Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Like mushrooms.....

It has been a while now since I last write about my cruise vaccation. Now where did I stop? I remembered sharing my experiences in Barcelona in Spain, Port Toulon in France, Port Livorno (Florence and Pisa), Port Civitavecchia (Rome) and Port Napoli (Pompei) in Italy. You can only imagine what my journey were like. Good or bad experiences are meant to be shared. I hope I have done my part well.

After we left Napoli, it was a day at Aegean Sea before reaching our next destination to Greece. On board, as I have mentioned in my recent posts , there will be no time to waste . We can take part in so many activities from early daylight until late night. 

Woke up in the morning, if you are used to jogging or brisk walking, by all means, you can do it on the top most deck where most of the sports activities are plus the sun bathing area and swimming pools.  Even as early as 6am, the crews were already there cleaning, wiping and mopping the swimming pool area.  Each and everyone of them wished all the guests with big smiles on their face.  They must have been paid well ...... that's what I guess! hehehhehheehe.

My husband and I, prefered a heavy early breakfast where we will talked about us, our plans our children and grandchildren.  It was a time to share our thoughts and to listen to one another ... just like lovers do .... hahhahhahahha.  Mind you, this is our love boat! Then we walked up to the front of the ship reading my novel or simply admiring Allah's gift .... the sea with no boundaries.  Everywhere is water.  Once in a while we passed by big cargo ship or another liner.  We were lucky to see dolphins swimming in big school.  We were so excited and they swam in great speed that we did not manage to catch them on camera ....... That was  some experience. I love it! 
Then I joined the Zumba Aerobic Class  and practically doing something that I have long stopped.  It was full of fun.  I was so tired that I fell asleep on the couch! hahhahahhahha.

In the evenings as usual, they have musics and shows on board.  We had an early dinner and that gave us time to watch the first show of the night ..... On Broadway! It was fun.  Then after the show we proceed to our favourite spot to listen to the solo pianist player playing songs of our era ...... Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Elton John, The Beetles and many more.  Then off to sleep to our state which was cleaned and arranged neatly by our steward.

Finally we arrived at our destination.  When I woke up for Subuh Solah and again we have to reset our Qiblah. Every place we went will make us change the directions of the Qiblah depending on the reading of the compass.  Sometimes, the needle of the compass goes round and round and at that time we have to decide on our own by looking at the map of our whereabouts. Very interesting indeed.  I looked out the window and saw the many small islands and some with white spots like mushrooms.  Puzzled.... what was it?  As the sun began to rise, we saw more islands and this time we realised that the mushrooms were actually buildings..... all WHITE!  Wow ..... looked so bright and clean! Something new for me .... yes my excitement grew! 

 Welcome to Mykonos, Greece! Upon arrival, our cruise was unable to dock at the port because there was already another cruise arrived earlier.  So we anchored away from the beach.  Many small boats from the island came to fetch us.  We were called systematically by numbers.  Before we boarded the small boats, the crews will make sure the whole boat is sanitized first.  They sprayed the sanitizer to make sure of the cleanliness. Wow!  One boat can fit around 30 passengers at one go if I am not mistaken. Cramped but it was just a very short ride.


When we arrived at the port, the crews were already there waiting and assisting us. Then we were ushered by a local tour guide and made sure all our names were called and then passed us to another guide to take care of us.  This tour was an optional for us.  I did not book through the cruise but did all the bookings online which I found is way much cheaper and as reliable. 

The buildings in Mykonos were built very near to one another. The famous traditional paths for us to walk around in between the buildings is as wide as a stretch of both arms ..... that's it!  Very narrow and very close to one another. This island reminded me of Island of Capri in Rome. You have to take a boat from Port of Napoli and you have to spend one day at the island..... but it is worth it. So beautiful and the scenary is superb. But again, because it is nearer to Rome with big international gateway, so Island of Capri became one of the destinations not like Mykonos..... you really have to plan to be in Mykonos to be in Mykonos!


