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Mykonos, walking, enjoying, and, ummm, Babushki?


Jun 4th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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Mykonos, walking, enjoying, and, ummm, Babushki?

This wasn’t my first visit to the island but this time I was a lone traveler. That scared the heck out of me.

Two weeks before our trip (London first to stay with our youngest daughter then Mykonos) my husband slipped and broke his leg. I was ready to cancel but Emma was upset after working hard in London for 18 months without seeing any family. Balancing it out, DH was OK (the crate of beer helped) and he was being looked after by our oldest son (he got two crates – he’ll need them!). So, I decided to go see my daughter but would not travel to Mykonos simply because I’d be there alone.

It was a joy to spend time with Emma, it was a 6 week visit and at the end of the first we settled down one evening after dinner to watch a movie on one of the British television channels. It was Shirley Valentine. This was the movie that kicked off my first ever visit to Greece and watching it again was wonderful. My daughter pointed out that although I’d cancelled the tickets and hotel reservation, flights to the island in May from London were still showing as available and were at a great price.

I was full of doubts as I really didn’t want to be there alone but she persisted because she knew how much I loved the place. Then, sweetheart that she is, she reminded me she was only 3 hours away! I gave up resisting but my heart raced as I watched her book the journey as I felt sure it could be a big mistake. The hotel confirmed it still had availability. All was set.

After a tearful goodbye a taxi got me to Gatwick airport around 4am Sunday morning (May 20th) for the easyJet flight direct to the island. Just as the cab pulled up at departures I almost told him to turn around and take me back.

Once inside the North terminal though it all seemed to change for the better. EasyJet check-in was fast despite long queues and the two hours to departure raced by. Security felt a bit gruelling but it’s necessary and you accept it. I have to say all those officials were so friendly, kind and polite. I had some breakfast at the Armadillo Cafe and Grill, £10.95 for a coffee, one fried egg, one sausage, a few pieces of potato, a slice of bacon and tomato – I know eating in airports can be expensive but …wow.

We were boarded and ready to go by about 05.50 and were in the air about 15 minutes later. Despite such a low ticket price there was good legroom, a great crew and two lovely girls next to me who chatted throughout the flight. I nodded my head in agreement, laughed and frowned with them. Let’s hope I did it in the right order because these Cornish girls spoke a version of English I did not understand and I was terrified I’d agree with something I shouldn’t!

I got an unexpected and enormous buzz when the doors of the aircraft opened shortly after noon at Mykonos airport. The light was dazzling and the breeze fresh and warm. I was amazed at how quickly we all got through arrivals and my baggage was the second through! Yay!

I had about a 10 minute wait in the taxi line then shared the cab with some other travellers. The cost was 9 euro to the harbour-front in Mykonos town.

The sun shone on my face, the colors around me were dazzling and I felt happy and comfortable knowing I was back. This time around though the thing that made the first impression was how quiet the area along the harbour front was. Hardly anyone in the cafes. Also, there were about five taxis sitting waiting for a hire. That puzzled me too as normally it could be a struggle just finding one! This theme continued through the trip.

I was returning to Hotel Carbonaki. We had lodged there a good few years before and had happy memories of it and the family who own the hotel. My daughter emailed the reservation directly to the hotel for this trip though. The last time we had used a booking agency for another hotel and it wasn’t good.

To get to the Carbonaki you have to walk along to the very end of a narrow little street. There is no access by any other way. Before I tackled it, with my bag feeling so heavy, I sat down at a small café (Mykonos Express) right next to the lane I knew I needed to walk along. I had a coffee (3 euro) and a new friend, the owner, Nikos. He was a charmer, and knows a lot about Greek politics and this theme, from others, also continued through the vacation.

