"" Writer's Wanderings: Mykonos Island, Greece

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Mykonos Island, Greece

How exciting to finally get to visit Mykonos, a place we’d never been before. Preparation for the visit included listening to a video of port information and then a Q&A with the cruise/travel director who talked of having to tender to the new port and then take a SeaBus (ferry) to the old port. There was a land bus but she didn’t recommend it as the SeaBus was faster and more convenient.

We were ready. Bob had gone online and gotten a code number from the SeaBus. You couldn’t purchase tickets ahead of time but supposedly the code would get you the opportunity to purchase the ticket on the dock or ferry. The cost would be $2/each one way. Now we just had to get off the ship. Not so easy.

After a nice leisurely breakfast which we thought would allow plenty of time for the rush to the tenders to be over, we headed down to the lounge where the tender tickets were being handed out. The lounge was packed with people waiting for their ticket to be called and the line was a bit long to get the tickets. When we did, we learned the wait would be about an hour before our group would be called. To alleviate the crowded lounge we were told we could wait anywhere on the ship.

We returned to the room and I charged my phone one more time to be sure we would have enough battery life for the GPS My City walk we planned to take. The weather forecast showed a 30% chance of rain and there were a few iffy clouds around so we decided to take one umbrella along just in case although at that point chances for rain were supposed to dwindle.

An hour later we were finally on our way, the sun shining although once in a while a cloud would hide it. It was keeping the temps down to a comfortable level though. The ride into the new port wasn’t bad but as we exited the open tender which was a local Greek boat, we could feel a little spritz of rain. No problem. A misty rain we could handle.

The SeaBus was just across a couple of lanes that led into a parking area and we crossed over to it, purchased our tickets and got in line to board. Just as we were next to board, it filled up and we were directed to another boat which was really a glass bottom tour boat that was put into service to handle our ship traffic as well as another smaller cruise ship that was docked there.

Thankfully we found a seat undercover because about halfway to the Old Port those who were on the open deck above started streaming down the stairs. It had begun to rain. Not hard…yet.

On shore, we found a canopy to stand under and pull up the map for our walk. The rain let up a bit and we started out. We found the first little chapel of St. Nicholas which we had actually passed by just off the SeaBus. The next church, Church of Panagia Papaortiani, was a little harder to figure out. The streets are more like walkways between buildings. Nothing is marked with names that we could see and none of them made any sense. Add to that, it was beginning to rain again. We found the place and quickly took pictures of the unusual church which is really five churches that have been built on the sight over the years beginning around 1425.

As we rounded the church and began to find our way to the next sight we wanted, the unusual windmills, it started raining a bit harder and the wind picked up. Bob had the umbrella up but by now, we were wishing we had brought both of them with us.

The path to the windmills took us through several outdoor cafes, literally. The path goes right through them. People were gathered there almost filling each one as it was the only cover around. With the wind picking up however, those closest to the water’s edge would soon be running for cover as the waves splashed against the wall next to the tables.

As we got to a point where we could see the windmills in the distance, we took a picture and then ducked into the only cover we could find, a bar. Surprisingly, it was empty but for another couple. We waited for someone to ask if we wanted to order anything but no one seemed to care. Finally I got up and fetched our own menu and we finally got the waitress to take an order for some beverages. Meanwhile, the rain was pouring down and people were ducking in wherever they could find cover.

When our drinks were finished and our commiseration with two other couples who had come in was done, we decided we’d better head back. It didn’t look like it was letting up. By that time the walkways were flooded. Water was pouring down toward us from drain pipes as well as the clouds. Of course all of the storm water would drain toward the lower part and into the sea right where we were. It was useless to try and find a dry spot to walk or even just slight puddles. Around one corner it was like a running creek. Our shoes were hopelessly soaked.

We weren’t as bad off as some who had absolutely no protection and looked like drown rats. When we reached the dock, all of us were led to a larger ferry boat and taken to the new port. From there those of us who still had to tender out to our ship made it to the tenders that awaited to carry disappointed visitors back to the ship.

And guess what? No sooner were we onboard the ship, the sun broke through and the rain clouds dispersed. By then there was no going back. It was time for dinner. And for us, that was just fine. Even though we could have returned, the ship stayed until 10:30 that night, we knew we were coming back in a week on the second segment of our cruise. We would just hope for better weather.

Showered, dressed and warmed by a good dinner, we went outside and walked the Promenade Deck since the ship was still in port and not moving so there was no wind. What there was though was breathtaking. A beautiful moon rose above the island of Mykonos and shimmered on the water before us. Peace.

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