Mykonos, Greece
 Friday October 30, 2009
In the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean lies one of the most inviting places in all of Greece - Mykonos. Its countless bays and beaches and its quaint cobblestone streets are bound to welcome any visitor. According to Greek mythology, it was here that Hercules slew the Giants; the large rocks that are scattered about the island are said to be their petrified corpses. True or not, you'll have to judge for yourself. Either way, the Island of Mykonos should not be missed.  Here we just went ashore and enjoyed shopping and a drink at a seaside cafe.
GENERAL INFORMATION:  With an area of just 33 square miles, Mykonos is one of the smallest islands to belong to the Cyclades group. Its population of 5,000 residents is out-numbered by an annual pilgrimage of 900,000 visitors that swarm the streets, nightclubs, and beaches. Mykonos' beaches are unsurpassed and Mykonos Town is a charming village of winding streets with a traditional atmosphere, interesting shops, great restaurants, and the most exciting and sophisticated nightlife in Greece. These factors and its close proximity to Delos have made it the most popular island in its chain. Governing the scene is the unlikely town mascot, Petros II, the pelican. There was a Petros I, but he died ten years ago when struck by a car. So if you see a large pelican while eating at a taverna, or visiting with residents, take a picture of this local celebrity.
   The main town is known as Mykonos Town or Chora, which simply means "capital," and it is the administrative center of the island. Its whitewashed houses, maze of shops, and typical windmills stand out against the brown earth and blue skies, forming a perfect postcard setting. The most outstanding feature of the town is its dazzling brightness; blazing sunlight reflects off the freshly whitewashed churches and houses. Keep in mind you will get lost in the maze of streets constructed to confuse attacking pirates. This design helped foil would be attackers by confounding them and enabling villagers to maneuver them into ambush. Such layouts are repeated throughout the Mediterranean region for this very reason. Those that live in the town can get around easily since they are used to the puzzle of twisting streets and alleys. But don't worry. If you can find the sea, you will easily find the pier and taxi stand.

HISTORY: According to Greek Mythology, Mykonos was name after half-god, half-man, "Myconos," son of Anios and grandson of Apollo. According to the legend, the rocks around the island are the petrified bodies of giants that were destroyed by Poseidon and Hercules. The first real inhabitants of Mykonos were the Carieans from southwest Asia Minor. There after came the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Cretians, and Ionians during the 30 centuries of recorded Greek history. The Spartans conquered the Cyclades in 393 BC and after that, the Romans. Venetians ruled at first during the Byzantine period and finally the Turks landed in 1500. During the Turkish period, the natives developed the thriving fishing economy that still drives a large portion of the island's economy as is evident by the fresh selection in the local fish market. However, the inhabitants were not happy under Turkish dominion, and when the Greek War of Independence broke out in 1821, Mykonos was one of the first islands to raise the revolutionary flag. One of the most famous heroines of the Greek War of Independence was a rich Mykonian woman who sacrificed all her fortune to help Greece fight the Turkish oppression. Tourism began to develop on the island after WWI with the start of regular steamship service to Mykonos, but WWII put a stop to it for a while. The island served as an important port for the Allies in the war. Tourism picked up again after the war and has been booming ever since by playing host to thousands of tourists every year.
Click on thumbnails for a larger picture

Town Center from Tender
Nancy On the Dock
Many Narrow Streets
Windmills from Town

Our Ship and Town
Skip at the Windmills
Church and Taverna
Street Scene

A Church Door
Church Interior
400 Churches
Moon Rising over Town