This morning we woke up in port at Mykonos. After breakfast we met our tour group in the theater. Our excursion today is exploring the town of Mykonos and then venturing to the country to another wine tasting. The tour bus took us from the cruise port to the town center of Mykonos. Like Santorini, Mykonos is made up of all white buildings with bright, vibrant colored trims. Apparently there is a law saying the buildings have to be white, which originally was a lime based paint to keep away the plague.
The streets are peppered with shops, restaurants and bakeries as well as cats, A LOT of cats. Sure, Santorini(Oia and Fira) had a lot of cats roaming around, but you weren’t constantly dodging land mines like you were in Mykonos. Venturing through the streets brought us past residences, hanging laundry, more restaurants and shops. Part of the tour took us through an old family owned and operate bakery to taste some cookies and almond milk. In the bakery, there was a beautiful old wood fired oven in the back and a small seating area in the front to enjoy a cookie or 4 with some coffee or almond milk.
After a quick snack, we were back on the beat through the streets. Old “pickups” are going through the streets delivering supplies to shops and restaurants and aren’t afraid to drive through a crowd. As we made our way through the streets, past some old churches we found our way to the windmills, along with everyone else from the 3 other cruise ships in port today. We stopped for a photo op, but it wasn’t much of an op as everyone else made their way there at the same time. The wind mills were used to mill wheat and were operational from the 16th century up until the mid 20th century.
The wine tasting awaits us as we wind our way through the “streets” of Little Venice with the many overhanging balconies, reminiscent of Venice. We board the bus for a 20 minute ride into the country gave us a view into the “normal” life on the island outside of the tourism industry. It was funny to see Shell gas stations, doctor’s offices, farming supply stores and even a go cart track pop up in random places.
Unlike Santorini, Mykonos isn’t made from volcanic eruptions, rather, all rock. Water is available at short depths on the island, but it is only used for bathing, washing clothes and things of that nature. Any water that is consumed is brought to the island.
Our bus driver wasn’t on his first rodeo as he maneuvered the pretty large bus down some pretty small, winding roads to the winery. One thing you see right off are the low growing, circular grape vines. Making our way to the tasting room, we were greeted by a little dog that reminded us of our little dog half a world away. In the tasting room there were some beautiful plates with cucumbers, tomatoes and olives along with bread, cheese made from the resident goat and a Greek ham, similar to a prosciutto.
We were treated to 3 of the wines made at the winery, a red, white and another dessert offering. The red and white weren’t bad at all and the dessert wine while still very sweet, wasn’t nearly as overpowering as the dessert wine from Santo Wines. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to purchase any here to have shipped back home. The owners of the winery had moved away to make a living but soon returned to take over the winery and be a part of their homeland. One of their “secrets” to success for growing grapes is that during the growing season, they play classical music to help boost their growth.
One thing you notice in the fields and on the hillsides are the rock walls. The walls were constructed over many years help build them up and give more growing space, but also to help prevent erosion from the few rain storms they get in the run of a year.
Our excursion brought us back to the town and afforded us some time to venture around Mykonos for shopping and sight seeing on our own. Unfortunately, we were both exhausted as previous days finally caught up to us so we opted to go back to the boat and relax. A trip to the pool was just what we needed and then went back to our balcony to relax, read and enjoy the countryside before we leave for our final stop of this trip of a lifetime. Corfu.