Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mykonos and Santorini for Christmas

My friend Helen has a son living in a New York apartment with bare walls, and she promised him some "art" for those walls for Christmas.  He loves the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini --especially the beaches and the waves, she said, asking me to come up with some photos of those two islands so she could choose several that I would have printed in a large size and matted and framed for his Christmas gift.

This gave me a delightful chance to go back through photos taken four or five years ago on those islands to give her a selection to choose from.  The photo above shows a Greek woman meeting Petros, the famous pelican who is the mascot of Mykonos.  It seems that there has been a pelican named Petros wandering the harbor around the fish market since forever.  The original Petros died in 1986, it is said, and the whole island went into mourning.  Then Jackie Kennedy Onassis obtained a new pelican, named Irene, to take its place.   I think there are actually several tame pelicans lurking around the harbor, but the natives will always tell you that the pelican you are pointing at is Petros.
Here is another shot of Petros--or is it Irene?  It's a rather pink pelican, so maybe it's a female.  Helen chose three other photos for her son's Christmas gift, but said she might eventually get this one for herself, as she really loves the pelican.
This church--right on Mykonos' harbor near the fish market, is said to be one of the most photographed churches in Greece.  It's very tiny.  It shows in the background of a painting I did of two men in the vegetable market.  I use that painting on my business card.  And I went back to Mykonos and  showed it to the vegetable seller last year.  He loved it.  He said the old gentleman who was his customer in my painting has now passed away.  Here's the painting.

Here's another photo of Mykonos taken from the second-story veranda of a bar where we always go to watch the sun set.  The row of  windmills at the end of the harbor are the symbol of Mykonos--so this scene is easily recognizable to anyone who has been there.  The  stretch of picturesque buildings on the left is called "Little Venice"
This photo was taken during the "golden hour" as photographers call it--the hour before the sun goes down, when  everything turns a beautiful color, including the white-washed stucco houses of Little Venice.  Fashion photographers often take advantage of the golden hour which makes everything, including their models and their fashions look better.

Here is a view of Little Venice looking in the other direction, when I was standing below the windmills.


While sitting in our favorite Mykonos bar, waiting for the sun to go down, I took this photo of my glass of wine with the windmills in the background.  It was at this same place that my daughter Eleni took the photo of me that I use for my profile photo.

As the sun set, we saw this wonderful view of an anchored sailing ship silhouetted against the sky.

Here's one last photo of Mykonos taken from the beach of Aghios Sostis--Eleni's favorite place in the world.  The beach is fabulous and up the hill there's a small taverna with heavenly food cooked in the simplest way on a grill.


Mykonos is a very sophisticated island filled with international visitors and very expensive stores.  It's all white stucco buildings and shocking pink bougainvillea and narrow, winding streets meant to confuse raiding pirates  The island is known for its hard-partying ways and the significant gay culture there.  There are many nudist beaches and loud nightclubs, but there are also wonderful  isolated spots like this one.

Next blog post I'll show you the photos of Santorini and tell you which ones Helen chose for her gifts to her son.

1 comment:

Iñaki Herrero said...

Nice photos. Mykonos is a wonderful place to stay several days relaxing and enjoying the sun & beach.