Our next island hop was to Mykonos which was positively beautiful (as if all the others weren’t) and was definitely one of my favorites. We had to dingy from the sailboat into the town which itself was an adventure. Once everyone was on shore we did a walking tour where our guides told us all about the island and took us to all the neat spots. My favorite story was about how the island got its mascot – Petros the Pelican. How lucky were we to spot him in two different places?
Another highlight of the island was the windmills which are no longer working, but still a cool sight. Maybe this island was my favorite because we only shopped, strolled, ate, and took photos – no pedaling or hill climbing required.
Next we had a real treat visiting an important ancient site on the island of Delos. According to Greek mythology the God Apollo and his twin sister Artemis were born here. At one time this was the center of the world and its was positively amazing to learn all about this civilization that was created in the 4th century BC. Suddenly I became interested in history. I just couldn’t believe what I was looking at and the stories that I was hearing. How could people have engineering such amazing structures way back then without the tools and technology that we have today?
It was a short visit on Delos and then we sailed to Tinos. This island is known for their doves. The landscape is filled with beautiful dove castles, ornately decorated bird houses, where thousands of doves live and fly freely all over the island. I was so inspired that I too wanted to fly. It would have been much easier than all that uphill pedaling, that is for sure.
Once again, as always, the pay offers were great and the views spectacular as we coasted down the mountain. I guess this was our version of flying! On the long descents I tried to compose descriptive blog posts in my mind to try to share the experience of what I was seeing and feeling, but unfortunately none of the brilliance was stored in my memory. I think this falls under the “words just can’t describe it” category. Or maybe I just need to be a far more talented writer than I am in order to do it any justice at all. This is the closest I can come to sharing some of the experience with you. Sorry for the poor quality.
From Tinos we sailed to Kea which is the most Westerly inhabited Cyclades Island. Today we had a choice to either bike on the flat lands to the beach or straight up another mountain to the village of Ioulis. You would think that by now the uphill biking would be getting old, but without hesitation I picked the hilltop village. What would I do at the beach anyway?
I’m so glad that we huffed it up yet another huge hill. The little village we visited at the top was among my favorites. The main attraction was a huge smiling lion which was chiseled from stone in the 6th Century BC. It was quite a nice walk through the alleyways that turned into a picturesque hiking trail to get to the lion and of course we were treated to the Greek mythology stories along the way. The entire hike offered great views and it was a nice treat to enjoy them on foot rather than zooming downhill on a bike.
I loved seeing all the locals and visiting the bakeries and shops. It was in one particular artsy shop at the top of a very steep hill where I fell in love with a piece of artwork. I debated endlessly if we should buy it, but couldn’t decide. I had to first figure out where it would go in our house and then decide if we should spend the bucks on it (despite my husband insisting to “just get it.”) We left the shop empty handed and I continued to think about it all the way back down the hill. No sooner do we get to the bottom I announce, “OK, I want it!” My husband was such a good sport. He grabbed his bike and pedaled up that insanely steep hill (that nobody attempted to bike up) to get our souvenir.
Thank you Karlo, for the artwork and for the memories we made while buying it.