He asked where I was lodging then looked horrified that I’d have to carry the baggage along to the hotel. He said he would help me but just before we set off he shouted over to a man with one of those little motorised buggy things. In 10 seconds I was being almost lifted up behind the driver and my luggage was placed at the back of this tiny vehicle. Lift your leg up, lift you leg up and over, the young driver kept telling me. Heck at my age lifting it 4 inches is almost impossible. Then there are two men helping me (and my leg) onto that darn buggy. Oh and that’s when I lost control of my hands. They were taken and placed around the young man’s waist. Let me tell you ladies, he had muscles exactly where they should be, and more. So, we phut, phut, phutted along the beautiful little lane and all I could worry about was if there were going to be two men available to lift me off this machine!

The welcome from the folks at the Carbonaki was great. Really great. My room was large and airy and even better than the one we had years before. The door opened out onto a sweet little courtyard and on the other side onto the Rocari (sp?) lane. I’d arrived.

Strangely, it was only now I felt alone. I started to worry about eating in a restaurant on my own, traveling around the island without my DH, and when I would get lost in those beautiful tiny streets nobody to holler out my name in exasperation.

Next…the rain, spring flowers, Delos and six Russian grannies singing their hearts out.

milley_5 is offline  
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Jun 4th, 2012, 07:53 PM
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I love Mykonos especially off season. You can truly enjoy the beautiful village.

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Jun 4th, 2012, 09:55 PM
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Mykonos in May is quiet, green and sunny...
Platy Gialos beach is totally empty... which you wouldn't believe, if you have been there in the Summer.....

Hm.... i guess you saw the Eurovision Song contest, and the Buranovskiye Babushki....... can't wait to hear the story....
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Jun 5th, 2012, 04:41 AM
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Thank you clausar and yes..it started with the first semi-final.

Here we go with part 2:

Monday was cloudy, a little chilly with some spots of rain. I left the hotel to start exploring the town and made the huge mistake of thinking, as a return visitor, that I had my bearings. How wrong I was. I wandered through beautiful lanes, tiny streets, stumbled into small areas where I think locals lived and still I could not find the harbor! I was always so sure I was heading in the right direction but it was so confusing. It was great fun though and I felt safe and comfortable. Rarely have I have seen such dazzling colour. I was so fortunate to be there when the late spring flowers were still in bloom and their displays were fabulous against the stark brilliant white of the buildings. Often on this board I read that Mykonos town is the prettiest and completely agree.

I had three coffee stops along the way and enjoyed chatting with the staff. I got it so wrong thinking I’d be lonely. The local folks were so friendly, always smiling and helpful. Also, it seemed easier to strike up conversations with other visitors.

The saddest thing for me though was the anxiety of local folks about so few visitors in the 3rd week of May. Apparently compared to previous years this was the quietist and they were worried because those visitors are needed. A hotel owner explained that when the general election was announced for mid-June there was an enormous amount of cancellations because people wanted to wait for its outcome. He also explained that he owned three small hotels but only one was open and it had few bookings. It seems too that, in general, hotel staff wages had been reduced by up to 40%. No matter where I went during this trip, restaurants, shops etc people looked worried and weren’t shy at saying why.

Eventually I found the harbor front after stumbling out of a lane which opened out to the amazing Paraportiani Church. It has an exquisite shape and seemed whiter than any other building. From there I walked down to Niko’s restaurant, often written about on here. I was the only customer at 2pm in the afternoon. I feel sure the weather had scared everyone away. I was well looked after though, enjoyed my baked cheese, a salad of feta and tomato and ended it with some breakfast tea (13 euro).

By now the rain was a little heavier and the wind a little stronger. My plan after reading so many of Heimdalls wonderful messages about Delos, was to visit there on Tuesday. I walked down to the harbor, read the boards about timings and prices and headed back to the hotel. On the way I stopped at a tiny little bookshop on Matoioani and bought a guide book for Delos which was going to be my evening reading.

