According to our Pilot Book, in the U.K. Mykonos has become the epitome of an over-exploited, soul-less place which once was beautyfull but not anymore; after such an introduction, we were naturally approaching the harbour with some trepidation: will it turn out to be a waste of time?
To be honest, our trepidation was heightened by the numerous ferries and cruise-ships which were zooming across the bay, heading for the same port as us…
Anyway, once arrived and safely moored alongside the pier, thanks to a very kind charter-boat skipper who moved his boat to create some space for us, we got ourselves transportation and started exploring the place! The island is certainly less dramatic than Santorini, but expecially the eastern part, that is the part farther away from the main town and generally less built, still retains a quite charm, with its houses built like white cubes with blue windows, the many little churches (it is said that there are 365 churches in the island, we certainly did not check!) and the gentle slopes of the many hills.
Also the main town turned out to be a surprise: indeed, it’s full of shops, a tavern, a fashion-clothing shop, an expensive jewelry, a souvenir shop, a tavern – and so on – but the houses and the intricate alleyways, where one gets lost after walking 10 meters, but it’s charming and pleasant. we liked it a lot, and after a couple of days we did not lose ourselves so often anymore!
Mandatory trip by boat to the nearby island of Delos, believed by the ancients to be the birthplace of Apollo and his twin-sister Artemis, and consequently crowded with temples built by the various greek cities in competition one with another. For a relatively short period Delos was also an important and very wealthy trading centre, but its wealth attracted the attention of the wrong people, and the town was raided and destroyed a couple of times before being gradually abandoned in the early years of the Christian Era.
The walk around the town’s ruins is interesting, and the view from the hill where a temple to Zeus used to stand, is breathtaking!
We did like Mykonos, despite the bad reputation; maybe we will find similarly charming, albeit less famous (and less crowded!) islands during our voyage. Time to go, this time no longer towards the north but rather west-bound, towards Athens and the Corynth Canal.