We’re in Mykonos now, on top of a steep hill that separates us from all the food. I managed to secure some average coffees but we’re in no mood to make the trek, even for fresh crepes. Yesterday was long but I don’t have that many photos so maybe I can breeze through it.
It started, as so many days seem to, at Pension George. We had breakfast in the garden and then packed up to leave. Both the internet and Dimitri were kind of iffy on the availability of a bus down to port so we decided to overpay for a van. As we’re sitting in the lobby waiting for it, Dimitri came to say goodbye. He asked how everything was and we told him that it was all exceptional. He walked away to deal with some other people. He didn’t touch Joe. We looked at each other, perplexed. Disappointed.
The van arrived and we gathered our bags. Out of nowhere Dimitri appeared. He was grabbing shoulders and shaking hands left and right. Then this other lady who worked at the hotel came over. She shook our hands kissed us on the cheek. Love this place. Love these people. You REALLY feel like family.
The port was a zoo, tons of traffic coming in and out, confused pedestrians, and those fucking tour busses moving through it all like kidney stones. We had an hour before our ferry departed so we found a bench and sat. I figured out that I can see behind me in the lenses of my new sunglasses. It’s cool, but weird. I’ll catch someone moving out of the corner of my eye and think they’re about to pass in front of me but they’re actually behind me. It’s disorienting but I plan on using it to get the drop on would be assassins.
Our ferry arrived and we moved as one people towards the gates. They opened, we boarded.
Our boat was called World Champion Jet. It must have won some kind of ferry tournament. It definitely was the nicest one we’d been on.
She was long on luxury but short on logic. The seat numbering system was insane. It took us forever to find ours, and we were among the few who even bothered. At the port of Naxos, a bunch of new people got on and the hunt got real as they went to their seats and found them occupied by confused travelers from Santorini. Boat staff were dispatched to shuffle people around. Voices were raised.
An announcement kept offering a lunch of Spaghetti Bolognese. Joe sat next to someone who ordered it.
“It looked good.” He told me later.
“Was it free?”
“No. You had to have a certain class of ticket.”
We arrived in the port of Mykonos, the new port, a 50 minute walk to our hotel. We wandered away from the dock and started to psych ourselves up for the long walk. Can we do it? Let’s do it! 50 minutes? That’s like 43 minutes for us – we think that we walk faster than the google maps walk time estimates. Then we turned and saw this sign.
We took the sea bus, a sturdy, double decker craft. It was a pleasant 15 minute ride. The sea bus even features a glass bottom through which you can view sand.
We met a group of 4 girls from Atlanta who borrowed our sunscreen and didn’t know what they were doing on Mykonos either.
We got off the sea bus and started up the hill. It was our first time through Mykonos Town and we were quickly lost in the narrow walking streets and rows and rows of shops. There are streets that are driving streets and have no sidewalks at all. Those are scary streets and it was via those that google maps decided to direct us. We managed and after 20 or so minutes we arrived at our hotel with our packs, tired and sweatier than we’d intended. We checked in and took stock of our surroundings.
We’re staying at Sophia Village, at the top of the hill overlooking Mykonos Town. The hotel is a modest, single story affair with rooms that open onto a common area with a bar and a pool. This pool was going off from the moment we got there. We arrived at 1530 and there was already loud club music playing, the sun chairs groaning under the weight of fat Americans who had come from a wine tasting or something. It was lively and the island’s reputation as a party island started to make some sense. People are here to party. That is all.
We walked to town to get food and check it out. We ate gyros at Jimmy’s Gyros. They only had chicken and pork. We’ve theorized that the gyro has as much to do with the spit as it does the pita sandwich. Pork and chicken are on the spit. Lamb and beef are not so you can get lamb and beef in a pita sandwich but it’s not technically a gyro because they weren’t cooked on the spit. By on the spit I mean a vertical spit like a shawarma or a pastor. Get the chicken.
We walked out to the windmills which I would later learn are an iconic part of Mykonos. It was windy as fuck up there. Strong, constant wind. I mean the mills are brilliant. This area prompted Joe to declare,
“Mykonos has charm out the wazoo!”
We checked out a couple of bars that we’d found online. Nothing seemed to be going on. We walked past a Scandinavian discotheque but it was closed and looked like a school. We went by a bar that claimed to be doing karaoke on Fridays. The only patrons were cats and they weren’t singing or drinking.
We stumbled across the Mykonos municipal public library. A small, stern librarian was the only person in there. He scowled at us, wondering what a couple of jackass tourists were doing in his realm when we couldn’t read a word in there. I explained to him that my mother is a librarian so it’s cool. We’re cool. He gave me a half smile and went back to his book.
We hiked back up to the hotel to rest and plan our next move. As the hours passed, we struggled with what exactly that next move was. 8 o’clock saw us both reading in bed.
This was the worst part of the day. This reminded me of being a freshman in college and the feeling that everyone is out there having a great time but you’re not invited. Walking around trying to find a party but with no idea where to look. I’m not going to lie, we got a little down. We started to ask ourselves why we had come to this island in the first place. We’re not crazy boys! People kept walking past our window laughing and carrying on. Joe yanked the blinds shut.
“I’m not going to be seen reading in bed in Mykonos. It’s embarrassing.”
He was right. We both finished our books though!
Finally we decided to just walk back down to Mykonos Town and see if anything was going on. It was 2130 at this point. It had to be, right?
We went back to the disco. It was. Everyone was out. Loud music played out of the top floor of this place and people were in the courtyard dancing and drinking. We got drinks and sat a table by the stairs leading up to the club. It was a prime spot. We got to watch everyone walk up to the dance floor, see that it was deserted and walk back down. This didn’t last. At some predetermined time, everyone flooded to this staircase. It was packed and we were sitting right in the thick of it, all trace of regret evaporated.
I did a terrible job of taking pictures, but here’s one of Joe at our table, pre-rush.
A group of Canadian girls came and sat with us. We’re a magnet for Canadians apparently. They were on a 5 week vacation that started with Yacht Week in Croatia and finishes with Oktoberfest in Berlin. Mykonos was just a little stopover. One of them became obsessed with this pink shirt that Joe’s wearing and offered him 100 euro for it. Not for sale.
When the line died down we headed up to the disco. Great, I thought, we’re gonna pay ten euro each to get stuffed onto this crowded dance floor. Turns out stuffed onto a dance floor is my preferred way to dance. I’m never sure what to do with my arms anyway so it’s a relief to have them pinned to my body. Just bounce up and down. This is all I have from inside, it’s a screenshot from one of Joe’s snaps.
We did about an hour and a half in there and then left to walk around. Only a couple other places were open.
“I’m kind of hungry.” Joe announced.
“Do you want to get food? Ice cream? We could get ice cream and then get back in there.”
“Ooh, cream and rally?”
We found another bar called Toro Loco. We were the youngest people in there and they were playing Greek songs with that polka beat. Everyone knew the words. Very different environment but no less fun.
We neither creamed nor rallied.
We got gyros at a place called Souvlaki Story and went home. We need some sleep before our full day of Mykonos.