A Last Night in Mykonos
We sleep in as late as possible today,
for 2 reasons. First, we indulged last night in our normal Mykonos routine. Second, we are traveling today to Istanbul, where we hook up with the small tour of Turkey that we are taking, and it will be a long day.
It has surprised me how quickly we have created little patterns for ourselves as we travel around, and then, when we move on, they change completely. Last night we started a bit differently because we walked 50 metres up the hill to Neil’s hotel to watch the sunset. Although we had a great view over Mykonos town from our room, the deck at Neil’s hotel has a spectacular view! The sunset is less than, however, as there is a low-lying cloud that means the sun doesn’t hit the Aegean. But the view over the sea, with Tinos as the backdrop, is wonderful. Then, per normal, the 3 of us do the 10-minute walk down the hill into town, discussing on the way what we are feeling like for dinner. It is a beautiful night, and we decide on a restaurant on the square behind the cathedral, where we can sit outside. From there, we head to Katarina’s, for our nightly update of news of the day (the Mykonos news of the day, that is) and a good visit with Darren, who also tells us our agenda for later, because with his ear to the ground he knows which places will be hopping when the town starts to get going, which is certainly never before midnight. When we do move on, I am somewhat surprised (still?) by the number of families we see, walking the streets, grandparents and young grandchildren and moms and dads all out together, at 12, at 1, even at 2 in the morning. As an aside, I also like the fact that there are still lots of people who live in Mykonos town; in Thira, on Santorini, the whole town was hotels, restaurants, and shops – nobody seemed to live there.
Because it is our last night on Mykonos, we stay out later than usual, and the sun is beginning to rise in the sky when we finally shut the door to our room.
And Now to Istanbul
This morning, we pack and check out of the hotel, but our flight is not till 3, so we walk up the hill once more and sit with Neil by the pool, drinking cappuccinos and copious amounts of water. Finally, it is time to leave Mykonos and we head to the airport for our uneventful flight to Athens, where we have a 3-hour layover before our flight to Istanbul.
The flight to Istanbul is also uneventful – no view, unfortunately. We arrive at Istanbul airport right on time, about 8:15 p.m. There is no problem with luggage, we are met by the tour agency as promised, and we drive into the city. We are surprised by how western Istanbul feels, at least from the expressway – the expressway system reminds us of LA, there seem to be expressways going everywhere, and the traffic jam at 9:00 on a Sunday night is also highly reminiscent of LA.
We arrive at the hotel to find that the tour briefing started just a few minutes earlier. We meet the group we will be traveling with for the next 17 days: Haluk, who will be our fearless leader, Sarah, Jan (both from New Zealand), Frank, Erin (both from Australia), and Matt, from Illinois. Our wake up call for tomorrow morning will be at 5:30, as we will need to leave for the bus station to catch the bus to Çanakkale by 6:30.
The briefing over, we head to the room, dig out the Turkish language cheat sheet our friend Sarah, who loves the Turkish language, made up for us months ago before we left home, and then repack, as we will leave as much luggage at the hotel as we can.
Then, a very happy ‘lights out’ experience.