Dinner was at a tiny restaurant one minute from the hotel. Good wholesome food and at 18 euro for a three course meal very good value. I wandered around for about 30 minutes and began to notice huge televisions inside bars and hotel receptions. Mistakenly I thought it may be an important football match. It wasn’t until I got back to the Carbonaki I was told there was to be a heat on Tuesday night of the Eurovision Song Contest. There would be another on Thursday and the final on Saturday. Then I was advised to watch for the Russian grannies – there were going to win, or perhaps be runners-up to Cyprus. Well, something else to look forward to.

I was up bright and early Tuesday, made sure I had a hat, water, all bare skin covered
and the Delos guidebook. It was only a 5-minute walk to where the little boats left from and I could already see a good few people waiting. Amongst them was a small group of about 15 Mykonos school kids all aged about 12 years old, with their little backpacks and notepads. They had some teachers and parents/helpers with them too. Almost immediately I stumbled as I tried to sit down and one of those helpers, a mother called Rula came to my rescue. She explained about the school outing, introduced me to the kids and parents and said I should stay with them as they had already arranged a guide for the group. How kind was that? I proudly felt I’d been adopted. They looked after me so well, the kids were so well behaved, the guide superb and the parents and helpers very, very kind.

To those that have never been to Delos please go. I found it completely magical. There is an energy there that I cannot easily describe. Of the trips I made when on Mykonos this was the highlight. Of course, the company I had made it wonderful but there is something incredibly special about this sacred island. Wandering through its ruins, sitting in the little outdoor theatre, staring wide-eyed at the mosaics. Heimdall, thank you and I hope you will be pleased to know that I made it (no, was almost dragged by the children!) around and up the hill overlooking the site. That was, for me the best bit of the visit.

Practicalities, the journey time was about 25 minutes; I handed over 5 euro for the entry fee and was promptly given 2 back? My age? The boat over cost me 17 euro. There is a wonderful small museum on the island plus a coffee shop. We had about 4 hours on Delos which felt, for me, about right.

That evening at dinner (El Greco, 22 euro – 2 courses plus glass of wine) so many were talking about the Eurovision contest semi-final and I figured this was not to be missed. As it was due to start at 10pm I made my way back to find the bar where I’d seen the enormous TV. The place was crowded and I settled down with my first ouzo of the trip and had already been given a pen and score sheet. There was to be about 20 countries competing in this first qualifying round but, again, everyone seemed to be only talking about those Russian grannies. Then they appeared on screen. I sat open-mouthed at what was showing. They were so good they got through to the final and folks were cheering loudly. Just for you, have a look at this. Please stick with the first 40 seconds or so then be prepared to be amazed (astonished?):


Next: adventures on little buses, Ano Mera and the 600 euro lunches

milley_5 is offline  
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Jun 5th, 2012, 09:21 AM
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What a great report so far Milley! Looking forward to the rest, and good on you for braving it alone.
Love the Russian grannies....Party for Everyone! I spent a month on Mykonos as an 18 year old and I think that was our theme song. LOL.
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Jun 5th, 2012, 10:00 AM
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Enjoying your report Milly. We've travelled to Mykonos the last week in May for the past 15 years and returned home last Friday. We have never found the island so quiet.

I agree with what you say about the folks there feeling angry. They rely so much on visitors and this year due to so many things they have no control over, they are very worried and it shows.

At our hotel staff wages were down by 35% but as one of them said, it's better getting 65% than nothing at all.

On the positive side, prices were about the same as last year and the friendliness of the people to their guests remains fantastic.

Also, we heard that the annual student pilgrimage to the island this year, when thousands visit over one weekend, has been cancelled.

Looking forward to the rest of your trip report.

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Jun 5th, 2012, 11:36 AM
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Hi milley,

I'm so glad you found Delos as magical as I do, and that I may have helped a little bit with my advice. Thank you for your feedback, which encourages regulars like myself to keep posting. I look forward to reading your future instalments.
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Jun 6th, 2012, 03:45 AM
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It’s now Wednesday morning and I woke early because my plan today was to visit Agios Ioannis. Looking out of the window though all I could see was dark clouds and a wet pavement. After a substantial breakfast I got ready to leave and then found, once outside, that the breeze felt chilly. What a contrast to the hot sun yesterday!

