down! Karma!
Also, I feel Nick’s facial hair deserves a wee mention in this blog. On our last day in Mykonos he removed what he had been growing in a couple of stages. He’ll love that I’m sharing these:
Until next time, safe travels!