Whereabout is Mykonos?  Mykonos is a Greek Island which spans an area of 85.5 square kilometers with 10,134 inhabitant most of them lived in the town. The town is also known as Chorsa which in Greek language means The Town.  Mykonos is one of the Cyclades islands It is famous for its windmills and was a rich city in the ancient times. Its fantastic climate beside their villages of white houses with small paths to pass through enough to attract visitors.

Such a small island with such magnetic attraction!. They are very serious in entertaining guests for their main income of the island is tourism. It is well known for it's cosmopolitan nightlife and many international celebreties visit the island every summer. Tourism has been dominated the economy since 1950's.  In Greek mythology, Mykonos is the place where where Zeus battled with the Titans.

We were taken around the town by foot, uphill and downhill. Little shops and houses all around us. The paint is white but their doors, windows, stairs and roofs are mostly in brown, red, yellow and  blue.  A touch of green from the plants colourful flowers makes this place an eye catching!

We visited the famous windmills which were once used to mill the flour from as early as 16th century.  They are one of the most recognised landmarks in Mykonos. The windmills Kato Myloi are situated southwest of the town. Hora, is the one next to the sea. All the windmills were built in a row, facing the sea with snow white wash which impress visitors.

Then we hopped on a bus which took us to the other side of the island to a village called Ano Mera to visit a monastery Panayia Tourlani. It was a 16th century church with wooden carvings.   All the way, we can only see white buildings. Then the bus took us to a beach with special features ...... more privacy!  You have to be there to see for yourself ...... beyond explaination!  hahhahahhah .... in short.... a nude beach! It is in the north but for sports like ski, jetski, windsurf, parasail and even horseback ride are in the south beach. Being a diver myself, should I have enough time at the island, I would very much love to try diving in Mykonos. I was told that there are many well organized diving centres and stores specializing in diving equipments. I saw one at the Paradise Beach..... if only I have time!

Such small island but visited by people from all over.  Surprisingly, in a day, we can see at least three cruise docked at this island almost at the same time! Just imagine how much the people are making money in a day.  Mykonos is not an everyday place to visit. Not like London or Paris or Athens where you can fly straight from your home ground.  So whenever you visited a small island like Mykonos, you will buy something from this island as a rememberance that you were here!  Like me, I ended  buying many souvenirs for my friends and I ...... an evidence that I was here!  My forever favourite is fridge magnets!

Cleanliness?  Very clean indeed.  Even the water at the port is crystal clear.  How did they keep the water clean without any trace of fuel?  That really amazed me.  Coffee shops and restaurants served local and international food are all over.  The best which I saw was the one called Little Italy (Little Vanice). It reminded me of Alexandra, the most popular spot in Venice. It is said that Little Venice is one of the most romantic place to be when ever you are in Mykonos.  Your seats will be by the sea and you can even see the  rocks and corals bottom clearly!  With the breeze, the sound of the water splashing as the little waves hits the concrete walls make a cup of coffee worth paying for!  Feeling so romantic......!  With thousands of visitors, I see no rubbish anywhere! I realised that to be able to attract visitors, cleanliness is one major point to look at besides language, warm hospitality, nice hotels and happennings.  Something that we can ponder!

Little Venice...... feeling romantic!

Just like any other places we visited, we managed to get connected with our love ones with the wi-fi connections throughout the island. All you need to do is to stopped for a drink at any cafe with a "free wi-fi" sign and they will give you the password. The world is in your palm.


Maybe because of it's size, we see few vehicles around. Just imagine how they moved thousands of visitors around the island almost at the same time. They must have plan everything very well and everything must go with proper timing. But there were many mortorcycles and ATV (all terrain vehicles) around.  Some visitors rented the bikes and the ATV to explore the island by themselves.  I think that is more interesting.  I should do the same next round.

 Given a chance to revisit Mykonos, YES,  I would love to.  I fell in love with the place but not the too warm weather.... I can easily change color should I stay too long under the hot summer sun in the famous Greek Island of Mykonos.  hahhahha.  Do remember to bring an umbrella or a hat to walk around the island unless you chose to look tan like those sun bather!