I knew roughly where the bus station was but the girl on reception gave me perfect directions and I headed off. I walked along a lane admiring its high walls hanging with cascading and very beautiful bougainvillea. At the end I found the doorway I was told about, walked through and arrived next to a tiny little outdoor theatre. Walking on, I passed the school and, following the advice given earlier, turned left. After a minute or so I arrived at the little bus station.

By this time it was raining a little heavier and the temperature had dropped even more. I decided this wasn’t good weather for Agios Ioannis, especially if the colder wind continued. It would be very noticeable there and hardly any protection from it. What to do, what to do. I decided instead to take the small bus to Ano Mera which was inland and perhaps would be a tiny bit warmer.

After walking around the bus station area I couldn’t find a) a timetable on the boards showing Ano Mera or b) any of the waiting buses heading there. I did eventually speak with a helpful guy who explained I was at the wrong bus station for that service. So, after being given more directions I walked back down to the harbor front, around towards the old port and found where the Ano Mera service departed from. The chalked timetable on the board confirmed I had almost 25 minutes until the next one left. I explored around a little more and found a beautiful café called Barco right at the harbor. I was warmly welcomed and enjoyed sitting inside, out of the breeze and showers. Great, great coffee!

One thing for future visitors is that you now purchase tickets from the bus driver. The last two times we’ve been on the island we had to buy them from kiosks, in advance. This year it has changed. The cost of the ticket was 1.60 euro and the journey time was about 20 minutes (the service was Mykonos town – Ano Mera – Kalafati – Elia)

I enjoyed this short trip because the landscape was pretty with spring flowers, I saw homes that looked very traditional and it felt nice to perhaps see what many visitors to Mykonos don’t.

In a short time I was standing in Ano Mera’s small central square. Two sides of seemed to be nothing but old-style tavernas, the third side looked onto the 16th century monastery of Panagia Tourliani. I spent a good time inside the monastery and loved every moment of it. Although feeling dark and imposing what it contains is wonderful. The alter screen and icons are amazing and there is a tiny little museum to explore too. I was accompanied by a member of staff through my entire visit and I guess that is (hopefully) normal practice. He spoke some English and was extremely helpful. In the monastery’s whitewashed courtyard is a very beautiful fountain and when I have time I want to research more about that.

What a great morning so far and as I left Panagia Tourliani two tour buses had just arrived. I felt pleased I’d almost had the place to myself. Crossing over to the square I noticed a few of the tavernas were closed. In Mykonos town a good number of places, shops and restaurants, were also still shuttered up but folks explained they were due to open mid-June, much later than normal due to the drop in tourist numbers. Hopefully it is the same in Ano Mera and they haven’t closed for good.

It was time for lunch and saw one taverna and thought its name rang a bell. It was called Apostolis but it too was closed (I found out later that it opened from early evening at this time of year). One that was open was called Fisherman so that would be the one for me.

The sun had re-appeared and it felt much warmer so I sat outside and had a simply wonderful lunch. This was the best food I’d tasted on the island and the flavors outstanding. I started with my favorite feta and tomato salad, and then stifado, ending with a dessert of pear-halves dressed with a terrific sauce. All of that plus a glass of wine and a coffee was 17 euro.

What was so noticeable was that Ano Mera seemed like a working town rather than a tourist town. The tour buses had now gone and I felt that I was the only non-islander there.

I knew the time of the bus back so decided just to sit in the small square and enjoy a little of the now warmer day. Just as I was doing that a young couple in their early twenties came across and sat next to me. We started chatting and they told me they were from Los Angeles and this was their first visit to the island. They’d been recommended to drive to Ano Mera and try out the local food so I heartily recommended the taverna.

They then told me that the day before they and a friend had lunch at a restaurant called Nammos (I can’t remember the name of the beach it’s located but I’ll check that out later) which they’d booked before leaving LA. They said the food was amazing and the cost was 600 euro. My jaw dropped in astonishment. 200 euro each for a lunch? He must have picked up the look of amazement on my face and quickly retrieved from his wallet the credit card receipt.

