I was more interested in seeing mainland Greece on this trip (May, 2015) than the Greek Islands, since I’m something of a history buff, but four days touring a few islands turned out to be a pretty good deal. Everybody raves about Mykonos, so here is a picture of its waterfront:
It was a pleasant enough place, but crowded and touristy, and I was bored within an hour. Our group ate at a restaurant called Insight Vacations which was uninspiring and overpriced, and I think our guide was getting a kickback. I hope he spent his money wisely because, as I write this, the Greek economy is heading for the toilet.
Mykonos used to have many windmills which made grain or something (I can’t remember that part of the lecture) and these are a few of the remaining ones. As you can see, they are popular with the turistas.
This a picture of a pelican waiting at the back of a restaurant to be fed. Some time ago the pelican had decided that the arduous task of finding food was too difficult when panhandling was quicker and easier. He is waiting for his fare while tourists take a photo.
The following day our ship steamed into the Turkish port of Kusadasi for the purpose of visiting the dramatic ruins of Ephesus. I had previously visited Epheus so I wandered instead through the town and conversed with the residents and drank Turkish tea: black, served in a tulip-shaped glass, on a saucer, with a spoon and a cube of sugar—yum! I talked to a female Turkish waitress who informed me that she had planned to join ISIS until they had turned so violent. “Islam is a religion of peace,” she instructed. “The prophet Mohammed would never approve of what they are doing.”
In the afternoon we docked in the harbor of Patmos (click on the picture for a spectacular view). This was a lovely little town with whitewashed houses and pleasant people. Quiet and sleepy. One just naturally wanted to sit in the shade by the street and have a cappuccino or ice cream and casually observe the world go by. And I did. Instead of rushing around frantically trying to see everything, I did nothing. I returned to the cruise ship thoroughly rested and full of ice cream.
Next on the tour was Rhodes, home of the famed Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Even without its Colossus there to greet us (it was toppled by an earthquake), Rhodes was pretty impressive.
This is a picture of the entrance to Lindos, a settlement some miles outside of the city center. The walled entrance is still intact despite the passage of two thousand years, and you can see the hoards of people making their way into the inner sanctum.
It’s an enjoyable place to wander around. Well preserved:
The city itself is supposed to have the most intact and well preserved walls of any city in the world. I wandered through the town which was a supreme combination of the old and the new. Shops and restaurants were everywhere, and some of the prices were outrageous. I paid the equivalent of eight dollars for a chocolate milkshake. However, for what it’s worth, the milkshake was excellent and the view was outstanding. Never complain about what a foreign vacation costs you, in the long term it’s always worth it. 🙂
These buildings were buried by an earthquake, which has preserved the color of the frescoes on the walls. Otherwise, they would have faded with sunlight and time.
The afternoon was spent on the island of Santorini, considered by many to be the most beautiful of all the Greek Islands, and specifically in the small town of Oia, which is considered the most beautiful of the towns. And it obviously is.
A lot of people could be seen sitting on their front decks in the evening on the side of the mountain overlooking the sea and having a cocktail. Just looking. Luxury at its best.
I was criticized for this by some of my tour group members saying I did not ask her permission. But it was done and I don’t regret it. She is quite lovely, nobody beat me up, and this is an excellent way to end my tour of Greece.
Do visit the country when you get the opportunity. It might become real cheap in the future if they get booted out of the Euro Zone. But take your time. Greece has been there for centuries. It isn’t going anywhere. 🙂