After a 1 hour drive to Tampa, a 2 hour flight to Philly, 12 hour flight to Athens, and another 40 minute flight we finally arrive in Mykonos, Greece. Mykonos is exactly what you think of when you dream about Greece: whitewashed..everything, old cobblestone streets, crystal clear blue water, old buildings, blue doors and shutters lining the picturesque winding alleyways. Greece has always been a place that I wanted to go to and despite all their economic troubles my friends and I decided to take the chance and go. Boy am I glad we did. Mykonos is a small but wild island in the Cyclades. The people there are so warm and inviting, and for some strange reason they were all obsessed with the fact that we are from America and even more obsessed with the fact that we are from Florida. I’ve never seen anything like it! My friends and I decided to go in May before the craziness of the peak season so we could really enjoy and experience an authentic Greek vacation.
The food… the food. Some of the most amazing food I’ve ever experienced in my life. Greek food is very… simple but what makes it so spectacular is the quality of the ingredients. The tomatoes are unlike any tomato you could ever grow here, they are so flavorful. The olive oil is so delicious I could drink it, it takes like butter. The feta is a salty perfection that of course goes with absolutely everything. The olives are briny, and salty, but so savory and mouthwatering. The tzatziki is thick, creamy, and it tastes like cucumber and heaven at the same time. I would bathe in it if I could. That has to be good for your skin… right?
We choose to rent an apartment, which we usually do when we vacation abroad, rather than stay in a hotel. I find that when you stay in apartments you get so much more of an experience. If you stay at a hotel sometimes you never want to leave and explore! The aparment we rented was dreamy. It was situated higher up overlooking all the docks and Mykonos city. The view was breathtaking. Our apartment had a very large terrace, which we used all the time, it was all white-washed with wood doors and windows that we always had open with long flowy linen drapery, and tall white-washed wood ceilings…. just heavenly! We went to some amazing restaurants while we were there. The first night there we went to a famous restaurant called Nikos. By the way… everything in Greece is named Nikos. Don’t ask me why. At this restaurant there is a huge pelican that lives there. Emphasis on the huge. I’m tall and that pelican was nearly as tall as I was!! It was so cute it would go to the kitchen and beg for food. We had an amazing dinner there of octopus, greek salad, and some other things. At the end they gave us their islands signature doughnuts and after dinner liquor… Mastika. Mastika actually comes from the sap of a special tree only grown on Mykonos. It almost tastes like sweet grass. I know that sounds weird but it was very good! The next day we decided to go in our car we rented and discover the island. It is very hilly with steep cliffs and scary looking roads. You go down these one lane roads at a 45 degree angle, with rocks everywhere and no railing all the way down to these hidden beaches that were all very lovely. Each beach had a different kind of sand wich was very interesting. On the way home we were all starving so we decided to stop at this hole in the wall place for a Gyro. OHHHHHH MAN!! One of the best things I’ve ever had. Extra tzatziki, obviously. The lamb was so flavorful and rich and full of delicious spices. Out of this world unreal. It also happened to be our cheapest meal of the trip!… go figure. During our trip out that day we stopped to buy the essentials at the local grocery store: feta, olives, tomatoes, salami, some other creamy cheese, apples, honey, wine, and these crazy funny playing cards with funny ancient pottery with funny sex scenes. That’s what everyone buys at the store… right? We ate and drank and played cards on our large terrace and watched the sun go down. We decided later to go have a beer in town. We walk around and got lost in the picturesque alleyways (which is very easy to do) until we found this adorable little taverna that looks like a cave. We go in and we are clearly the only tourists in there. Jackpot! We sit down and have our beer of choice while in Greece… a Mythos. Two older men come up to us and start talking to us and they informed me they were “professional” Greek dancers. My dream has come true after all! They end up taking up to this local bar called “Thalami” and we Greek dance till 6 in the morning! I’m talking about napkins flying, plates shattering, ashtrays being thrown to the ground, shots of Ouzo, dancing on tables, people screaming ‘OPA’ every 5 seconds kind of Greek dancing. Probably the most amazing night of my life. After we leave and the sun was coming up they took us to their favorite place on the water to get “rooster soup”. Mind you, this is at 6 am and there’s a restaurant still open serving dinner. It was the most amazing chicken soup I’ve ever had hands down. They gave us lemon to squeeze over it and that just put it over the top!! The next day we get a call from our new friends telling us they went fishing and caught fish for dinner and wanted us to come. Uh, of course we do! We meet the guys at their favorite restaurant and had some delicious fried fish, greek salad up the wazoo, fried cheese (heaven), stewed octopus, and the most delicious baklava. Best night of my life #2. We all decided to go out to a fun bar and enjoy the rest of our night. The next day we go shopping around and we decide to take the girl we rentred our lovely apartment from to dinner. She picked the spot. Once again… just unreal. I forget the name of it because we walked around for a good half hour through the alleyways. By the time we got there even if you told me to find the place and you’d give me a million buck I couldn’t! We had an amazing night and the next day we packed our stuff and went to the docks and boarded a boat… to Santorini, Greece! Enjoy the pictures 🙂
Many thanks for the trip down memory lane! I was in Mykonos many years ago and like you fell in love with this quaint sea town. I loved the entire country and long to go back, but times are just too unsettled for this old gal!
Did you by chance have any of the shrimp they deep fry in the shells?–to die for!
Now, simplify some of those luscious Greek dishes and email them in your newsletter!