As I travelled back to Mykonos town I thought a lot about those lunches and the cost still shocked me. Then I thought, if they were happy with the food and happy to pay then good for them. Personally, I’d choke on every bite but I’m an ‘oldie’ now and perhaps that’s why I felt as I did. Never mind, I was pleased for them and pleased for me. All of us were happy with our island lunches.

next…the sun arrives, Agios Ioannis and Ornos, and who chose the color scheme?

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Jun 6th, 2012, 04:28 AM
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Good lesson for Mykonos: always look at the prices on the menu before sitting down for a meal. Usually the menu will be displayed in the window or another prominent place.

I've had good meals on Mykonos for under €20, and that included a carafe of house wine. I've also seen prices comparable to those paid by the three from LA. You can have lunch at a Michelin 3* restaurant in London for less than that, for goodness sake!
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Jun 6th, 2012, 04:54 AM
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Nammos is place where you can see local and international celebrities, it is located on the VIP beach of Psarou....
I know that it is expensive.... but what did they eat for 200 Euro per person? the owner?
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Jun 6th, 2012, 10:55 AM
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Clausar, I suspect they ordered a couple bottles of expensive wine to bring the bill up that high. I would love to see the actual menu and wine list, but couldn't find any prices on the Nammos website. No wonder! http://www.nammos.gr/
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Jun 7th, 2012, 05:25 PM
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LOL clausar and thank you for the website Heimdall. What surprised me is that they seemed almost proud that they'd had a lunch that cost such a lot of money. Ah well, at least they were happy.


Mykonos town was so beautiful this morning. The sun has appeared, it is warm and the flower colors are vivid against the white of the buildings.

I decided this morning to have another wander around the town and perhaps enjoy getting lost again. I found a small bookshop on Zouganeli Street that looked interesting. The young lady inside was charming and showed me some of the very old Mykonos books and historical prints. I promised I’d visit later because these were the type of books etc. I’d be interesting in buying. From there I strolled down to the Express Café and thanked Nikos for helping me on my first morning.

I had a lovely chat with him again and enjoyed my coffee sitting people watching. He too spoke much about politics and how stressed he felt with the lack of tourists. Just before I left an argument started between two old men opposite. Who knows what they disagreed about but it was funny to see one turn around, bend over and use his hands to smack his backside. This seemed to make the other elderly gentlemen more angry. No doubt it’s an ancient Greek custom!

Earlier I decided to have some lunch at a favourite taverna at the old port called Baboulas. It caught my attention the last time we visited because it has a brilliant red colored boat sitting outside and their lunches were great. I walked around and found it too was shuttered up. I was so disappointed and hope that it hasn’t gone out of business.

It was now time for my trip to Agios Ioannis. My plan was to walk back to Fabrika bus station but as it felt even hotter I decided to get a cab at taxi square instead. The journey was quick (10 minutes, 10 euro) and soon I was standing at the top of the road overlooking the bay. This view is my favorite, and that day Delos looked so close I felt I could touch it. The air seemed to be crystal clear and the had sea so many colors of blue. The sun glasses and hat were on as the light here is dazzling and I needed also to protect myself from the hot sun.

I slowly walked down to the little church at the harbor and sat in its courtyard for a little while. It was so peaceful there and I enjoyed the shade it gave me. After a little while I walked around to Kapari beach and so enjoyed the crystal clear views to Delos and Tinos. I couldn’t have visited on a better day.

Agios Ioannis is my favorite place on the island and I’m still not sure why. I can say though that, for me, it has a special magic.

Eventually I walked up the small café/restaurant called Bellissimo and enjoyed a very nice late lunch. It was cheap, cheerful and at 12 euro very tasty.

