Crossing Uneven Ground

Welcome to Mykonos! An Adventure on the Greek Ferry System

Greek Ferry

Using the Greek Ferry System to travel from island to island is an experience that serves up a dose of adventure blended with theater and a large dollop of chaos.

We traveled by ferry from Ikaria to Mykonos and braced for arrival at Mykonos Town. As with any public transportation in Greece you get a free portion of carnival-like entertainment thrown in with the price of the ticket. It should be noted that the Greek transportation game is played without any self-help organizational aids like intelligible announcements or signage of any kind. What’s more, between your departure and destination, the ferry stops at ports that you are not told about. So the visitor becomes part of an interactive theater where you and fellow travelers attempt to find out where you are and how to get where you’re going.

As the ferry docked, I cheated a little on the “where are we!?” part of the puzzle. I flipped on my Garmin GPS and determined that indeed we were in Mykonos Port. Ha! Advantage team Joanne and Tom! I did pause to consider the sight of the other 500 or so passengers asking the same question to the one-burned out steward. “Yes, it is Mykonos” he repeated. Pondering the occasional syncopation in the rhythm of self-replicating DNA molecules, I noticed how that phrase mutated into “no, not in Mykonos” as it was conveyed and translated and retranslated from passenger to passenger. A competitive urge gripped me as we high-stepped on down the stairs toward the ferry’s exit.

Nodding to Joanne at the swirl of cars, motorbikes and giant lorries simultaneously entering and exiting the bowels of the ferry, we grabbed our bags and got ready to play a round of “run the gauntlet.” Here pedestrians get to mingle with motorized traffic. The goal, not getting squished. Light packs gave us a bobbing and weaving advantage. Those with clumsier burdens could not adapt. This scene was purely Darwinian and I tried to keep my emotions at bay as many in the human herd, having made unwise luggage decisions, fell further and further behind. Assuming a low profile, reminiscent of our diminutive primate ancestors, Joanne and I skittered along the ship’s bulwark and burst through the gangway to the light of day.

Such was our alacrity that we found ourselves almost out of the port before the mini-bus driver assigned by our hotel to collect us called out “Mister Tomas?” As we approached him he looked at us with a wry smile. “You are the only ones to come out?” he asked. He craned his neck to look beyond us. “No others?” “I don’t think so,” I said, “let’s go.” “Welcome to Mykonos!” he said. We climbed into his mini-bus and went to the hotel.

Greek Ferry

If given the choice I’d almost always take a ferry. Approaching the islands by sea, the way the ancient Greeks did, provides great romantic views. You need to be a bit flexible as they sometimes run late…real late, but the overall experience is wonderful.

Mykonos Harbor

Once off the boat and on the island, even on crowded Mykonos, you can find a quiet little corner of the harbor to share a bottle of wine and enjoy the sunset.

Check out my Photo Tip: Avoiding the Chaos and Crowds of Mykonos Town.

Recommended: The Rochari Hotel, Mykonos

2 thoughts on “Welcome to Mykonos! An Adventure on the Greek Ferry System

  1. Katie Maloney

    Loved this, Tom! Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes.You might add some information about the luggage and camera bag you guys chose. I remember that Joanne put a lot of thought into hers. Please keep blogging, it’s good for the soul! Mine anyway.

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