DAY 18…..Greece the First Time
Posted on June 14, 2012 by Key West Lou
Mykonos. Nothing to compare it to. Perhaps a bit like the Jersey Shore, Coney Island or Jones Beach of old. Trying to be the Hamptons, but not quite making it.
Hordes of people! More than I can describe. All on holiday. Tourism is the major industry. The only industry.
Besides the original natives, way back in history there was an influx of Egyptians and Phoenicians. There are many wind mills. Known world wide as Mykonos’ landmark.
The name of the island is Mykonos. The name of the principal town is named Mykonos, also. Unusual.
Chora is the place to be in Mykonos. It is a special area of the town. A neighborhood unto itself. Stone buildings built close together. Narrow streets between them. Very narrow. Like 3-5 feet. The buildings were built close together many years ago to protect them from the sea and its storms. Today those alleys/walkways are the playground of Mykonos. Stores, bars, restaurants and I do not know what permeate the area.
These alleys of Chora go every which way. Like a maze. Easy to get lost.
Little Venice hangs on the ocean side of the Chora. It is called such because its houses literally hang over the sea. At least the balconies do.
I find three differences between Mykonos and Santorini.
One unquestionably is the weather. The humidity on Mykonos is a killer. The evening brings no relief. Breeze. What breeze? There is little, if any. Whereas Santorini had no humidity, was hot by day and cool by night. A sweater or jacket was required in the evening. Air conditioning not used. Open a window or door and sleep comfortably under a blanket.
It is said the difference in humidity, etc. between the two islands is the height of each. Santorini is high and buildings are on top of the cliffs. Mykonos is relatively low. Hills. Gradual, however.
Only about 100 miles separates Mykonos and Santorini. Mykonos is to the north of Santorini and normally would be cooler. Though it is not.
A second difference is the number of people visiting each island. Mykonos is jam packed. An avalange of people arrive daily. Every nationality visits and works on Mykonos. I would describe the crowd last night in the Chora area as being just slightly less appearance wise as Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Santorini has significantly fewer visitors. Comparatively speaking, I would estimate Mykonos has more visitors than Santorini by 30-1.
The final difference is in the atmosphere. It is in the air. Everyone whoops it up on Mykonos. Party time till the wee hours of the morning. Santorini is in bed by 10. The streets are totally empty by 11.
Life begins between 10 and 11 in Mykonos. Last night as I was walking to my hotel away from the Chora, tons of younger people were walking in the opposite direction. Towards the Chora. The ladies dressed. Dressed! Like in minis, knee length and other size dresses. Heels. Tall. Made up for a night on the town.
I felt sorry for the ladies. The humidity was so heavy I could see their make up starting to run.
By the way, I was walking up to my hotel at 10 while the younger ones were going downhill into the Chora to begin their evening. A difference between the generations.
I had dinner last night in the Chora. Overlooking the sea. The restaurant was Antonia’s. Just like in Key West. Key West’s Antonia’s puts out a better product, though I did enjoy my meal. A lamb casserole.
After dinner, I was off to find the Montparnasse. It is a piano bar. The only piano bar in Mykonos.
Donna and Terri suggested I stop there. Terri sang there at one time. They told me the owners were a Judy and Nikko. Terri said tell them of our relationship and be prepared to be treated royally.
I never did. I could not find the place. It is in one of those alleys I described earlier. I asked three knowledgeable Mykonos citizens where it was. Each knew. Each sent me to a different place. Each was wrong. By this time, the humidity had gotten to me and I said screw it.
Bobby Peaco, who played and sang at the Keys Piano Bar, is playing at Montparnasse now. I was looking forward to seeing him again. I was also looking forward to boozing it up a bit. Did not occur because this man could take the heat no more.
The stones constituting the walkway in the Chora alleys interested me. I was told they have been there forever. They reminded me of the stones making up the Apian Way. Thirty years ago when in Rome, I visited the Apian Way. The roads were constructed of larger stones than in Mykonos. The same stones which the Roman chariots traveled over. Back before the birth of Christ. The Mykonos and Appian Way stones were similar, except in size.
Mykonos is definitely a tourist town. The prices 25-50 per cent higher than Santinori. Gin on the rocks was 50 per cent higher. For Gordon’s! I did not find this gouging on Santorini.
Today the Super Paradise Beach. I have been assured by many it is one of the world’s finest beaches. I am looking for to experiencing it.
The bottom line is Mykonos is a terrific vacation place. For many from all over the world. It is not my cup of tea, however.
The Greek election is Sunday. Very significant! The result will have world wide impact.
