The last of our stops was on Mykonos, another one of the most popular Greek islands.  We counted four cruise ships in the harbor one time.  One reason that it is nice to visit by ferry boat is that you can enjoy the islands before and after the cruise ship passengers arrive.  The best time of all is late at night when the locals fill the bars and restaurants.  Unfortunately, we could rarely stay up late enough to dine at 9 p.m. like most of the local people do.  We consistently wear ourselves out by then with our daytime walking and exploring. In Greece, shops often close between 2 and 5 and then stay open later into the evening.  In tourist areas, though, this is seldom a problem.  Mykonos is always bustling with activity from early June through September.  We arrived on June 14 and found it busier than Santorini was just a week earlier.  As always, we most enjoy traveling in the "shoulder season" just before or after the busiest times. With weather being so unpredictable in recent years, it's just as likely that the peak weather will extend earlier or later than one expects. Mykonos is still a delight, even with its crowded, narrow streets; but it's even better when there are fewer tourists there.

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Mykonos is known for its windmills, its beaches, its pelican Petros (or current look-alike) and its scenic, blue and white buildings perched upon the hillside.  We saw it all and came home with more pictures than I can put up here. 

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We stayed at Petosos Town Hotel, a less expensive place right near the center of activity.  A pleasant surprise was that they provided a shuttle to their sister facility, Petosos Beach Resort and Spa, a beautiful upscale resort next to a large public beach. We had the best of both worlds and enjoyed it all.     Mykonos Town is full of shops and galleries with lovely gold jewelry, exciting art and beautiful clothing worthy of enticing any visitors to part with their Euros.  With restaurants and beaches galore, we were often tempted to while away our time by simply sitting and enjoying the beautiful day. Among the many outdoor eating choices is one cafe and bar area called Little Venice, with its buildings jutting out over the sea which laps at its side.

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Like Santorini and so many of the other Greek islands, Mykonos is an inspiration for any photographer or artist.  Some of our pictures could be from any island since the brilliantly blue Aegean Sea, gorgeous sunsets and the bright white buildings are everywhere. Gyros, baklava and ouzo, the anise flavored grain alcohol, can be found most everywhere if you look for them.  However, a few french fries are always stuffed inside a traditional Greek gyro now and the Greeks seem to prefer their red or white wines over the ancient Retsina for which they used to be known. These rocky islands are producing more and more acceptable wines nowadays. Greek salads with feta cheese, sun kissed tomatoes, onions, olives and cucumbers are still a standard, but the black Greek sailors' hats that I adore are few and far between, just as is the thick, sweet Greek coffee that needs slow, careful brewing.  I was told that they don't drink that any more because "it's bad for the stomach". Instead, you see frappes, a frothy iced drink made from Nescafe instant coffee (and even a Starbucks shop    in Athens!).  I have to admit that the frappe is very good and I'm still trying to perfect a home made copy. As everywhere, some things stay the same, but much is changing in Greece with an ever increasing influx of people and influences from elsewhere. Let's hope the islands never lose the charm and beauty that we enjoyed so much for three weeks this June!

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