Adventures in Milos

Milos, Greece

The ferry from Pireaus continues on to Milos after it stops in Sifnos. Most of the people I know have never been to Milos but they still poke fun at it. It's not that there is anything wrong with Milos. The disrespect people have for the island is because of a little game we used to play with the tourist girls. Most young people who come to Greece have their heart set on "island hopping". It's a difficult thing to do because most of the islands are not very conveniently interconnected. The individual ferry lines tend to service the same chains. In other words the people who go to Mykonos can also visit Ios, Paros, Naxos and Santorini very easily. There are numerous boats a day connecting them. But they would find it very difficult to go to Serifos, Sifnos or Milos. There are occasional ferries and perhaps a small local boat that is usually an old rust-bucket.

From the town of Appolonia you can see almost all the Eastern Cyclades islands  but you can't get to them very easily. But if you want to go to Milos, no problem. Every day there's at least one or two boats. So most of the girls who we met in Sifnos were going to Milos next. Many were leaving too soon and we would try to convince them not to go by making Milos seem like a terrible place. Milos is full of factories. The sun never shines on Milos because of the clouds of pollution that cover the sky. There are no women on Milos, just the men who work in the factories and the policemen who try to keep them under control. They don't have mousaka or Greek salads in Milos, just stale bread and bitter olives. We would continue heaping this barrage of abuse on this unfortunate island until the girls either reconsidered and spent the rest of their holidays on Sifnos, or until we waved good-bye to them as they got on the ferry to Milos, knowing that they would return because by this time we believed the s tories ourselves.

That's how I went to Milos. There was a girl named Christina Lefkaritis who came to stay with my friend Anna in Appolonia. We hit it off and became boyfriend and girlfriend for the day or two she was here. Then she and her friend told me they were going to Milos. My friend Dag from Iceland was interested in her friend so while they waited for the boat that afternoon we invited them to the Dolphin restaurant for ouzo and mezedes and to foil their plans. We criticized Milos for hours. We came up with a hundred new horrible Milos-facts and we all got drunker and drunker. Finally the ship came in. We walked them to the dock while we kept up our criticisms of this island that none of us had ever been to. Then I had an idea. I told my Icelandic friend that the ship would go to Milos and then turn around and come back on it's return trip to Pireaus. We could go with the girls and continue verbally abusing the island and if we hadn't convinced them to return with us, then we would come back by ourselves. We would be back in Kamares in four hours. Of course we didn't tell the girls we were doing this as we insisted on helping them with their bags and finding them a good spot on the nearly empty ONION. We acted horrified when the boat left the dock and we were still on it.

After awhile we pretended we had accepted our fate and we continued to talk about Milos and other things, but by now the festive feeling was wearing off and just the thought of a two hour return ferry ride was sobering. We needn't have worried. We found out, to our shock that this ferry was not going back to Sifnos. It was continuing on to Pireaus and when we got to Milos we checked the ferry schedules and got more bad news. There was no ferry to Sifnos until Sunday, two whole days away. To make matters worse there was a religious festival and every room in the town was booked and every table at every restaurant was occupied. Not only that, but the only things I had with me was a tanktop T-shirt, my bathing suit and flip-flops, which I was wearing, my wallet with my passport and travelers checks, and a towel. I was traveling lighter then I ever had in my life. The girls had no sleeping bags. They each had a sheet, so that first night we slept on a little beach in the town, huddled together for warmth.

I gave up trying to sleep at dawn and wandered around the village. I found the bread shop and brought back some delicious horiatico psomi(village bread) for my cold friends and that made us feel much better. We decided to explore the island and rented a couple motor bikes. It was actually pretty interesting. There was some light industry, some kind of mines and there were these big lakes for drying salt. On the other side of the island were some amazing limestone rock formations that had been carved by the sea and in a little town there was a tiny ferry that took cars and people to the island of Kimolos. But the most interesting place was a small village at the mouth of the big bay that leads to the port. I think it was called Klima. It's where they found the Venus De Milo in the ancient city above. But what I liked about the village were the little houses that were built right on the water like boat houses. In fact many of them were boat houses. I'd always wanted to return there and the summer that Andrea, Amarandi, my brother James and I took the ferry from Sifnos to Sitia, Crete we passed right by this village and Andrea declared that next year we were coming back and staying there.

So to finish my story, we finally got our ferry back to Sifnos after another freezing night and the girls came with us. So in a way we were successful and Christina and I became boyfriend and girlfriend for real and I followed her back to Athens and then to the States where we met in New York the day before she was going to Chicago and then I never heard from her again.

See my Milos Guide

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Athens Survival Guide

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