The Sea, the Sun and Savory Sensations
January 5, 2006
I simply fell in love with Mykonos, the tiny Greek island set like a sparkling jewel in the sun-dappled Aegean sea. Approaching from the water, Mykonos, bathed in brilliant sunshine is fairytale enchantment.
The year-round population is 6,600; in season, the numbers swell to more than 100,000. But the island is refreshingly unspoiled. Tiny storefronts leading into bakeries, confectioners, artisan jewelers and art galleries are tucked into narrow alleyways winding steeply uphill. Don't be surprised if you get lost in the maze.
Half-a-dozen windmills tower over the village - the islander's landmark. During 19th-century Turkish occupation, 28 windmills were in operation, making Mykonos an essential stop for passing ships to load up on bread.
Today, the remaining mills have been converted into private homes. Flat-roofed houses, rise tier upon tier up the mountainside, resembling a haphazard pile of dazzling snow-white sugar cubes.
From Mykonos, you can see the sacred islet of Delos, one of the religious centers of ancient Greece and the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Once there was a large Jewish population in Delos, and the islet was a stopover for Jewish sailors on trading routes. Today, you can still see the remnants of one of the synagogues.
But it's the food - simple, fresh and rustic - that makes me yearn to return.
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