Exploring the Island by Quad!

Trip Start Jul 07, 2010
Trip End Aug 09, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Greece  , Cyclades,
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We started our day with room service delivered breakfast on our balcony watching the ship pull into Mykonos Town harbor. We had a pleasant surprise that we would be docking today instead of tendering as scheduled. Disembarkation began at 8am so as soon as the ship was cleared by customs we headed down to the ramp and boarded the first bus heading to the town's central bus terminal.  First order of business was to find a good map so we walked the water front in search of a tourist information office to get a feel for options for our day. We met a nice woman at city hall, and although she was not the tourist information center, she took a few minutes to welcome us to her town and got us oriented to general locations of services, shopping and activities that we could find during our stay.

With our map in hand we headed out in search of a quad motor bike rental spot. We had no plan exactly, but without a shore excursion (thank goodness) we were free to explore at our own leisure. Scooters and quads are the most popular form of transportation on the island, so doing as the locals do we rented a bike (much to the better judgment of Casey…remember, "Trust me on this one Casey" of Cadeques fame?) and headed off to make our own adventure.

We toured around the Southern part of the island for the whole day. First we headed out to a point on the southwest side on the island to get a view of Delos, the island where many Greek Gods were born and lived, considered very sacred and a hot archeological spot today. After hanging out and enjoying the view we cruised the coastline in search of beautiful secluded beaches to swim and hang out at. The first bay we came to was Ossis bay, while not secluded by any means, the water was crystal clear, dark blue and teal like we have never seen before. It is impressive to say that this water was clearer than the waters of Hawaii, and imagine still, quiet, lake like waves just lapping at the shore. The beach was fine sand, vibrantly painted fishing boats were anchored in the harbor and beachside resorts were setting up beds and umbrellas for the beach crowd arriving in a few hours.  For the moment it was all ours. We sat and enjoyed the calm quiet waters until our adventurous spirit got the best of us and it was off to find our next beautiful spot to hang out.

We had heard and read about a beach named Paradise beach and set out to find it and judge for ourselves. We continued along the southern shore heading away from Mykonos town for about 30 minutes following the signs to Paradise (great name for a beach huh?). Down winding roads and into a secluded cove we arrived at our destination to find an isolated outpost with beach loungers, umbrellas, beach bar and even a camp ground. We decided that a return visit to Mykonos is required, and camping at the beach in Paradise cove would be amazing. The beach was just what the name suggests, paradise. Clearer than clear water, teal and blue, fine rock sandy beach complete with manmade sand bar 100 feet off shore to ensure that the waters are always calm and glassy. We swam, laid and relaxed away our morning soaking up the beauty just trying to take it all in and appreciate the moment.

After our morning of motoring around and swimming we were feeling hungry so we set out in search of some local treats to refuel. Heading back toward town, we passed a local supermarket, and usually finding our best deals and foods in the town’s supermarket, we pulled over and stepped in. As Dan was asking the manager for a good local wine recommendation, Casey set out in search of the store’s bakery, as she had been having a hankering for spanektos since arriving in Greece. Not to be disappointed, the bakery had fresh pastries ready and waiting. Finding a great bottle of wine made in Mykonos, and two freshly baked spanektos, we sat on the front steps of the store and dug in to our yummy treats as we watched the one of the store clerks flirt mercilessly with the delivery man (very cute local scene).

Refueled and ready to continue our adventure, we hopped on our quad and scootered our way back through town and past the port where our ship was docked. It was here that we found another shamelessly beautiful beach. We posted up and wasted no time jumping into the ocean. We were surrounded by turquoise and teal, but with such clarity that you could open your eyes under water and see everything as plain as day. Clean, pure, and crystal clear. Truly an ocean experience like no other. We floated, swam, looked at the many fish swimming by (no need to snorkel, you can see the fish without evening needing to go under water), and just marveled. Hungry and wanting to wonder the town before heading back to the ship, we returned our quad (the best and quite frankly the only way we would consider traveling around the island again…Casey did admit to Dan that he was right on this one! Gasp!), and decided to get lost through the town.

The town was structured to have meandering, narrow, winding lanes of streets in order to confuse marauding pirates back in the day. And boy were they effective…in confusing pirates and modern day tourists alike! It was awesome. Each building was a low-rise square white-washed structure with vibrantly painted trim, doors, and shutters, shouting out to the passerby in a joyful array of colors…reds, yellows, turquoise, blues…each home better than the first. As we got ourselves lost in the back streets, we came across local women doing their laundry (eager to smile and wave to us), and kittens making nests in trees, with mama cats watching protectively from below. Casey has decided that she must take a picture of every brightly colored door and shutter…a future career of postcard making. Our wondering led us to the local gyro stand where they let us open our bottle of wine and enjoy their freshly carved gyros wrapped in warm pita bread (sooooo yummy) over a couple of glasses of local wine. What could be better? Making our way back to our ship, we agreed, that just like Santorini, Mykonos is a must seen again, when future travels bring us back to Greece (anyone like to join us??).

The afternoon on the ship was spent napping (yes the siesta plan is still in full effect). After our nap we went to the evening show in the ship’s theater; a Gypsy Kings meets flamenco guitar meets three amigos comedy act that was actually very funny and high quality guitar playing. After the show we had dinner at the Grand Pacific restaurant and walked around the upper decks enjoying the night. We returned to our room, spent some time enjoying our balcony then went to bed for an early morning port call in Iraklion, Crete.

Cheers from Mykonos!

Dan and Casey
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