Our trusty ATV in Mykonos. That is the main port in the background.
Captain Steve at the top of Delos, standing where Apollo stood.
That is one big Apollo torso on Delos!
Maria enjoying a relaxing day at Paradise Beach on Mykonos.
The lions of Delos with ruins as far as the eye can see.
More ruins are behind us on Delos.
The marina at Mykonos. Aspen is on the back left with the other sailboats. Too bad they don't have electricity, water, bathrooms or any other conveniences in the marina!
Mykonos! Yes, where Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis played and partied day and night with the rich and famous from all over the globe. Today, Mykonos has lost the number 1 ranking to Ibiza so it is only number 2 in the world as the most famous place to party.
So we fit right in – yea right! Unfortunately the parties don’t begin until 2 AM and Captain Steve gets up to run before daylight so we could have gone to the festivities but decided not to.
Our first day on the island we rented a motor scooter but the roads are so steep and narrow that Maria would have had to walk up the steeper hills while Captain Steve struggled to ride up them. The scooter was traded in rather quickly for an ATV with much more power.
The beaches are spectacular and there are chairs and umbrellas on every square inch of them. You rent your piece of sand for the day at prices that are actually cheaper than in the Caribbean.
Then you eat at the restaurants and have gyro sandwiches and your choice of refreshments. The sandwiches cost $3 but the drinks cost $13. Hmmmm.
At around 4 pm each day the music starts and people exit the water to dance. This is the early party that ends around 7 PM. Everyone rests and eats dinner until 2 AM when they return to their favorite dance spot and parties while watching the sun come up.
This cycle is repeated day after day throughout the summer. We wondered how anyone gets any work done? Well, for the most part, they don’t. There are so many days off and delayed openings of stores that it boggles your mind. Of course the grocery stores, restaurants, bars and tourist places are always open so that keeps everyone mostly happy.
Our ATV worked great, helping us explore the popular and remote beaches on Mykonos. Maria didn’t have to walk once, although one road was so steep that the ATV nearly didn’t make it. In the end we persevered and had a great time.
From Mykonos we took a 20-minute ride on a tourist ferry that visits the legendary island of Delos.
Delos: the island where Apollo was born. This is the pinnacle of Greek mythology – visiting the birthplace of Apollo. The island is barren and windswept today with monuments to Apollo everywhere on the blindingly white island. The island is so white because of all the marble that was used for the monuments to honor Apollo. There is no shade so you must be prepared for the high intensity light and heat.
The ruins are extensive and you could wander for hours among them. This island was so special to the Greeks that no one was permitted to die on the island way back then. Special people like priests did live on the island but if any of them fell ill they would immediately be taken off the island so that they could die on the adjacent island. Delos was that sacred!
The winds turned more in our favor so we pointed Aspen south to Naxos, some 25 miles away from Mykonos.
Naxos is a large island where crops are actually grown, instead of just encouraging the beautiful people and jet setters! However there are tourist shops, great restaurants and white sandy beaches to explore from our berth in a nice sheltered marina. We finally were able to tie up in a marina and get water and electricity, something that we have not had for 10 days.
Of course we have battery power on Aspen and water but to be plugged in with unlimited power and water was a true luxury for us!
The winds increased significantly but their direction was very favorable for us so we set sail to yet other distant Greek island.
Ios is another windswept hunk of rock with very little in the way of vegetation. However the beaches are nice and the water is clear and swimmable, even though the water temperature is better for polar bears than humans!
Our stay at Ios did not last long as the remnants of the demonic island Santorini, or as the Greeks call it, Thira, next appeared before us between the waves. Santonini: killer of the Minoan Civilization and destroyer of Atlantis.
Santorini is an active volcano that last erupted in 1956. But that burp was hardly anything compared with what happened in the ancient past. When Santorini blew apart in 1500 BC it erupted with a force much more powerful than even that of Krakatoa in Indonesia, which changed the climate on Earth for an entire year. Santorini not only changed the climate but it changed civilization as it once was.
And what of the mythical Atlantis? What is left of Atlantis is sitting somewhere beneath the sea and the cause of even its’ destruction is thought to be from Santorini. Civilizations ended, monumental cities vanished and the Earth changed - all because of this volcano.
In awe once again, we sailed directly through the caldera of the demon (isn’t that dramatic?). Santorini didn’t scare us but brought thoughts of how powerful nature always is. The water in the caldera is full of sulphur and other nasty chemicals so we did not stay long. Under full sail Aspen ghosted across the huge abyss and existed on the far side of what was once the top of the volcano. Whew!!! Let’s get out of here!
Crete lies on the horizon.
Sail on, sail on and sail safe Aspen…