GREECE: IN OUR BLOOD
If the crowds were anything to go by, Gus was right, there are two kinds of people in the world- Greeks, and everyone else who wish they were Greek. When you find yourself in a place as beautiful as Greece, you want to bundle it up, take it home and hope it never changes upon return. Being half Greek myself, it struck a cord within- and not just on the taste palette. The itinerary consisted of the travel magazine Island getaway, with the centre fold a spread of white washed houses, aqua blue water and a Michelin star banquet to satisfy cravings. Local produce still exists, with tomatoes sweeter than berries and saganaki style cheese an obvious Apollo inspiration.
Our hotel, Mykonos Blu, boasted the infamous Cyclades white roof, blue detailing and shabby-chic interiors, perched above the louder neighbour Nammos Beach Club and overlooking the rows of beach chairs that host Psarous Beach visitor's each day. It takes 'island time' to a new level, with dinner served at circa 10pm and dancing only allowed at lunch, and if it weren't for the 9pm sunset breakfast would turn into lunch which would turn into Dinner. And repeat. Tourists litter the island with chatter and holiday vibes, and as you head into town for circa 9:00pm shopping, cobblestoned streets house boutiques, albeit a high end designer island takeover, traditional churches and respect for locals thankfully still remains.
While the islands were magical, the mainland proved even more snow-globe like with pebbled beaches without a tourist in site, water without the super-yacht exhaust and restaurants without the Billionaire's Club. Having roots in a small village an hour from Athens, Akrata taught us more than a history textbook ever could:
1. It's lamb for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Gluten free simply does not exist, and the only intolerance is against anyone who fails to return for seconds.
2. We were in fact related to just about every person we met, young and old- Nick, Nic, Niki and Nicholas included, and if it wasn't by blood, then marriage was on the cards.
3. Greeks run on Greek time. 10 minutes really means 1.5 hours (roughly). Why rush?
It seemed Mykonos was the trending option this (Euro) Summer, and as celebrities step off yachts, tourists walk down ferry ramps and like us, you survive the plane landing on the world's smallest runway- it must be worth it from all angles, for come next Summer, it could be a different island altogether. We avoided the epic tourist look this year, leaving the SLR at home, instead testing out a vintage film camera that gave us something to look forward to upon our return home. It captured the moments in between the havoc, and if you know anything about my family it's that there's never a dull moment- particularly when all six are sitting beachside in our home town.
μέχρι την επόμενη φορά
(that is, until next time)