Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hello from Mykanos

Hello, I am alive, and in Greece. It is lovely and warm. Today I got sun burned! It's been about six months since I was in the sun enough to get sunburned. Unfortunately I was wearing a 3/4 length shirt, so I got sunburned from like 3 inches above my wrist to my hand, which is a funny look. But it's do nice to be warm again, I don't even care. 

Can I just take a minutes to say the flight to Europe was my best flight ever? The plane was super empty. It was like flying 10 years ago. I remember how when I was little I used to always have my own row to lie down in coming back from Hawaii. I can't remember the last time that happened, BUT IT HAPPENED FLYING TO EUROPE. I had my own row for the whole 9 hour flight. So I laid down (the perks of being 5'2'') and slept the whole way! It was great. But for some reason this trip I've been struggling with jet lag. I'm usually pretty good about adjusting to Europe time, but it's been a battle this time. Oh well. There are worst things. 

Right now I am sitting inside with my kindle and my journal but I am blogging instead of writing or reading. On the plane I read Sherman Alexie's YA book, and I enjoyed it because Sherman Alexie is a very good writer. Now I'm working on a Ken Kesey novel, which is also very good. It surprised me a little bit because I didn't like Cuckoo's Nest because of the misogyny up the wazoo in it. Earlier I was sitting outside, but it got a little windy, and a strange very needy cat came over meowing and trying to sit on my lap, so I came inside. The cat is still outside, asleep on a chair in the sun. His collet is a piece of thick string. I think that in another life, I would like to be a Grecian hotel cat. He seems very comfy in his life, even if he is a little entitled. 

Right now we're on the island of Mykanos. It's just gorgeous. I feel like I'm in a National Geographic catalog. Or maybe in Mama Mia. All the buildings are white washed with blue shutters and balconies and stairways. Also, because of the lime whitewashing on all the buildings, the corners all look softer and the lines are slightly less than straight. All and all, it's a very appealing look these islands are rocking.

There are lots of tiny churches on Mykanos, and as I understand it, on the other Cyclade islands. Because there isn't a centralized (Papal) authority in the Greek Orthodox religion, families can build their own chapel on their land. Then they use it for baptisms, marriages, and burials. So there are these beautiful little chapels dotting fields and the tops of hills. The dome color reflects the family's buiness - blue for sailors and agriculturalists, red for merchants, and white for foreigners. The blue domes are my favorite. 

In Athens we went to the Acropolis and we spent today at Delos. There is something sort of stunning about Ancient Greece. I wish I knew more about it. I have vague 8th grade memories of Ancient Greece history and reading the Odyssey (I think I only remember either of them at all because both classes were taught by excellent teachers).  I need to reread the Odyssey.

On another note, remember that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the protagonist is trying to explain to her aunt that her fiancĂ© is a vegetarian and the aunt is super offended by it? It's a really good thing that I quit being a vegetarian because there really isn't much meat-free action going on in Greece. I'm good with it though. Actually I'm totally loving Greek food. What meat-eating person doesn't love Greek food? Today while we were eating lunch a pelican came walking past. He was giant. The waiter explained that in 1986 Jackie Kennedy came to Mykanos and saw how much the tourists liked the one pelican on the island so she donated another, which was the one that walked by, because pelicans live about 45 years. I thought that was pretty cool. 

Today we hiked up a small mountain/hill to get a view of the island and it was glorious. I think that my golden rule of traveling is that the view is always worth the climb. It seems like the most spectacular and memorable breathtaking moments have all been after I climbed a hill or tower or whatever to see where I was from a new perspective. There's just something incredible about it.

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