I caught the local bus back to town (an hourly service, 1.60 euro and journey time of only 10 minutes) and returned to the bookshop on Zouganeli Street. Another lovely chat, I bought a few great little books about the history of island, and explained to the girl that I was going straight to the hotel for some headache tablets. I jokingly blamed the dazzling whiteness all around me. The young lady then explained to me why the buildings were traditionally painted white. She said that a few hundred years ago sea travelers brought disease to the island (I feel sure she mentioned cholera) and locals painted all homes with lime, which she said was felt to be an antiseptic in those days. The buildings eventually turned white with the sun on the lime. She said the tradition of keeping the buildings that color has continued ever since. I guess not by using lime these days though!

next…..a charming dinner, the old toilet tissue issue (again) and preparing to return home
milley_5 is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2012, 06:54 PM
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Milly, this is a wonderful report.

I'm not only enjoying your lovely style of narrative, but also the sense of simple and honest pleasure that you're experiencing each day in those beautiful surroundings.
It's quite infectious and I look forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing.

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Jun 8th, 2012, 04:52 AM
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I agree with you Mathieu. I'm feeling that Milley has taken my hand and is leading me around an island I know well AND sharing her joy of being there.

Looking forward to the rest of your report.

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Jun 8th, 2012, 05:34 AM
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This is just a lovely report - I am enjoying every minute of reading it!!!
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Jun 8th, 2012, 01:33 PM
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So glad you decided to go!
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Jun 10th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Last night as I read my guide to Mykonos there was information about a beach that caught my attention. Called Choulakia it seemed to be mostly of prehistoric pebbles instead of the usual beautiful island sand. The book went on to explain that it is a protected beach (not sure by whom!), it is unique and ‘mythologically famous’. This all sounded really appealing for my last full day on the island so in the morning I’d speak to the folks on reception for information on how to get there.

After those great folks at the Carbonaki explained more about the beach I now knew that I’d to catch a bus down at the old port (only minutes from the hotel) to Agios Stefanos, then walk to Choulakia from there. Great! Another adventure.

Once again I had a wait for the local service to the beach but this morning I couldn’t bear the thought of another coffee so soon after breakfast. I walked around the old port area and beyond and was surprised at how much work had recently been done here. There’s a new marina and what looks like a new parking area.

Eventually I started the journey (again, 1.6 euro and only about 8 minutes) to San Stefanos. We stopped first at the new port where some folks left the bus armed with bags galore and then we continued on to San Stefanos. This was a first for me. I’d never been in this area on previous visits and liked it a lot. Nice beach, some tavernas and a sweet gentle buzz about the place. NOW I could bear a coffee so relaxed at a tiny café and watched the world go by.

After about 30 minutes or so I started my walk. It was warm but cloudy with a little breeze so luckily I wasn’t too troubled directly by the sun. In fact it felt like good walking weather. On and on I walked following the handwritten map the hotel had prepared for me.

I had no idea there were so many hotels in this area, and expensive looking ones at that. As I rounded the bay the view of Mykonos town on my left was breathtaking. To my right there now was high rugged moorland with small buildings dotted around (I’m guessing expensive villas). The biggest problem I had was the cars on the road. There really is no protection here for folks that walk rather than drive. The nice thing though was there was hardly a driver who didn’t wave or smile, possibly to counter the look of shock on my face as they hurtled around towards me. Soon, I found the turn-off to the beach which led me to a footpath then Choulakia itself.

What was in front of me pretty amazing. Those pebbles aren’t small! Mostly all about 8 or 9 inches in length, almost all the same shape, color and they totally covered the beach down to the water level. Thousands of them. It looked odd, interesting and, yes, unique. Well worth the trip. The beach itself is beautiful and the views superb. I so recommend a visit here. More than anything I really loved the quietness of the area, only broken by the squawks from the gulls.

My reverse journey back to town was an easy one. I seemed to time the bus better and only had about 10 minutes to wait. When we arrived at the new port a lot more folks climbed on and we were back in town in minutes.

