Thursday, September 08, 2016

48 Hours in Mykonos: Day 2

For our full day in Mykonos, we decided that we would hit up one of their famous beaches. We'd done a little bit of research on where we wanted to go but ultimately ended up heading to a beach that was easily accessible via bus from our hotel. The bus stop to Paradise Beach was a two minute walk so that settled things pretty quickly; the alternative would have been to walk into town to the main bus stop but we weren't so keen on that.
Even though we woke up bright and early, as usual, we were limited by the bus schedule (which didn't start running until 10:30) so we killed time by reading out by the pool which is obviously the best way one can kill time, am I right?
Breakfast at Margie was enjoyable; there was streaky bacon, croissants, a giant jar of nutella, fried eggs, fresh fruit, and we were back to the really good yogurt. My only complaint was that the honey seemed like it was cut with corn syrup or something because it was kind of stiff and stringy. Like I said, we were just so spoiled by Strogili breakfast on the terrace that it was hard for us to avoid complaining anywhere else.

MYKONOS PUBLIC BUS
The Mykonos buses, like the Santorini buses, were coach buses. The roads in Mykonos are in better condition and wider so it wasn't the adventure we had in Oia. You pay the driver directly when you climb on board so have your money ready.
PARADISE BEACH
The bus ride to Mykonos cost €2.30 and was a short twenty minute ride from our hotel. We arrived with a bus full of people ready to relax.
Because we had arrived with the first bus there were plenty of sun loungers to choose from. We picked two right by the water and settled in. No one came to collect a fee from us until maybe two hours into our relaxation time. It was €20, which was annoyingly steep. However, if you're not keen on paying, you can certainly just lie directly on the sand, no problem. Even though I said, "annoyingly steep" I really didn't mind paying because I relished dragging my chair into the shade every now and again to avoid getting burned.
I will say that this beach, although it is really nice and paradise-y, was shockingly dirty. There was litter all over the place due to the fact that in the evenings, the beach goes from a family-friendly lounging spot to a full on laser lights dance party and it's honestly really difficult to tell drunk kids to throw their rubbish in the bin.

