The Autobahn to Cologne
Since there were several Europeans with us at the wedding in Roosendaal, and Germany was close to next on our itinerary, our good German friends drove us from south Holland to Deustchland. Neither Karen or I had been to Germany, nor had we been on the autobahn, which is basically any of a set of freeways that criss-cross Germany. We rode with our Doctor gone MBA pal Tibor in his folks' red BMW sedan, while Karsten, Meike and Anton followed in the Volkswagen Golf. It quickly became clear that our hosts were fairly excited about showing off both German automotive engineering skills and the standard driving privelages afforded to all Germans. As the red BMW hit 220 km per hour (more or less the top speed of the car....136 miles per hour), a look of satisfaction came across Tibor's face. It really wasn't that scary - we were buckled in, the roads were in good condition, and Tibor looked quite comfortable as he casually chatted and drove with one hand. Anyhow, we got to Cologne relatively quickly where we were fortunate enough to have dinner and catch a few hours of sleep at Meike's sister's house before we took off en route to Mykonos, Greece.
We went to Mykonos to meet our good old friend from Denver, the famous Reza. We caught an unfortunate 4:45 AM direct flight from Cologne to Mykonos, which put us there first thing in the morning. It had been extremely hot in Greece at that time, and it was still pretty warm. We made our way to our 'cabin' and took a sweat-nap in an attempt to recover from our very short night. That afternoon, we met up with Reza, who had already been there for four or five days and had somehow befriended everyone at his hotel. The first picture is of us on Reza's balcony. The next one is of our 'beach cabin' at the Paradise Beach Resort.
Reza is a bit of a regular traveler in Mykonos; this was his third consecutive year taking holiday there. He showed us around - took us to some interesting beaches and interesting bars. Check out the truly accidental picture of Reza and Matt at the beach (normally, photos of the pasty chubby guy in red shorts wouldn't be posted, but this one warrants it - go ahead click and blow it up). It was nice to see our old friend again and to experience the fact that he hasn't changed a bit. We'll see you somewhere buddy!
Mykonos is a great little island. It is small enough and warm enough that most everyone just drives around on mopeds. So we did as the locals and rented the orange hot rod you see in the picture. Plus, it was time that we did some landry and we needed some ground transporation. We thought we were pretty crazy with two of us on the crappy little scooter, with a huge bag of dirty clothes strapped to Karen's back. Our pride was squished a bit as we made our way east and saw truly insane moped tactics and loading (more to come later).
There is a nice little village area adjacent to the waterfront. One spot is called 'Little Venice' and expensive little boutiques and quaint restaurants abound. We ran into one of a few resident pelicans (I think these are endangered) as we wandered around the town. This shopkeeper lady is prodding it with a plastic hanger, trying to make sure it doesn't go into her store. It just strolled through the streets - Karen touched it on the head.
We really liked Mykonos. Our accomodations were very basic, but surprisingly OK. It was right off the beach with a laid back atmosphere and helpful people. Mykonos is amazing because once you get out of the town, it is as dry as a desert. There is essentially no green. However, the sea and the town have great views at every turn. We snapped tons of photos, but here are a few to show what a nice place this is.
The food is pretty good - we really enjoyed the Greek Salads - and prices are fairly reasonable (depending on where you stay and eat). Overall, the place has an excellent vibe (plus you pretty much have to rent a moped, which is almost guaranteed fun). We'll definitely go back sometime and would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice place to relax. Also, it is certainly gay friendly, but we didn't find it to be the gay-haven it is reputed to be.