Milos is for lovers.
12.09.2013 - 23.09.2013
Milos is for lovers.
No really. That’s the island’s tagline.
Although, after almost 30 hours without sleep, a bath, or a toothbrush, Matt and I are not exactly feeling amorous.
We are exhausted. But we are HERE. We are on Milos.
It is just after 5:00 p.m. as the tiny plane we had boarded in Athens lands on the small island of Milos.
To call it an airport would be generous.
As we deplane and I walk out onto the airstrip, there is grass growing on the runway. There are no airport staff, security people, or baggage handlers.
The only live body is a cat on the tarmac giving itself a tongue bath. As I walk inside the small building that serves as the terminal, I half expect to see the room tricked out with wooden chairs and a box of chickens. Instead, it is empty.
It’s probably better that way.
I have made all of the trip arrangements for our time in Greece myself. I am a do-it-yourself type of traveler. I want none of your pre-packaged, pre-planned tours, thankyouverymuch. You won’t find me on a “Stay in line, make sure you have your tickets, don’t stray from the group” type of trip.
This gets us in trouble sometimes. And when you show up at an airport that looks practically “3rd world” and you don’t have a tour guide with a waiting van to show you where to go and what to do, and the only airport authority to ask is the tarmac cat, who can’t really be bothered until he has finished licking his butt, you get a little nervous.
Through my research, I have chosen Milos Car Rental and the Melian Boutique Hotel for our time on Milos. As I look around the deserted “airport,” noticing that the cat from outside has now settled itself inside on the baggage carousel, I hope I have chosen well because I don’t see a phone or a taxi in sight.
That’s when I see a gentleman holding a sign that says, “Hatfield.”
I breathe a sigh of relief.
We grab our bags and follow him to our 4x4 Suzuki Jimny. The rental car agent directs us to follow him to the office so that we can “make the paper.”
The Jimny is covered with dirt. It is literally so dusty I can write my name on it – and I don’t mean on the outside, I mean on the DASH. We climb inside and the floorboards are littered with sand and it’s got less than a ¼ of a tank of gas. We start it up and, as the fan belt squeals, the air conditioner blows out a cloud of dust so thick I feel like we are in a sandstorm.
I look at Matt. He looks at me. We shrug. “Let’s go make the paper,” he says with a smile.
Welcome to Milos.
As Matt goes inside the rental car office to “make the paper,” I step out of the car and stare at the bay below. It is close to sunset and the water has started to shimmer. Restaurants are setting up tables at the water’s edge with linens and candles. Small, colorful wooden boats bob up and down in the waves.
I run a finger along the dusty Jimny and smile.
I already love Milos.
Finished with the rental car business, we are off in minutes. It’s a short drive to the tiny seaside town of Pollonia where we find Melian Boutique Hotel perched on the water with a perfect view of the setting sun.
The hotel is amazing. Small, intimate, beautiful, it is everything I hoped it would be. We are shown to the rooftop suite where we have a beautiful room and a huge private terrace looking out over the sea.
Sure, I have been awake for 30-something hours, but I am in heaven….how can I be tired?
We get changed and go in search of our first real meal in Greece (I can’t count the croutons, no matter how good they were). It’s about a 5 minute stroll along the waterfront from Melian to the center of Pollonia where restaurants are scattered about the edge of the bay.
Armenaki looks good. Okay, it’s literally the first restaurant we come to, but so what. It still looks good.
We are seated quickly and are handed menus which have English translations. No grunting and pointing required.
We order steamed mussels and garlic dip. Matt orders the amberjack and I go for the grilled lobster. These islands are known for their lobster, and I love me some lobster.
“How big?” the waitress asks.
I look at the menu. It is priced per kilo.
Damn metric system.
At one point, when I was in grade school in the 70s, the metric system was familiar for about one month as the US sadly attempted using the system the rest of the world was using. I remember dutifully studying my little wooden ruler, counting the metric increments of an inch. Apparently, it was too hard, and besides, it was unnecessary, as the US already had firmly established a disorganized method that we already knew. So we gave up trying.
Leaving me here at this table in Greece wondering how to order my lobster. I scratch my head and try to use the 7 brain cells that I have left after this long day.
Finally, the waitress takes pity on the dumb American who doesn’t know the metric system, “1/2 kilo?” she asks, “Should be good for you,” she offers.
I smile in thanks and wonder if I just ordered the world’s smallest lobster or the world’s largest.
No matter. I am in Greece. I am on the beautiful island of Milos. I am with my wonderful husband.
And Milos is for lovers, after all.