Trip Start May 27, 2011
10Trip End Jun 19, 2011
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Where I stayed
New Aeolos Hotel Mykonos
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Today we weren't using Staff Travel to fly to Mykonos (Thank God!) as we'd purchased a full fare with Aegean Airlines. This also meant we didn't have to wake up at some milkman-delivery hour either so this morning we were able to sleep in and enjoy more of Istanbul before flying out.
After breakfast,Ted was feeling remorseful about a copy-Lacoste pullover he had seen for about 10 lira that he didn't purchase so he headed off back to the city to try and locate it. I decided to instead enjoy the view from the top deck of our hostel of the nearby surrounds while drinking Turkish tea and eating cake, which was much less stressful than the rat race downstairs.
As we had to check out at 10.30am, we went to get some early lunch in the area before our airport transfer arrived
Our cheap airport shuttle was certainly that, as the driver managed to squeeze 15 tourists, plus baggage, into a mini-bus for the half an hour journey to Atatürk International Airport. After checking in with Aegean, we had a few lira left so we squandered it all on two milkshakes at Burger King. I was surprised to see Gloria Jean's Coffee in the airport - I thought those things didn't exist outside of the Sutherland Shire!
When we arrived at our boarding gate, there was a sense of confusion amongst the staff as a Gulf Air aeroplane had broken down on the parking bay, so we were relocated to another gate to try again. Surprisingly, the gate staff had us all boarded with the main entry door closed on time. The Aegean aeroplanes are very new and look much cleaner than most carriers. Since the flight was only an hour, we only expected to receive a cuplet of water and were surprised when we received a hot meal and drink
When we arrived in Athens, an Aegean staff member came and collected the passengers who were connecting to Mykonos to help us with our next flight. Athens airport was a surprise - last time I was here, we had to go through Ellinikon International Airport which was like an oversized tin shed. It's amazing what an Olympic Games can do.
Our next flight to Mykonos was only 20 minutes long and the cabin crew still did a drink service. When we arrived, the airport looked just like I'd expected - small. It made Wagga Wagga look like London Heathrow. Our bags were then placed (thrown) on the baggage belt by some overzealous baggage handlers before we met our transfer driver (who ended up owning the hotel).
We love where we are staying but I have to admit to being a bit naive - I expected it to be like a large, Phuket-style resort but it is more like a smaller, family-run hotel, which is friendly and reasonably priced too. Since Sean and Mike don't have phone roaming, they sent us a Facebook message suggesting we meet them in a piano bar in Mykonos town, so we showered, dressed and walked to town (about 15 minutes away)
Our hotel manager gave us some walking directions to town which were easy to follow. Once you got to town though, it was a totally different story. We wandered around aimlessly for about an hour in the tiny streets, asking directions and trying to use a map, further complicated by the lack of street signs. Somehow we arrived at the piano bar and met up with Sean and Mike who had arrived in Mykonos a few days back. Unfortunately you couldn't just enjoy the bar's atmosphere as you were asked to leave if you weren't drinking. Even though Ted made a vow to never drink again after Malta, the Grecian air has given him amnesia as he ordered a margarita.
We decided to go out for a local dinner at a pasta restaurant which turned out to be much pricier than expected. At least the view was nice. Afterward, we went to a local venue called Jackie O to have a few drinks and meet the locals. That was easier said than done as the beers are again hellishly expensive. In a way, Mykonos has been somewhat disappointing - I always had an impression of the Greek Islands as being a great, cheap holiday but obviously things have changed. We don't have any crazy schedule planned for this destination so it was a good idea coming here later in the holiday.
Ted has been keen on hiring a motorbike since getting here as we've heard it is the best way to see the island, so we did that today. After breakfast, we headed down to a local bike shop and decided a quad bike would be the best option. Not for any other reason except the fact that I'm terrified of all bikes ever since I fell off my mother's exercise bike when I was 6.
We were both a bit clueless about where to go, so we followed the road for a while before finding Elia beach where Sean and Mike had planned to be. Since we had no idea what time they would be there we decided to search amongst the sun-bathers for them. Easier said than done, especially since it was a nude beach. How on earth are you supposed to convince anyone there that you're just looking for a friend?
After about 10 minutes of searching amongst the knobs and knockers, we decided to move on our way, since we'd already seen enough wiggly bits for one day (and because our friends obviously weren't there). After taking some photos of the scenery (NOT the sun-bathers, believe me), we jumped back on the bike and ended up running into Sean and Mike who were just arriving
Ted and I then went to Kalafatis, which was another one of those perfect-looking Greek beaches. Whilst they aren't the same as our Aussie beaches as far as surf, the water is crystal-blue. After buying food for tonight, we thought Mykonos town would be a great location for lunch which, of course it was. We settled on a lamb souvlaki and fried calamari which was among the best we've ever had, whilst enjoying the Mediterranean lifestyle.
After returning to the hotel, we got ready for the evening and waited for our taxi to Sean and Mike's hotel. Unfortunately it didn't turn up so we ended up walking back into town to catch another. One thing about Mykonos, it is scary being a pedestrian here! Whether it's a taxi, moped or low-flying seagull, you constantly have to check your surroundings.
The hotel Sean and Mike are in has the most spectacular view over the city, so you could just sit there and enjoy it all day and night. Whether it was departing cruise ships, city lights or the stars you could see it all perfectly. Unfortunately for me, I should have spent more time watching my drink intake and less on the view because the rest of the night is a blur
It was a total waste of a day for me today as I battled a day-long hangover from too much wine, and a vow to never drink again. Ted, on the other hand, was feeling on top of the world, so he took the quad bike to Super Paradise beach, the most famous beach here. He said he wasn't actually that keen as it ended up being somewhat pretentious.
After nursing me back to health, I still wasn't feeling the best so Ted went out for Thai food with Sean and Mike at a nearby restaurant whilst I stayed behind cursing myself.
Boy, what a depressing blog this is turning out to be! Unfortunately I was sick again today, although I can say it wasn't self-inflicted this time. Ted had made plans for us to visit the nearby island of Delos, but again I had to stay behind at the hotel. I was actually quite gutted about missing this one, as it is listed as one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece
Ted on the other hand, had a great day. While he said the ferry ride over was on the choppy side, it was one of those sites where you could spend the whole day. He also mentioned that there were so many archaeological sites that you tended to forget which ones were which.
I was feeling quite down by the afternoon as I am in the Greek islands and I haven't even left our hotel room for the last two days, so Ted suggested that we go for a walk into town for dinner. It was just what I needed on the last day of our holidays before returning home. We went through the neighbourhoods of Mykonos which are so enchanting, colourful and entertaining that it is easy to forget that people actually live in these areas. With the warmer climate and this kind of lifestyle, we considered retiring here too.
In town it was definitely more lively as everyone was gathering to watch the sunset. We enjoyed watching it for a while but since we both already knew how the show ended, we left early to find somewhere to eat. The restaurant we chose, called Namma barbecue, was unusual in the way that there wasn't actually any meals, you just ordered a whole array of side dishes until you were full. As I've been feeling poorly, I thought the vegetable fritters might be a healthier alternative, and was disappointed that they were deep-fried. Ted loved them though, and mentioned how they tasted like KFC.
Being able to walk around and experience the Greek lifestyle definitely made me feel a lot better, and it was also a great opportunity to photograph some amazing sights. I am however still kicking myself that I wasn't fast enough to photograph the moped-riding, hot-pant wearing, Versace-dressed Greek granny that was tearing through the streets. But in a place like Mykonos, you can certainly be who you are.
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