I compare this election to Governor Walker’s recent recall election in Wisconsin. I thought surely he would have been beaten. He was not. Walker has now set the trend to be followed for the next ten years at least in the United States.
In Greece, the issue is the euro or back to the drachma. From what I have experienced in Athens and Santorini, the populace wants back to the drachma. Except for my friend and recent landlord Nikos. He wants to stay with the euro. Nikos represents the affluent. The others I spoke with the more common people. A Wall Street / Main Street battle all over again.
No one is talking politics on Mykonos. The locals are too busy making money. The tourists too busy having a good time.
Sunday will tell the story.
Joanna is my savior! Her grandfather built the hotel I am staying in some fifty years ago. Her uncle now owns it. She manages the place.
Joanna is some place in her twenties. Industrious. Charming. Ever so helpful. You have to understand my cell phone is down, wi-fi does not work that often here, and Louis needs a computer to do his blog.
I explained my problem to Joanna when I checked in. She said no problem. You will use mine as long as you are here. So here I am, sitting at her desk, punching away.
An international hotel chain should look at Joanna. Her experience is in the blood. She would make a great acquisition.
Enjoy your day!
The impeachment trial is winding down today. The guilty/not guilty vote will be taken.
Trump will be exonerated as in the first impeachment trial. He is teflon. Nothing sticks to him.
I listened to this morning’s closing arguments. One observation. Trump’s lead counsel (whose name I cannot recall at the moment) from Philadelphia is a slime. One lawyer to another.
He was a disaster the first day. Came back yesterday. Disgraced himself today.
The Republican Senators were laughing at times during his delivery. Not because of the quality of his presentation. Rather, because of the manner of his attack on the Democratic Managers.
In a real court room, he would not have gotten away with it. The judge would have cut his testicles off immediately.
Don’t let me hear I am a Democrat and a poor loser. Not the issue. The attorney was an embarrassment to his profession. Garbage is garbage.
The funny thing is the attorney did not have to conduct himself in the fashion he did. It has been obvious from day one that Trump could not be convicted. The votes were not there.
Great golf this weekend. The Pebble Beach Golf Tournament.
Pebble Beach consists of three courses. One is closed down for repairs. The other is Spyglass.
I have played Spyglass, also. A tough round. Not as difficult as Pebble Beach itself. However bad enough.
Spyglass is like playing golf in the woods. Narrow fairways. Woods all around. Tall thin trees with branches almost to the ground. A mishit and a player is in the woods in bad shape.
I am impressed with Jordan Spieth’s play. He did well in last week’s tournament. He was leading a the end of the third round. Didn’t have it on the final 18.
He was leading yesterday at the end of the second round with a -12.
I hope he can continue the excellent play. He has had a couple of bad years.
Islamorada is in the mid keys. A 1 hour 45 minute drive from Key West. Old. Fun places, however.
The motels are generally old. Vintage 1950s. Clean. Located right on the ocean beach.
It is the bars and restaurants that make Islamorada a place I enjoy. For lunch, Loreli. On the gulf side. Great sandwiches and people. Pleasant atmosphere.
Dinner in the evening The Islamorada Fish Company. I sometimes go two evenings in a row. On the gulf side also. Stone crabs the specialty of the house. Enjoyed with a great vista view from a huge round deck sitting out over the gulf.
Islamorada is also known as the Fishing Capital of the World. Real fishermen go there to enjoy the sport.
Islamorada is a typical Key. U.S. 1 running down the middle of the Key.
Traffic over the years has obviously gotten heavy. People seeking many of the keys south of Islamorada. Crossing U.S. 1 from one side to the other can be dangerous. Patience required. If you have any smarts, you wait till crossing is easy. Many deaths and bad injuries the result of those who do not. Accidents are many.
The State decided an overhead bridge was required for pedestrian travel in order to avoid accidents from occurring. The Islamorada Council did not want it. The State announced it was cancelling construction.
Everything will remain as it was.
Baseball great Ted Williams was an avid fishermen. In the early 1960s, he purchased a magnificent home on the ocean side. The fishing boats are on the gulf side. Most everything is on the gulf side.
Williams sold his home in 1988. He said at the time that he decided to sell it when he had to wait to cross U.S. 1.
Traffic has always been problem. Worse today, of course. However with a bit of patience, not a problem.
May Johnson’s diary entry was not in the Citizen this morning. Has final publication arrived? Seems so. Hopefully her further diaries will get “translated” and we all will have the plea sue of following her again.
Enjoy your day!
Ted’s former house is on the bay side. There was a short street named “Ted William’s Way” leading down to it from the highway. However, a few years ago some VIP got it renamed for himself.