After Kusadasi, we began our sail to Mykonos, Greece. This was the first night sail that really had the ship rocking – however Scott never even noticed. When we woke up in the morning we learned that the ship was supposed to dock around 1:00am, however the wind and waves were so bad that the captain decided to circle the island until morning. The waves still hadn’t died down, so instead of docking, we tendered to shore from the Star Princess. This short jaunt ashore was rather rocky, however we were both excited to check out this unique island!
Throughout history, the island of Mykonos has been a breeding ground for sailors, a hideout for pirates and home for Greek freedom fighters. Today, it is best known as a world-famous vacation destination. As we were heading ashore, we heard two different stories as to why Mykonos Town (or “Chora” in greek) was designed the way it was. Once we had a chance to explore, I still cannot figure out which one was the real reason.
One story claims that pirates used to use the island’s coves and inlets to hide their boats. It is believed that the winding lanes of Chora are said to be a throwback to the pirate days. Legend has it that the town was built that way to confuse invaders, who could not find their way into the heart of town or back out.
The second story is less exciting – some people believe that the winding streets and narrow alleys are a means to reduce the amount of wind coming into the to core of the town. What do you think?
We walked around Chora for about an hour in the morning before we found another car rental shop. By this point we had really started to enjoy renting a car and getting lost on the greek islands. The roads were not very busy, so it was fairly easy to get around. In my opinion it is the best way to see the sights. Our plan was the drive around the island, see a few beaches and architecture before returning to town for a late lunch and another tour around the unique streets.
The magnificent blue sea and the white washed buildings made me feel like I was staring at a painting. The sound of the waves lapping over the rocky shores and the warm breeze hitting my face made me realize that I was part of that painting. The island of Mykonos is absolutely stunning. I was quite content just driving around with my husband making stops whenever something caught our eye.
In the afternoon we headed back to Chora, dropped off our car, and heading into the depths of the maze that is their streets! Again, my fascination with their windows and doors grew. Before I knew it, my camera was filled with photos of blue entryways. We also found it interesting that every street on the different islands we visited were constructed differently – Mykonos featured large stones with wide white joints.
There are some fantastic views within the town of Mykonos. One of the most unique are the Mykonos windmills. The windmills themselves can be seen from every point of the village of Mykonos. Dating back to the 16th century, they were built by the Venetians, however construction continued on all 16 windmills into the early 20th century. Being an important income for the inhabitants of the island, the mills were primarily used to produce wheat.
We walked through the Venice Quarter, stopped to say hello the famous Mykonos pelicans, and grabbed some greek salad, gyros and baklava before boarding our tender boat and waving goodbye to the windy town.
Peace, Love and Windy Mazes!