Wednesday, September 07, 2016

48 Hours in Mykonos: Day 1

Our Mykonos adventure began with a little bit of a headache. We ventured from Paros to Mykonos via ferry and it ran late and we got into a mini argument with the man checking our tickets and it was all a bit of a headache. I also couldn't get in touch with our hotel to let them know that our ferry was late so I was worried our airport transfer wouldn't work out so suffice it to say, I did not enjoy the ferry ride at all.
Luckily, even though the ferry was late, the journey itself was under an hour so it wasn't the worst experience ever.

Because Blue Star didn't offer a route from Paros to Mykonos, we had to book in with Hellenic Seaways. It's a high speed ferry which is much smaller than the Blue Star Delos and it has assigned seating that's laid out much like airplane seating. I booked with them online and was emailed a PDF document that clearly stated that these were my electronic tickets and to please print and present upon boarding.

I handed the printed PDF to one of the men collecting the tickets who said, "What is this?" to which I responded, "Our tickets." "No, this is nothing. Please meet me upstairs on the second floor reception." So, we headed upstairs and hung around until everyone had boarded and the man then inspected the tickets and ended up eating his words as his colleague assured him and us that these were valid. What an ass.
Anyway, it would have been impossible for anyone to quash our good moods - we were on holiday after all - so after we were vindicated, we collected our things and headed to our seats. An hour later, we arrived and our hotel picked us up to take us to our hotel.

MARGIE MYKONOS
Our lodging for the two nights was at Margie Mykonos, a hotel a little ways away from the old town for a few reasons. One: I didn't want to be in the hustle and bustle of the town, especially since Mykonos is a notorious party town and we weren't really there to party. Two: I wanted a spacious room. Three: I wanted a hotel with a pool. I chose Margie because it was still just a short walk into the old town but far enough away to fulfill my three criterion that I listed above.

We paid $275 per night and this was the most expensive hotel room we stayed in through the whole trip Granted, it was also the largest and had the best bathroom so it was probably worth the price. However, it should also be said that in general, we found Mykonos to be the most expensive, yes, even compared to notoriously pricey London, so there's that.
Our room was quite large and comfortable and modern. My only complaint is that we had dozens of pillbugs all over the floors every day and it was rather gross, especially because I stepped on a bunch by accident and their guts squished out all over the place.
I have to say that my favorite thing about the room was the tub. It was spacious and comfy and I took a bath both evenings and used the nice Korres bath products.
The pool area was really lovely with super comfortable sunloungers as well. The view of the sea was great too.
After settling in a little, we walked to town to do a little roaming and also to get some food. The walk in was v. enjoyable since the views were so charming and beautiful.
Once we got to the edge of town, we abandoned the map in favor of getting lost in adorable alleyways. I had read that the best way to explore Mykonos town was to just to meander and stumble upon the most picturesque scenes and I can give this method two thumbs up because it's true.
The strangest thing I noticed about the old town is that some of the streets are painted. It's all cobble but a handful of painters have gone around to paint on fake grout. Admittedly, it makes the town look much cuter but it's quite strange. There are a few styles too so it's obvious that several different people have done it. Some go for just straight lines, others go for more organic shapes, making wonky-looking rocks, others make circular rocks and use tons of paint to make up the grout.
I definitely fell in love with this place. It's basic bitch Instagram pr0n for sure.
LITTLE VENICE
I was actually expecting a canal or two when we headed to Little Venice but I was mistaken. The buildings in this neighborhood are built right up against the water with balconies that jut out over the sea and that's why it's called LV, I suppose. It's a really quaint part of town and I highly recommend poking your head out of the little alley by Kastro's Bar and the Paraportiani Church as you'll be greeted by the loveliest and most iconic site in Mykonos: the five windmills.
KATERINA'S
For dinner, we were basically suckered into Katerina's by some pushy waiters out front. No matter because even though it was supremely overpriced, the food was great. We started with mussels and a fava bean dip with pita. The bean dip was creamy and well seasoned. The mussels were super fresh and I loved that they provided toast for dipping into the broth.
For our main, we decided to share the grilled calamari but halfway through, we realized we'd need a little more food so we ordered the pear & halloumi salad. The calamari was cooked perfectly; it was tender but with a nice char. The salad was so good and I want to make it at home. It had a balsamic vinegar-based dressing that was sweetened with honey. The salad itself consisted of mixed greens, bits of pear, halved grapes, and grilled halloumi. It was really nice.
I couldn't quite enjoy the sunset from the restaurant because a dumbass cruise ship was in the way. However, the way the windmills lit up was so picturesque and lovely, we couldn't even really be mad.
Once we asked for the check, we were given some sort of spiced alcohol that tasted like licorice medicine. We took a few sips but couldn't even take a shot out of politeness so we paid the bill and sneaked away.
After dinner, we wandered around town looking for an ice cream spot. We probably walked into every alley twice before we finally ended up at the old port.
M spotted The Red Parrot, which boasted homemade gelato, so we popped in and grabbed a couple of cones.
I went for the Greek yogurt & honey while baby sister went for the Nutella. Both were amazing but my yogurt & honey was insanely delicious. There was bits of chewy honeycomb scattered throughout, which was so good, but the ice cream base itself was the star. It was tart without being puckery and beautifully creamy.
After we'd exhausted all of our energy, we climbed back up the hill and headed back to our hotel for a good night's rest.
And here's my map of our Greek isle spots (visited spots are in red and didn't-get-to-visit spots are in blue):

xoxo.

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