My original plan in my head quite sometime ago, was to travel overland from Turkey to Jordan. The problem is that Syria sits in between them. Right now they are not the best place to transit through.
Seeing as I was on the south-west coast of Turkey, I decided to detour through Greece. the closest greek island is actually Kos, only a 20 minute ride from Bodrum, Turkey. My timing is sometimes very good, as it turns out the Bodrum Sailing Cup was happening and most of the race boats docked in Kos, Greece!
I spent the day wandering Kos, just lounging in a park, hanging out in cafes and playing with random stray kittens. I would wait all day until an overnight ferry that would be 9 hours in duration. This is where I would have my first travel mishap…
When booking the ticket I was looking to go to Piros, a greek island somewhere in the middle of the island cluster. My thought process was this would give me a good jump-off point in order to hit either Santorini, Mykonos, Crete…whatever.
Here’s the mistake. I book a ticket to Pireus, which sounded like Pi-ros when the guy booked it. But he said “Pi-ray-us”…and I said “Yeah”. I wouldn’t realize this until I get to what I thought was Piros and I went to inquire about a ticket to Mykonos and Athens, Athens being where I need to end off to fly out. When I get to the ferry ticket counter the girl looked at me very strangely when I asked for the ferry schedule for Athens.
“You can just take a train to Athens, it’s 10 min away.”
In my head, I was like “lady…we’re on an island, is there a rail system that goes through a tube underwater or something?!”
She then shows me where we are on a map. SUPER. I managed to bypass ALL the islands and end up at my departure point and waste the better part of two days. I would react quickly and find a ferry to Mykonos which would be an hour and half commute to the other side of the city to an alternate port. I would arrive in Mykonos in the evening and wake up to this…
I stayed in the Zorzis Hotel, which is owned by an Australian and Greek couple, and is right down the labyrinth like streets of Mykonos. I would get lost numerous times during my few days here, which is rare seeing as I have a built in compass from my years in boy scouts. I never got mad when I got lost because every corner had some type of picturesque shop or cafe, and elderly Greek people sitting and chatting. Every lane, alley and corner had character.
I would also show up during Greece’s independence day, where marching bands, school groups and other children would dress up and parade down the boardwalk by the sea. It was nice to feel like part of the community to sit in and watch the happenings.
After the hotel owner telling me that all the dive shops have closed up for the season, I would see myself blanked again for scuba diving. I would be forced to wander some more in the city and outskirts where I would find some great photo ops, and relax a ton with some Greek ice frappe coffees. Which were unbelievably good!
I would find Little Venice, which is a tiny seaside strip with great restaurants and views of the sea, and beside it the 5 windmills which really wets your palate with a taste a Greek scenery.
My brief stop in Mykonos was followed up by a brief stop in Athens. I would really only spend a day at the Acropolis and it’s museum, but worth doing both. Once you see the Acropolis and Parthenon I highly suggest going to the museum of the Acropolis, paying the 5 euro and watching the video on the history of it.
Over time it was a mosque, a church, a shrine and many others depending on who occupied it during that time. The detail and “story-telling” stone-work runs so deep, and you would never get the full idea, even with a tour guide.
Greece was a short trip, but a very good one partly because it was by chance (thanks Syria). The good thing about this trip is that I only scratched the surface with the history and islands still left lots to be seen and heard. I’m leaving Greece on the list for the next round of travels, maybe a honeymoon , if a woman is that lucky for me to want to squad-up with her.
More photos here!