We have arrived on the island of Milos. The island where the Venus de Milo was discovered. An island, according to the travel magazine on the ferry, “characterized by eroticism and unparalleled beauty.” It’s pretty, I’ll give it that.
We started in Athens. Had a quick breakfast and did our workout. In that order. Might try to reverse those today. Got all of our stuff packed up. I had planned on taking some soaps from the hotel but Joe told me last minute that the little boxes actually contained shower caps. That was hard to hear, but as we were leaving the service cart was right outside so I nicked a soap off that. We got down to the front desk and Joe insisted on checking out even though I told him repeatedly he didn’t have to check out unless he wanted a receipt. He sent me to get a taxi.
While I was waiting for Joe, I chatted with the doorman who gave me some good recommendations. I told him we were going to Milos.
“Rent a scooter. Then destroy it. There are lots of hidden beaches you can’t get to by road.”
Seems like good advice. He also strongly recommended Crete, “because it’s the biggest.” Fair enough.
After what seemed like a very long time, Joe finally finished checking out and we were on our way to Piraeus Port, gate E7. When we arrived the meter on the cab said 9.85. We only had 10s and 20s and were agonizing about what to tip as we do with every single purchase when we’re in a foreign country, but the driver did us a solid. “18” he said. Guess that solves that problem. I gave him a 20. At the Aegean Sea Lines booth, I handed the guy the confirmation email and he handed me two tickets. I was about to ask him where the boat was but he was done with me. It was pretty hard to miss.
We boarded the ferry to Milos at noon, the sea wind in our hair and the smell of diesel in our nostrils. We found our seats and got comfy. There was some drama over the window seat in my section. A baby, who seemed way too young to be talking, thanked Joe for picking up his toy. It was so cute. We read and marveled at how similar sea turbulence is to air turbulence. It’s funny to watch people try to walk around a rolling ship like a bunch of drunkards.
I’d also like to introduce, for the first time on this trip, the good camera.
Welcome to the fucking party, Joe. I hope it gets better from here.
We made two stops on our way. One in Sifnos and another in Serifos. Joe had the Cyclades island puns on full blast.
“It looks like we’ve decided to go sans Serifos today.”
And the delightfully nonsensical,
“Turn that Milos upside dilos.”
It doesn’t make any silos.
We finally landed on Milos and got our bearings. We walked the 200 meters to our Airbnb and met Giannis, who gave us the key and fucked off. What he should have done is warned us about the cats. There are a lot of cats on this island and they all know what the deal is.
One of them just tried to get into our room. These cats are not messing around. This is the first Airbnb that I’ve booked and I have to say I did pretty well. Sure only one of the beds has sheets forcing us to share a bed but whatever. It wouldn’t be a Joe and Devo trip if that didn’t happen at least once.
We dropped our crap off in the room and went out walking. There’s one main road that goes through the port town of Adamas so we took that one. We went by a scooter rental place and inquired as to what we would need to rent scooters. The guy at the folding table told us that we’d need an international drivers license class A. He also told us that he’d heard that you could do it online in about three hours. We walked to Yankos All Day, a pizza spot and sat down. I ordered a white pizza with bacon and Joe googled international drivers licenses. We found a site called, e-ita.org which boasted quick, guaranteed results. I entered my name and zip code. The next page wanted a headshot, my drivers license number and a photo of it. Here we go, the moment of truth. Either we’re about to get international drivers licenses or I’m about to have my identity stolen. Maybe both. I pressed on. Joe followed quickly behind.
It cost $24 bucks and worked like a charm. I had to resubmit my headshot because I’d not used a white background but within about 90 minutes we were holding international drivers licenses. On our phones. TBD on the identity theft.
We stopped into the Milos Mining Museum mostly because Joe had to use the bathroom. The lady told us it would take us about an hour to view the whole thing. We did it in 10 minutes. Not that it wasn’t cool, no shade MMM, we just had scooters to rent.
We got over to Niki’s Moto and presented our digital drivers licenses to the new people there who were definitely the owners. I think one of them might even have been Niki. The files we sent contained like 10 pages of additional legal docs that I don’t think these people cared about but when they went to print them out they printed out these gigantic documents and those two sweethearts had a hell of a time figuring out what the fuck was going on with their printer. Some language is truly universal.
Joe had it on good authority, from a Guardian article, that there was a delicious restaurant a bit up the road. We decided to walk it and took the scooters back to the Airbnb. It was 9 pm at this point. About halfway there, it was not a short walk, Joe mentions that there’s a line in the article that says, “Good luck getting a table after 7!” Hahaha, he says. That’s probably during the busy season. We keep walking, seemingly to nowhere until we round a turn, “That’s probably it.”
He points at a crowd of about 20 people all huddled on the side of this narrow road, most of them actually in the road. That is indeed, it. And there is no fucking way we’re getting a table. We turn around and start back. On the way, we pass a bunch of dressed-up people who are clearly walking to this restaurant. We want to warn them, but people gotta learn their own lessons. Besides, maybe they have a higher tolerance for waiting on line in the middle of a dark street than we do.
We ended up eating with some cats and other Americans and this seaside seafood place. Afterwards we got gelato which was the real hero of the evening. This ice cream was so goddamn good. So so rich. Incredible mouthfeel. Great flavors. We sat on a bench in Milos eating ice cream and enjoying this incredible romantic getaway that we seem to be on.
We got to bed at at a reasonable time and woke up at a reasonable time so I think this marks the first normal circadian cycle. No more naps! I’m five minutes over my Joe-imposed deadline. Gotta go. More of Milos to see.