Finally meeting up with familiar faces after weeks of solo travel is nothing less than awesome. Sheng and I should know — when we had our rendezvous at the Athens airport, we surely must have annoyed the hell out of everyone else. Here we were, two chatty lasses, who swapped stories NON-STOP on the hour-long airport shuttle to our digs at the city center. Later on, we would meet up with Mara, another friend of mine who I haven’t seen since she moved to Abu Dhabi.
After a fun hostel overnighter fueled by pub-karaoke and local beer, we dragged ourselves out of bed and set off for Port Piraeus in the early morn. We were to jumpstart our island-hopping adventure with Mykonos as our first stop, and I could hardly keep myself from being giddy. As a child, I always thought that the Greek Isles were only something I’d lay eyes upon while watching snotty tanned lovey-dovey couples on The Lives of the Rich and Famous. Now, not only was I being whisked off via ferry to the Cyclades, but on a rare treat, I was sharing the rush of experiencing something new with two very good friends!
The ferry soon docked; a few steps further, we found a bus to take us from the port to Mykonos Town. Less than two minutes of setting foot in the quaint blue-and-white village we found ourselves in, we were already snapping away photos at the most random things — pretty staircases, adorable windowsills, clips on clotheslines (!). Everything was just so cute and bright and white and blue; it’s like stepping into an island-style fairy tale.
First order of business though was to spot our hostel in the labyrinth that was Mykonos Town. We mustered enough self-control to resist dropping our bags at the sight of yet another alluring swimsuit or strappy sandals from the countless boutiques we passed by. The effort paid off and soon we were at the steps of Studio Eleni — the apartment we rented was a dream! Two stories of comfy beds, and we had a vista at the rooftop to boot! We also had our first taste of genuine Greek hospitality — Mrs. Eleni bestowed on us a welcome gift of freshly-picked grapes from her garden. I think we fell in love with the Cycladic life right then and there. *sigh*
Mykonos Town was certainly bustling. Gift shops sprouted left and right; yogurt, gyros and salads will lure you in time and again, even minutes after you’ve just eaten. Mara, Sheng and I were just randomly taking on the maze. At one point, we would be perusing for the cheapest trinkets we can find; just a few steps away, we would stumble upon a Louis Vitton store.
In what would be a tradition in every island we hopped onto, we whipped up dinner ourselves instead of splurging for a meal out. The produce in Greece is incredibly fresh and delectable, it doesn’t take a lot to make our tummies happy (the craving for Greek tomatoes and yogurt is still with me months after leaving Greece). Studio Eleni’s rooftop, I must say, was perfect for an alfresco dinner. After dinner, we strolled into town and capped off the evening with more bottles of Greek wine (I’d have to say pass on the ouzo — sorry, wimp alert), and drank in the seaside views in the town’s Little Venice as well.
The next day, we hopped on the bus and lazed away the day on the sun-beds of Paradise Beach. This usual party strip was rather quiet since it was an off-peak season. That didn’t stop a reality show crew from trying to stir up a noontime shindig. Did I mention they had liberal views on nudity on this beach?
Dusk rolled by and we joined some other backpackers for a Greek-style nightout. That would mean a fresh, delectable dinner of greens, tomatoes and lots of cheese — to be followed by a night of breaking dishes (!) and basically running-slash-scampering all over the place ala-playground-conga.
Mykonos was our introduction to the Greek Isles, and what a welcome bash it was. Any place that would fill me with mouth-watering healthy fare, make sure I’m pampered in its beaches, and let me break plates while I’m at it, is certain to win over my heart.
More pics over here: 2012-09 Mykonos – Picasa Web Album
- Blue Star Ferries ticket from Port Piraaeus to Mykonos – 34 euros
(fares may differ from time to time — you can check the fares over here)
- Twin Private Ensuite at Studio Eleni – 30 euros/night
- Groceries at Mykonos Town (i.e. tomatoes, feta cheese, chips, water, 4-euro bottle of wine) – ~18 euros
- Night-out at Mykonos Town (i.e. dinner/dish-breaking/dancing) – 16 euro per head
- Bus fare from Mykonos Town to Paradise Beach – 1.60 euros