In the glow of a Greek sunset

WANDERLUST

In the glow of a Greek sunset

After a ferry ride that lasted six long, painfully pukey hours, we reached the quaint Greek island of Mykonos.

Far removed from the magnificent rubble and stately touristiness of Athens, Mykonos —  with its quiet loveliness — has the power to soothe even the grumpiest of seasick nerves!

At first sight, Mykonos looks so brilliantly, pristinely white that you could almost mistake it for a scene out of a toothpaste commercial. All the houses, including the hotel my grandparents and I stayed in, were painted white, with blue doors and windows.

Our first evening in Mykonos was awfully gusty, making me cling to my sweater to prevent it from being blown away! The first morning of our visit began with a walk around the city centre of the island.

‘Little Venice’, with its  narrow, cobbled streets that twisted and turned in the most delightfully deceptive way, was the perfect place for our relaxed meandering. Shops selling magnets, chic scarves, memorabilia, shell jewellery and eccentric art lined the paths, besides the ubiquitous ice-cream shops. This labyrinth of white houses, shops and restaurants is easy to get lost in. Sometimes, even the locals can’t find their way out!

We also stumbled across the famous Mykonos pelicans. The two pelicans are the tubbiest, laziest, most well-fed and easily the cutest tourist attractions in the whole of Greece. With soft, pale pink feathers, round, indolent eyes and long, yellow beaks, they happily posed for our cameras.

Then, when we least expected it, one of them opened her beak wide, yawned contemptuously, and walked off huffily like a diva! The windmills in Mykonos are wonderfully rustic and surrounded by tiny gardens with low, wooden gates.

Silhouetted against the pretty blue sky and overlooking the myriad hues of the Mediterranean, they stood like serene sentinels. Mykonos is also known for its cats. At every street corner, felines peered brazenly at us with adorably solemn eyes. They preened and strutted for us like they were at a Vogue fashion shoot, displaying their handsome coats and furry ruffles with regal poise.

The island is speckled with small churches as abundantly as olives in a Greek salad! Sometimes, we’d follow paths emerging from nowhere only to end up at the door of a beautiful church.

The beaches were empty, given the windy weather, but we were treated to some splendid views. The local food deserves a special mention. Being vegetarian, we didn’t know what to expect, but were happily surprised to find that Greek cuisine has many vegetarian options to choose from. Things that I normally wouldn’t touch, like tomatoes, mushrooms and bread, were wolfed down eagerly when they arrived in disguise as delicious fried tomatoes, creamy risotto, and crisp olive oil-encrusted bread!

The people of Mykonos are very friendly, with most preparing for the tourist season, by repainting their already sparkling white shops and restaurants! Olive oil soap smells great besides being deliciously smooth.  Soon, we left for Santorini, but not before bathing in the glow of another uniquely Greek sunset.

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