Mykonos is one of those places that I had wanted to visit for years. I could spend hours browsing Pinterest photos of the blue waters surrounding the island, perfectly harmonising with the white and blue architecture. Sadly, this was our shortest excursion days and because of the weather the option to spend the day at a secluded beach wasn’t available. While most of my Cruisin’ Ladies decided to spend the day at the shops, I went to the island of Delos, one of the most important mythological (the birth place of Athena and Artemis), archaeological and historical sites in Greek history.
I made sure to get up early enough to see the sunrise. It’s hard to not enjoy the breeze against you face as you dock on an island in the Cyclades. Every Greek isle I’ve been to (read about my Crete adventure here) has a tranquillity that makes you forget your worries and live in the moment. Mykonos is no different. Filled with more cuddly cats and, my favourite dessert of all time, baklava, it is a place to wonder at the history of humanity while gazing through hundreds of feet of crystal clear Mediterranean waters.
Most of my day was spent at the island of Delos, which is little more than a peaceful island filled with ruins and a small museum. Yet the symbolism it holds to Greek mythology and history is immense. Archaeologists have proof of habitation back to the 3rd millennium BC. By the turn of the millennium, from 900 BC to 100 AD it appears to have become a major cult centre, acting as a religious pilgrimage for the Ionians and Panhellenic sacrifice centre. Though its lands were not heavily used for agriculture, it became a port for troops during various wars including the Persian War in 478 BC and for the Romans during the period of 166 BC to the end of the 1st century AD, when it was attacked and soon became abandoned.
Mosaics from the House of the Lake
The House of the Trident
The House of Dionysus
The Terrace of Lions
View of the Temple of Isis
After touring the island, which I will admit was very crowded making it hard to hear the details from the guide, we had time to browse through the museum, with the bulk of the collection dating from the 7th century-1st century BC.
After the tour of the island and a good browse through the museum, there wasn’t much time left before we needed to head back to Mykonos to dock the ship. But of course, there is always time for baklava.
One of the neat things about Mykonos is how small and informal it is. Restaurants, bars and coffee shops line the sandy shores where families might strip down to their underwear for a quick swim. Luckily, I was able to find my Cruisin’ Ladies, who had enjoyed the shops and a fantastic Greek lunch, without much issue.