Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos was what everyone pictures I their mind when they think of Greece.  White-washed buildings with bright colorful doors and trim.  Located in the Cyclades Islands in the middle of the Aegean Sea, Mykonos could not have been more picture perfect.
These are the octopi that they catch, let them dry in the sun, grill them, and serve them with a good bottle of ouzo.
Our tour guide told us that pelicans usually can be found in Mykonos because it is in their migratory pattern, but we probably wouldn't see one that day.  But lo and behold we saw one chilling out beside a restaurant.
It was HUGE!  I couldn't help but think that Finding Nemo didn't do an honest job of depicting how big they were.  This guy almost came up to my shoulders! And he wouldn't budge.  Tons of people were trying to take pictures of him, and he just took it all in stride, not disturbed by it in the least.
The best part of Mykonos was actually having the time and freedom to explore on our own for a while.  I was worried that we would get lost because there were so many alleys and sideways that all looked the same!

The town was very well taken care of, and it was just as colorful on the inside as it was on the outside!

It was really windy and a little chilly that day, but we still wanted to go swimming!  It was the Aegean Sea and I wasn't going to pass up the chance to swim in it.
It was freezing cold in the water!  And sharp rocks were covering the floor of the sea, but for those of us that braved it out, we had a blast!!  Us four in the picture below were the ONLY people in the water, it was hilarious.
We decided to head back to town, and on the way we met an older American couple who was walking that way also.  We asked them where they were from, and they were from Marietta!  It was the craziest thing!
Back in town we grabbed some dinner and sat down to watch the sun set.  Every day in Mykonos many, many people gather in the square to watch the sun set over the Aegean Sea, and after it does, everyone gives it a round of applause.  It was so much fun to sit their admiring and conversing with everyone.
This was a little Greek boy that came out with his parents and was throwing rocks into the sea; he was so cute!
The town was filled with hundreds of tiny Orthodox churches.  There are actually 365 of them, one for each day of the year they say.  The story goes that most of the Greek men had to go out to sea to fish and make money, while their Greek wives stayed at home.  So each woman would have a church built personally for her so that she could go in at any time and pray to St. John for her husbands safety.
This was the sidewalk that you walked along to get to the square.  I was fun to walk on because the waves would crash against the side and splash up onto you.  Just before and after sunset, the tables you see were filled with people there to watch the sunset.
The best part of Greece is something that I found in every single city that we visited, and I'll probably repeat this several times in the next blogs I post.  Living in Greece is about living as a community.  You treat people you don't even know like you've known them their entire lives.  Free time is spent gathered around a table conversing about life's pleasures and pains.  Time isn't wasted on meaningless frivolity, but it is used to build and keep relationships with those around you.  

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