Greek Island Trip

June 2012
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012, Mykonos

Since we had rented a car for 24 hours, we had use of the car today until 6:30. We decided to head back to Mykonos Town and explore what we weren't able to see last night. We decided to start with the windmills since they were on the furthest edge of town so as we explored we could track back toward the car. As we were walking through town we noticed many tiny little delivery trucks and cars transporting merchandise and supplies to the stores and restaurants.

When we finally reached the windmills with wind whipping through was incredible. I didn't have a wind meter with me, but I figure it was blowing over 35 knots, probably closer to 40 or 45. The people who built the windmills certainly knew a great place to build them. Unfortunately none of the windmills where open to see the inside and there didn't appear to be any kind of museum for them. After exploring the area around the windmills for quite a bit and growing tired of the constant wind, we headed back into the town were it was nice and calm.

We eventually made our way to the Aegean Maritime Museum. I had it marked on my GPS, but we still walked right past it. The museum is housed in a house/storefront that looks just like any other and was very easy to miss. The way to spot it is to look for a cannon sitting out front. The museum, while quite small, was very interesting. They had maritime history going all the way back from people swimming with an air filled bladder to more modern stream powered ships. Some of the models were of quite elaborate, including one that had about 140 oarsmen on three levels. I wonder how that would translate into horsepower?

Following the museum we wondered around town for a bit looking for a place for lunch. We finally decided on a pita stand not far from the museum. While the food was good, it wasn't as good as what we had in Santorini.

On our way back to the car we stopped at the Mykonos Archaeological Museum where they had a large collection of restored pottery. In the courtyard of the museum they had what looked like footprints in stone, but the footprints must have been made by giants as the largest of the two seemed almost two feet long.

Once back to the car it was time to explore beaches. Our first choice was Super Paradise Beach. It was quite a ride. We traveled down narrow roads that at times could only fit a single car and twisted and winded around before finally coming to a small parking lot at the very bottom. At first it didn't seem like there was any room to park, but with the cars being so small we were able to make a spot. Once we reached the beach it looked like we were in a Corona commercial. There were umbrellas and beach chairs set up contrasting with the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean. We picked an umbrella and paid the 15€ for the rental and relaxed for a bit before heading to the crystal clear water. The beach was rather rocky made up of large shell fragments, but once in the water the bottom seemed less so. There was a sharp drop off and the water was cold, but after a minute or two it felt quite good. After a while of splashing around and exploring a tidal pool we retired to the chairs to relax and dry off a bit. Once the sun shifted sufficiently that the umbrella no longer provided protection, we decided to leave and check out some of the other beaches.

The next beach we checked out was the nearby Paradise Beach. This was a lot like Super Paradise Beach except the prices on everything was about 1 or 2€ less and there was much more parking and a larger beach. We stayed for a bit and had a light snack before moving on.

The third beach we visited was Psarou Beach. This beach was more difficult to get to and once near the beach we found there was no lot to park the car. Just after we decided to skip it and move on to the next beach I found a spot on the road a short distance away. When we finally got to the beach we found a very short, but wide beach that wasn't as impressive as the other two. The area also seemed very expensive with a luxurious looking spa located next to the beach.

By time we got back to the car it was getting late and we decided it would be best to just return the car and figure out what we wanted to do for dinner. The car rental place was very amusing. The man who ran it had long flowing hair with a big bushy mustache and was meticulous to the extreme. He had a very specific routine on how he conducted business and didn't miss a single detail. Watching his staff you could see that it rubbed off on them as well. After returning the car with no issues they gave us a ride back to the hotel where we freshened up and then walked over to the nearby Ornos Beach taking the shortcut recommended to us by the hotel desk staff. While the beach was very nice, it was quite different than the other beaches we had visited. It seemed more laid back and family oriented and not so much the "it" place to be. However that fact didn't seem to affect the prices at the restaurants which still seemed rather high. We ended up eating at a restaurant at the far end of the beach that seemed to be a bit more reasonable. While the service and food didn't seem too bad and they gave us a complimentary desert, when it came time for the bill I think they forgot about us. It took a long time to get the check and when they finally took my credit card, they took so long to return it I thought they had lost it somewhere.

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