BOB CORBETT'S TRAVEL JOURNAL -- 2006

Journal 5 -- May 16, 2006
Lost in the maze of Mykonos, and three-table feast

By Bob Corbett

Greetings from the marvelous maze of Mykonos. This town is actually built in what is referred to a "defensive architecture." In order to protect itself from constant pirate attacks and sackings in the past, it is a maze of many tiny streets, each about 3-4 foot wide. Thus cars exist only in the port itself. But, many motorcycles, mopeds and tiny moped-carts roam the streets with hundreds of people walking.

The maze would cause the pirates to get lost and make them much more vulnerable to one-by-one isolation and attack.

We've been here less than 24 hours and once already have walked "home" from a restaurant and after nearly an hour of walking turned the corner we were sure was by our hotel, and we were back at the restaurant. I was just amazed pun intended. I'm normally good with directions.

This morning, while wandering around I told Sally we were obviously very close to the western edge of the town, where our ferry has disembarked us. We just had to get to the sea. We found the sea and we were in the farthest corner of the EASTERN edge of town, completely the opposite of what I had thought.

When we first left the hotel to explore we saw an internet place. Sally wanted to know if we should stop and I recommended walking an hour or so first and then come back. She is very polite and didn't say anything. After ending up on the totally opposite end of town I thought we were in, we saw another internet place. She didn't say a thing but couldn't suppress a grin when I allowed we'd best take this one, we might never find our way back to the other.

Tourists are lost all over the place, and after asking for directions from locals 4-5 times yesterday and being give nice crisp directions, I'm convinced it must be a game. I envision them giving me directions, then quickly calling a friend a block away on their cell phone saying: two of them, white haired guy with tan vest. I told them this.... then when we get there, the other person sends us on another wild goose chase, calling ahead to that end too.... Just my musings. I'm sure it never happens. :)

Sunday was our last day on Santorini and we went back for our final visit to Olive. We couldn't make up our minds. Most main dish platters are 6 Euros. But the mixed grill is 20 E. We asked about it and the waiter told us it was an enormous plate of various meats and came with French fries and a veggie, our choice among three. We got two beers and an appetizer of grape leaves to think about the dinner. And, of course we got a huge Greek salad and basket of their phenomenal bread.

The meat platter sounded good, but neither of us eats French fries and just one second veggie didn't sound so great, plus were we to order THREE dinners, which are simply huge, would give us a gigantic meat platter, and on each one we could order a different veggie we liked. Since each platter was 6 Euros, it would only be 18 E for three dinners and not the 20 of the mixed grill.

We got lamb chops, the same phenomenal chicken dish Sally had the day before, and pork kebob. We chose roast potatoes, rice and what turned out to be a marvelous green beans in tomato sauce, wonderfully spiced with onions and peppers.

We were at a largish table for two, eating our grape leaves and salad and even already working on our second beer when the lamb chops came. but the waiter said there was no way he could get the food on the table, so he switched us to a large row of three tables, telling us rightly, we would need all three tables.

Oh my was he right. The lamb chops were nearly indescribable. Four of them, grilled a lovely dark brown and glistening of a bit of olive oil. They came with roast potatoes. We had each eaten most of one of those when the pork kebab arrived with rice on pita bread. By this time a second basket of bread had materialized and another beer. Then that massive chicken breast like we had yesterday. I carefully cut it in half, and we each feasted on that and the green beans.

We were dragging and it had been over two hours of feasting. We finished everything save the green beans and rice. They were great, but we couldn't do it.

I was about to call for the check when out came the chef insisting we have this complimentary dessert and a very large ouzo each, and the manager came with an unopened bottle of lovely red wine for us to take home.

We could hardly walk home. It was exhausting.

We were home, however, about 5 PM (arrived at Olive before 2 PM) and each of us took a couple hours nap.

The sun was just going down when we repaired to our balcony with the complementary bottle of red wine from the restaurant owner, and just a few small pieces of fruit. We sat sipping wine until nearly midnight watching the stars come out long long after dark, but darkness wasn't until about 9 PM.

The next morning, Monday, we got to the bus station with a full hour and half to spare, but they'd forgotten to schedule a bus for this Mykonos ferry, so we shared a cab with a couple young French Canadians and ended up only paying 3 Euros to get to the port by cab. Not bad.

We stay here in Mykonos again tonight, then tomorrow we'll check out of the hotel but leave our bags there all day. Our ferry on to the Greek island of Samos doesn't leave here until 11:30 PM, and we do have a bunk-bed cabin again so we can sleep to Samos.

We have no idea how long we'll stay on Samos, maybe one night, maybe more, we'll just get there and see. However, Istanbul is really beckoning; we've been reading the Lonely Planet guide of Istanbul I have and I'm thinking we may want over a week just in Istanbul alone, so Samos may get a short visit.

This has been an awesome trip. Today is only the 9th day of it. I can't even imagine that. It simply marvelous.

Bob Corbett

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Bob Corbett corbetre@webster.edu