It was close to 3pm and as I walked back to the hotel I could see ahead of me a small crowd of people outside what looked like a small cluster of rooms in one of the old townhouses. Then the smell hit me. Oh boy! As I got closer the little road in front was being hosed down and there three or four folks standing around shaking their heads. I figured I needed to take a detour, turned right and walked in what felt was a small semi circle, back onto the lane. Dear God, the smell still lingered that bit further on.

My face must have been screwed up as I walked into the tiny little shop close to the Carbonaki. The elderly man there, who gave me a lovely smile every day when I called in for water, stood up, pointed to his backside and moved his right hand up and down. It was hard not to smile as it all became clear (I think!). Toilet paper being flushed causing a blockage instead of being placed in the waste bin provided. I, umm, hope that is what his description meant! If it didn’t, then no doubt when I pay my last visit to the little shop late tonight for water before bedtime I’ll be brave enough to try and ask him, Greek language guide in hand, what it was all about.

I’ve decided to have a special meal tonight. It's my last evening, I want to celebrate my trip and it's an excuse to escape the final of the Eurovison Song Contest. So, more about MY last supper, and saying goodbye to this most beautiful island next.

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Jun 10th, 2012, 11:03 AM
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What a magical trip report! Thanks so much for sharing your adventures. Greece is calling to me again after many years.
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Jun 16th, 2012, 04:54 AM
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Thanks to everyone for their kind comments. It makes working on the report worthwhile.

My original plan was to have the special final dinner at Agios Ioannis. A few years before, my husband and I ate at the Sunset Taverna but I already knew that it had changed ownership and was now called Hippie Fish. For some strange (?) reason the name itself put me off. I’d checked out the Trip Advisor reviews for it and those were mixed.

Only yards from Hippie Fish, on the other side of the small road, is a beach-side restaurant I think belonging to the Manoulos Hotel. When I was there a few days before though, I’d noticed a lot of renovation being carried out so I figured, perhaps wrongly, that it wouldn’t yet be open.

For me the important thing was a restaurant or taverna that had a nice atmosphere and a wonderful view. I’d enjoyed eating in the town restaurants during my trip but none of those had a view. The wind was blowing late that afternoon so I discounted eating at the restaurants on Little Venice. One of the hotel staff suggested a new place called Roca just at the old port, close to the Archeological museum. His description of it sounded good so I asked if he’d make me a reservation.

His recommendation was terrific. It was only a 10 minute gentle stroll along from the Carbonaki and I had a wonderful meal sitting at an inside table which gave me views of the harbor and across to Tinos. The cost was 52 euro and that included wine. I’m happy to recommend it.

I had a late night coffee at a small harbor-front café and walked back to the Carbonaki happy and content. The taxi and luggage transportation from my hotel to Taxi Square had already been arranged and it felt good there would be no rush in the morning. I didn’t need to be at the airport until 11am because the easyJet flight’s departure wasn’t until 1pm.

That night, before I fell asleep, I reflected on the past 7 days. Yes, I’d missed my DH but I’d also got a buzz from traveling on my own. No, if I was being very honest I got a buzz just being on my own on this wonderful island. I met so many people and didn’t find it difficult to start up a conversation or be included in one. That had been my biggest worry.

The trip back was a fine one. When I got to the airport there was already a long queue for the Gatwick flight. Check-in was easy and quick though. To be honest if I’d known how hot it was going to be in the departure area I’d have waited perhaps a little longer before going through security. In a short time this area was very busy with people and the temperature climbed and climbed. There is a small coffee stand and I went back to it a few times to buy more water just to keep me cool. The duty-free at the airport was small but seemed to be well stocked.

The flight was called earlier than I expected and we actually left close to 15 minutes before the scheduled time. The journey was a very pleasant one and we were back in London in a little over 3 hours.

My daughter was waiting patiently for me when I got through arrivals and it was so good to see her huge smile. ‘Well mom, you did it’ she said.

I surely did ;-)
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Jun 16th, 2012, 06:02 AM
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