While I was wading, a chip bag floated into my face, which was probably the last thing I would expect to happen in paradise.
The nicest thing about this beach was the mini hiking trail. It leads to another beach, if you're keen, but I just wanted to climb up so I could get a view from higher up. It was really pretty, though, I did get harassed by some Greek man who kept asking me about life in America whilst slapping my sweaty back.
After the beach, we returned to our hotel and cleaned up so we could go into town and grab a late lunch.
There were prickly pears everywhere we went and it made me wonder if the locals ever ate the fruit.
SAKIS GRILL HOUSE
For lunch, we ended up at Sakis (which is pretty well known) for some gyro pitas and lemonades. It was easily the most affordable meal of the island at €10; it was definitely comparable in price to our Oia bus station pitas.
The pitas were well prepared and delicious and totally hit the spot. I feel like I can't ever eat another gyro in America. Gyro in Greece actually tasted like real meat versus over here where it's got an overly salty sausage-y vibe.
After lunch, we decided to get something sweet. M opted for a gelato cone with Nutella and some other chocolatey wafer candy thing that was awesome. I went for a Nutella crepe, which was quite good. It didn't come close to the street crepes of Paris, but it was nice.
MYKONOS WINDMILLS
With our snacks in hand, we wandered over to the windmills and managed to get there when it wasn't overly crowded and got some pretty good snaps of the iconic landmark. One of them was marked as private property but a couple of them had openings in their fences that you could walk right into. The private property one looked to be in the best condition and we wondered if someone actually lived there.
There are literally hundreds of churches scattered through Mykonos - most are tiny one room deals - and we had a great time wandering around spotting them.
There were so many little linen tunics everywhere and I was so tempted to buy one for my dog to wear (I know, you don't have to say anything, I realize I'm crazy) but in the end, I couldn't justify it to myself. But I do think he would look spectacularly cute in a little stripey tunic.
During our quest for souvenirs for our friends and family, we wandered around looking at the shops trying to find something nice and local and somewhat unique but it was difficult as most shops were pandering to clueless tourists and were selling cliche gifts.
After a turn into a new alleyway, we stumbled upon a t-shirt shop which had this tank on display and immediately burst out laughing. Hey guys, I've made an assumption on what you're trying to say and yeah, this doesn't mean what you think it means... Unless the goal was to convey that your town procreates with a Spanish city...
All that wandering had made me thirsty so we stopped by a little shop in the port to grab a beverage. I looked at the menu and there were a bunch of juices listed with the word "bottled" in parentheses and then they had a section for iced teas. I didn't want anything bottled so we ordered two iced teas.
Well guess what? It was bottled. I was supremely disappointed, especially since it was €10, but we laughed it off and it was actually pretty refreshing and hit the spot so we couldn't be too mad.
ANAMNESIA
After walking around for hours, we finally stumbled upon this little shop, Amanesia, which turned out to be the perfect place to pick up souvenirs. Everything in the shop is designed by local artists and everything is adorable.
I love that the artwork is local because it means more to bring home a souvenir like this. It wasn't mass produced by some factory in Asia. It was all made in Greece.
I particularly enjoyed these little explanations of some of the designs. The Choriatiki (pronounced ko-ree-ah-tee-kee with a throaty 'k') was my favorite; it means Greek salad.
KOUNELAS FISH TAVERN
By the time the sun was setting, our stomachs were ready for dinner.
Taking our hotel's recommendations, we walked over to Kounela's and we are so glad we did. We walked past their fire grill and were immediately excited to order dinner.
They didn't really have any seafood listed on the menu and we soon realized why. If you wanted seafood, you walked downstairs to their storeroom to see what was freshly caught that day. We ended up settling on a red snapper, which they promptly oiled up and tossed onto the grill.
While our fish was going, we headed back upstairs to order the rest of our meal. I went for the house white (after I was discouraged from getting the house rose) and we were promptly given some bread and tapenade. They certainly weren't stingy with the wine portions.
For starters, we got the rocket and tomato salad that was topped with chopanisti cheese (a local Mykonian cheese similar to feta but with less bite). We drizzled on just a smidge of olive oil and went to town.
There was a rainbow flag hanging off the side of the building and my sister said that their fish and rabbit icon looked mildly sexual so we wondered if this was a gay establishment. We knew Mykonos was extremely gay friendly and we take no issue with it, but later on, our question was answered. You'll see when you scroll down.
By the time we'd dressed our salad, our fish arrived looking gorgeously grilled. We squeezed on some lemon juice and dove right in. It was honestly one of the best fish meals I've ever had. The snapper was superbly fresh (zero fishy smell or taste at all) and because it was grilled, it had that amazing charred skin. It was so good and my mouth is watering thinking about this dish. If you're into seafood and you're going to Mykonos, you must visit Kounelas.
After we cleaned up our main, we ordered dessert but before it arrived, we were given some cinnamon liquor which arrived in this charming little bottle. The waiter actually jokingly tried to pour the booze out of the dude's wiener and then laughed saying, "I always do that because I always forget that it doesn't come out of there!" We couldn't stop laughing, mostly because we'd also seen a bunch of giant olive wood dicks attached to can openers at a souvenir shop just a few hours before and it was just funny how we were being bombarded with male genitalia that day. The liquor, by the way, wasn't half bad. It basically tasted like Fireball.

My sister asked if we were expected to drink the whole bottle, to which our waiter replied, "Why not?" Considering that my wine glass arrived full to the brim, I think they just wanted to help us get the night started early. Little did they know our big evening plans were to go back to our hotel to watch some Netflix, if the internet cooperated, or Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version with Colin Firth) if the internet did not cooperate (because that was the only thing downloaded to my iPad).
For dessert, we had the kataifi, which was so good. It's basically baklava but in a different form. The phyllo dough is shredded into angel hair sized strands but it's done up the same with loads of honey and pistachio. It was almost unbearably sweet, but in the best way possible.
After dinner, we wandered around town a bit more, enjoying the last bits of the sunset. I was a little sad we didn't get to see the sunset properly (most people view it from the Windmills) but since the reason we missed it was that fabulous dinner, I couldn't be too upset.
So, like I said, after we enjoyed the night for a bit, we ended up just booking it back to our hotel so that we could get some Zs. I had another bath in that glorious tub, which also relaxed my aching muscles, and tucked in for the night.
xoxo.

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