Sunday, August 11, 2013

Nieuw Amsterdam 2012 - Mykonos, Greece

We love the way Holland America compiled the itinerary for this cruise. Not just every day an early arrival in port to leave around 5 pm but more or less tailored to the destination. Our arrival in Mykonos was scheduled for 1 pm, so we had an extra half sea-day. Time enough to sleep in, have an excellent breakfast and enjoy the pool and the Mediterranean sun.

We loved our lunch at the Asian specialty restaurant Tamarind, so once again we went to our favorite venue. The restaurant has large ocean view windows. Looking out we saw a dolphin accompanying us to the Greek island of Mykonos and its beautiful bay.

We weren’t the only ship in port today, so we waited until it was time for the guests of Norwegian and Celebrity to embark their ships. Then we took the tender boat to Mykonos.

It was very hot, but the narrow streets provided enough shade. These streets are so cute. All the houses are painted white (twice a year). Also very typically painted doors and windows. It was like walking through a fairytale village.

We walked to the Paraportiani church. Actually it is not one church but four adjacent chapels with a fifth chapel built on top of the four.

After a short walk we arrived at the windmills that made Mykonos famous. Great spot for making idyllic photo’s.


From the hill where the windmills were, we also had a beautiful view on the bay with the Nieuw Amsterdam, and also on the Alefkandra quarter. The houses here are so close to the water that they call it “Little Venice”.

Instead of returning to the ship, we hiked uphill to the Boni Mill. From the outside it is just another windmill like the ones near the port. But the nice thing is that you can visit this one. So we climbed up the narrow stairs in the mill and looked around. We also had a great view from the hill.

At that time we were already very impressed with Mykonos. We had seen all the “must sees”. Except … The pelicans that are supposed to live near the harbor. Just when we reached the pier to return to the Nieuw Amsterdam, this promise was also fulfilled. A pelican was walking on the pier as if it was trained to do so, ending up at the local fountain for a drink.

Now we could check all the boxes on our Mykonos checklist. Time to shop for some souvenirs and then go back to the ship.

Kim and Rhodé immediately changed into their swimwear en went up to the Lido pool. There was a poolside barbecue, so we could refill our stomachs right away.

As said, we are very impressed with the arrival and departure times at Mykonos. We stayed in the bay until 11 pm. Some guests stayed ashore for dinner; we enjoyed the lights of Mykonos from the ship. We also saw one of the prettiest sunsets ever.

The show tonight was at 11 pm. The Indonesian crew performed for us. They proved not only to be very friendly cabin stewards, cooks or waiters, but also very talented singers and dancers. This is a crew to be very proud of. HAL would never be this successful without these wonderful men and women. Away from home for such a long time: Respect!

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