Mykonos, Greece. May 16 – 18, 2010

May 25, 2010

I’m going to jump around with my trip to Greece.  I was going to describe things in order but I decided I’d rather talk about random parts of the trip one by one.

Mykonos.  Oh, Mykonos, you were AMAZING.  The second half of our trip consisted of taking a ferry between a few of the Greek Islands, and our first stop was Mykonos.  We left Athens via a large ferry and had economy tickets which pretty much allowed us to sit in any number of large sitting areas around the boat.  We ended up on the top deck and the table I was at, along with Dustin, was the PERFECT table.  It was right where the glass wall ended so two of the seats had no wind and the other two seats had a breeze.  The ferry ride from Athens to Mykonos was approximately five hours and we stopped at a few other islands along the way to drop off and pick up other people.

I really enjoyed the ferry ride although most everyone else in the group appeared not to like it so much.  I mainly just sat there and took in the views, and I also read for a few hours and talked to random people.

We arrived in Mykonos around mid afternoon time, around 1pm I think if I recall correctly.  After checking into the hotel, we had the rest of the day free as well as the whole next day with no planned activities.

After checking into the hotel, the whole group of students took the public bus (1.40EUROS each way which was well worth it) to Paradise Beach which was a cool little beach about 15 minutes away on the other side of the island.  The beach was very pretty, but it seemed very generic to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it very much but I didn’t pay $3,000 to travel around the world to sit on a beach and get drunk.  Just not really my idea of fun!  There were a few food places so we got a bite to eat, had a few drinks, and sat on the beach and relaxed for a few hours.  I ended up heading back to the hotel with a few others who were calling it an early night, and the rest of our group stayed and drank the night away and according to the rumor, it is our group who gives Americans a bad name.  Hate to say it, but it doesn’t surprise me :/  (A few people got very drunk and made fools out of themselves, but I wasn’t there so who am I to tell the story).

While we were on the ferry I was chatting with one of the professors on the trip who mentioned there is scuba diving on Mykonos Island so I decided right then and there I was going diving.  I made the mistake of mentioning this to Dr. Lyons who said she didn’t think it was a good idea, and when we were on the bus to the hotel she asked specifically for us not to scuba dive because she didn’t know what the international regulations are.  I really do respect Dr. Lyon’s opinion and I don’t like the idea of doing things behind her back, however, I am scuba certified and I am not missing the opportunity to scuba dive in the Greek Islands.  One other student on the trip had just finished the diving certification course taught at HCC, so the two of us scouted out the dive shop at Paradise Beach and we set a time to go diving the next day.

I WENT SCUBA DIVING IN MYKONOS!!! So, the next day we had no planned activities and we had the entire day to ourselves.  Most of us students met up at breakfast early in the morning and then went to the rental shop up the street and rented 4X4 ATVs.  I wasn’t going to rent one at first, however, after being asked by Sapphire to rent one and drive her I decided it would be a lot of fun.  Sapphire didn’t really want to drive one of them so it worked out well for me to drive and for us to split the cost.  It came out to be about 30 EUROS total for the rental and gas so about $20USD each.

We spent the morning and afternoon driving around aimlessly but when there are about 10-12 students on 7 or 8 ATVs, it’s just natural that not everyone is going to want to do the same thing.  There was some tension because one person needed to go use an ATM, another needed to find and buy a memory card, and I wanted to cruise around and let them all bitch and moan behind me.  I’m not certain why exactly, but it usually ended up with me leading for about half the time and I simply didn’t care what everyone else did; however, I am a good leader and kept track of everyone and made sure we were all together.

We all eventually decided we were going to head to Paradise Beach because (other student) and I had to be at the dive shop at 2:30pm.  It was still only about noon at this point so there was no rush and we stopped back at the rental place to get directions on how to get to Paradise Beach from where we were at.  Only one student ran in to get directions so we all followed her, however, it became very clear that we weren’t going the right way.  Even though I didn’t know which way to go, I did take the bus the day before so I had a general idea and something just didn’t seem right.  After someone else said they didn’t think we were going the right way we all came to a stop and turned around but for some reason it came down to Sapphire and myself and 2 others on one ATV being all by ourselves and we couldn’t find anyone else, so because we were a little frustrated that they didn’t bother making sure we were behind them, we just went on our way to Paradise Beach on our own.  When we got to Paradise Beach, we figured they’d show up soon after us but after a few hours they never showed up.  At about 2:25pm, five minutes before we had to meet at the dive shop, we decided we’d go looking for them and ran into them not far up the road.  Apparently, that entire group had gotten lost and ended up far away and one of them ran out of gas so it created a huge issue.  All I can say is I am very glad I was not with them because it sounded like a very tiring and frustrating experience.

Oh yeah, did I mention I went scuba diving in Mykonos??? So, finally we were at the dive shop and (other student) and I did our thing while everyone else enjoyed the beach.  Because it was starting to rain and it was rather windy, we weren’t able to go out on the boat and instead we did a beach dive.  At first I was a little weary and not so pleased, however, this beach dive was something I will never forget.  The water was about 62 to 64 degrees so VERY VERY cold, but once you get in the water it really feels good and is something I enjoy very much!!

It’s so crazy to think that you’d never know what kind of life is under the water such a short distance from the sandy shore of the beach.  We only went approximately 200-400 feet out from the beach and about 25-30 feet deep but there was a small reef and tons of life flourishing under the water.  One of my favorite fish we saw was the rainbow wrasse and there were many others that I have no clue what they are called.  I don’t have any pictures of the dive itself because there was no one available to take pictures for us and we didn’t have an underwater camera unfortunately.  All I can say is that it was the highlight of my trip and it’ll be hard for you to find me happier than 1. when I’m in the mountains, and 2. when I’m under water scuba diving.

(View from hotel room.  That’s the Aegean Sea in the distance and a tennis court off to the left.)

Without going into detail, the night ended with my room mate and I going out to a few bars/clubs and we got back at the hotel approximately fifteen minutes before we had to have our luggage out (7:15am I think it was).  This last picture of me is at about 9am without having gone to sleep that night and we had to stand on this dock for an hour waiting for the speed boat.  Then we rode the speed boat for about one hour to another island where we proceeded to stand on another dock for about an hour and then took a ferry for about three to four hours to the next island of Santorini.  So we didn’t exactly pick the best night to pull an all nighter, but when will I be in Mykonos again??  It was a lot of fun!!!

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