I’m back with another blog this week. It feels good to be at the computer writing about things I want to share with you. Today, and maybe for a few of the following posts, I will talk about some of my favourite things from my recent travels. If you’ve been following along, you may have noticed that I have been away more than usual these past few months, exploring countries and cultures. Awesome adventures, fascinating sights, delicious food … some shopping (of course!).
This is the first of my memories from my recent trip to Greece. From the famous island of Mykonos, considered the most lively island of the Cyclades, where diverse cultures and languages coincide and recognize each other. Traditionally, Mykonos has been the center of entertainment and celebration in the region. The island also offers culture, gastronomy, history and dedication of its inhabitants to maintain Greek traditions.
We arrived in the ferry, which was an experience in itself. It’s nothing like I remember my ferry trips to be: basically, a mass of people in disorganized chaos lugging suitcases rush up the ramp while the staff yell “Go, go, go!” In about 15 minutes or less they disembark loads of people and get everyone on board again. Luggage is placed wherever as there are not enough racks for all the luggage. We learned our lesson, and the second time around, left the luggage grouped on the floor. Easier than trying to put heavy suitcases on the top rack! The ferries are large (at least the ones we were on), and very comfortable with a large cafeteria where you can order food.
From Athens to Mykonos – 2.5 hours approximately with a couple of stops in other islands. We arrived around 9.30 a.m. and met our guide Antonio who took us on a walking tour of the island. Mykonos is busy from around May to October, and by December, it’s a ghost town and the residents get back to normal life. That’s the time for construction, repairs, and getting hotels and businesses in top shape for the next tourist season.
According to Greek mythology, Hercules fought a battle against giants on the island of Mykonos. Among traditional beliefs and myths, rock formations are said to be the immobile bodies of those giants. The name of the Cyclades is also said to be associated with the local hero Mykonos, who was the son of a king descended from the God Apollo (Anios).
The walking tour took us past restaurants and cafes, all with a view of the water. Along the beach to the plaza and up narrow streets with more restaurants and cafes. Sometimes walking got difficult because there were so many people around (a couple of cruise ships had arrived shortly before).
Mykonos, and the rest of the Greek Islands, are known for their white-washed houses with blue trim and beautiful deep red bougainvillea contrasting with the white. We learned that there’s ONE white colour of paint used throughout by law and the same blue is used everywhere. Now, you can see some red and other colours starting to appear such as gray and green for doors and windows.
We walked to the bottom of the famous Mykonos windmills where we had a lovely view of Little Venice – aptly named as the houses are on the water.
There’s a long ramp – or stone stairs – to get to the windmills. One look, and I fell in love. The windmills of Mykonos are the trademark of the island’s landscape. There are plenty of them that have become a part and parcel of Mykonos.
In all, there were 16 such windmills in operation. Their existence is explained by the high winds in the area. In fact, Mykonos is known as the “island of the winds”. The windmills are no longer operational, but they continue to be a symbol of Mykonos’ past. Most of the windmills have been thoroughly renovated, a few of them are now private residences.
I went back the next day, early in the morning, to try and capture some images of the windmills with fewer people around. I knew it would work. Mykonos goes to sleep late and wakes up late! So mornings are quiet in town. These are a few of my favourites:
I hope you enjoyed this post about the windmills of Mykonos. Have you ever visited? Would you like to? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.
Until I write again, keep creating,