Paul W. Smith: Visits to Mykonos, Athens

Paul W. Smith
"The Parthenon," 1871, Frederic Church, oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of Maria DeWitt Jesup, from the collection of her husband, Morris K. Jesup.

“Outta’ my mind on a Monday moanin’”

Picking up where we left off last week on our Cruise and Tour WJR Travel Club trip through The Greek Isles on the beautiful Celebrity Reflection, we find ourselves on Mykonos, Greece. As we approach this picture postcard destination, it strikes me how incredibly different this arrival is compared to, say, Portofino or Bermuda, with their pink and pastel-colored homes and businesses. Mykonos is beautiful, but stark white.

Along with the internationally revered beaches (and epic beach parties known worldwide), one should take time to visit Panagia Paraportiani, Mykonos’ oldest Church, and probably the most photographed in all of Greece.

The Folklore, Archaeological and Aegean Maritime Museums also are worth checking out.

Next up is Athens, the capital of Greece and one of the world’s oldest cities. We thank Athens for its gifts of history, poetry, drama and philosophy. Everyone is drawn to the Parthenon, but not everyone should climb the Acropolis to get closer to this tribute to the goddess Athena. The trek up to the top is crowded, challenging and dangerous on a busy day. Frankly, I can’t understand why the government doesn’t take some of the huge amount of money they make on this historic gem and, off to the side, build some safe regular stairs with railings. I saw at least five people fall because of the treacherous path to the top.

Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic explosion. Black sand beaches, crystal clear waters and more whitewashed villages. It’s been called the birthplace of gods.

Take note, the town is only reachable by cable car, donkey or walking a flight of stairs with 600 steps, the same steps used by the donkeys, and, well, use your imagination.  

Paul W. Smith is the host of "The Paul W. Smith Show" on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday.