Saturday, September 3, 2011

Where in the World is Mykonos, Greece?

With an area of just 33 square miles, Mykonos is one of the smallest islands to belong in the Cyclades group of the south-eastern Aegean Sea.
Its population of 5,000 residents is out-numbered by an annual pilgrimage of 900,000 crazy visitors like myself that swarm the streets, markets, nightclubs, cafes, and lovely beaches to chase windmills and take pictures of domed church steeples.
Mykonos’ beaches are unsurpassed and the little Town is a charming village of winding streets with a traditional atmosphere, interesting shops, great restaurants, and the most exciting and sophisticated night life in Greece, or so I’ve been told. (I’m a traveling dad, people… sadly, my clubbing days have been put on hold).
The main town on the island is known as Mykonos Town or Chora, which simply means capital, and is full of these incredible whitewashed houses, mazes of shops, and typical windmills that stand out against the brown earth and blue sky as if Don Quixote himself where racing toward them.
Legend has it that these winding streets were a way to keep invading pirates confused… all the better for strollers to find unexpected treasures.
Another legend is Petros II, the town mascot, who is a large yellow billed pelican that struts around the town like he owns the place. There was a Petros I but he died ten years ago when struck by a car. Cool, huh?
The best food of Mykonos consists of the giro (slices of grilled meat with tomato and onions in a pita bread), souvlaki (shish kebab), and pastries filled with a variety of stuffing including spinach, cheese, or meat.
The most common drink in Greece is wine, but specialty drinks include retsina (wine flavored with pine resign for improving the quality), and the local spirit ouzo (clear licorice-flavored death).
A visiting highlight is the Panagia Paraportiani, a true Byzantine jewel, that actually consists of five churches rolled into one. High towers with bells summoning local folks to mass, parts of it date back to 1425, it is a wonderful place to see street artists paint, compose music, and generally do their thing.
And other than windmills, the other fun attraction are the scores of little churches with mosaics and frescos and humble entrances. Most are build in the Cycladic style, with box base and dome cap, white walls, and a dash of blue just like the sky or red from the blood of Christ.
Sweet visit, Mykonos! Keep up the good work.

No comments:

Post a Comment