We leave the hotel around 8:45 am in route to board our Louis Crystal cruise ship for our trip around the Greek Islands. We set sail around 11:00 am. We want to see many Greek islands as we sail by but our view is obstructed by a haze caused by sand being carried from Africa by the prevailing winds.
We make it to Mykonos by 5:30 pm. Mykonos is a dry and rugged island. An ancient myth tells that the rocks strewn across its barren landscape are the solidified remains of the giants slain by Hercules. Its waterfront is lined with elegant terraces. The white cubist houses are decorated with the traditional bright blue woodwork, masses of flowerpots and often with a cat asleep on the stairway. The look of all buildings is controlled; they cannot exceed two stories and must be painted white. The maze of streets is intended to confuse pirates allowing town residents time to reach and run across rooftops to escape.
Alefkandra is the most picturesque part and is known as “Little Venice” because of its tall Venetian houses built right on the water’s edge. Four white-washed windmills sit on the rise above Alefkandra. We watch the sunset from a stone wall nearby.
The main town center is chock-full of boutiques, bars and restaurants. The tourist season begins next weekend with the Greek Orthodox Easter, so many are still painting walls, doors and even the grout in between cobble in the streets in preparation for the thousands of tourists that are expected over the next 6 months.
As we wander through the narrow alley-ways, we encounter the town’s mascot, Petros the Pelican. He has entered the kitchen of a local restaurant looking for his dinner. This Petros is a successor to the original Petros, an exhausted pelican who was nursed back to health by a local fisherman in the 1950s. The fisherman fell in love with the pelican and clipped his wings to keep him as a pet.
We stop at a local restaurant for dinner of grilled fish and vegetables and chicken risotto. We enjoy our meal and our local wine and beer while watching the locals and tourists walk along the waterfront. At the end of our meal, our waiter brings us a complimentary local drink called Mystika. It is a liqueur from the gum tree and is served in a shot glass. It is clear and tastes sweet, tart and minty.