We did not have a Cole Porter moment on our last day but it did…
An Old Dutch Master, Mrs. Aster, Pepsodent
Instagrammers make everything The Top. In a cheap and self-serving attempt to miraculously enhance my influencer status, we decided to do the Instagram-
Tik-Tok-Facebook-My Space (!) Top Three Beaches on Milos.
Our day started early. The cock crows at 4:30. 4:30 a.m. I mean you will hear them, with abandon, at 4:30 p.m. as well. The cock crows with some vanity. But God forbid you don’t have earplugs.
We got an early start, not gallus domesticus early, but still.
A Melody From a Symphony by Strauss:
Our first stop was the most popular beach on Milos: Sarakiniko. Beaches on Milos are as Churches in Lecce. In other words, this island is lousy with beaches.
Sarakiniko is known for its rocky outcrops and lunar landscape eeriness. It reminded us of the Planet of the Apes, when Charleton Heston and his crew alight on earth. The equality, diversity and inclusivity crew at 20th Century made sure the “astronauts of the future” represented America appropriately. But his female astronaut is DOA, his straight Black “sign of the times” crew member is killed at the end of the first reel. And the remaining two straight white males do their best, but only Heston has the chops. While the rugged lunar scape of PotApes is simply Southern California bush in 1968, it could have been, you know, Sarakiniko.
It was nothing but Instagram moments. Alas, we are Instagram free.
A Shakespeare’s Sonnet:
From there we drove to Provatos Bay. The third most popular beach in Milos. Third? Yer Out of Order! We landed there before 10 a.m. and it was deserted except for a French couple, our age, and she was topless, and that’s an image that will stick… The swimming, chilly but refreshing, was clear and shallow and enticing. The south side of Milos, which essentially faces Africa (but in reality, faces Crete) has a modicum of surf and a cool drift that feels like undertow.
The Smile on the Mona Lisa:
Our final morning stop was the second most popular beach on Milos, Fyriplaka. The middle porridge, as the tale goes. The road lead down a dirt track to unmarked paths off a treacherous outcrop. The beach lies beneath rocky escarpments which teeter between the white cliffs of Dover and the artificial orange of a Creamsicle. With nothing but exposure, we coughed up a few Euro for a sand umbrella. There was a metronomic surf and an idyllic peacefulness. Until noon.
Then the bar turned up the house music, younger clientele recovering from the night before showed up in droves, and the tenor went from the divine providence of the Romantics to Groove Armada on an Ibiza gig.
We uprooted and drove into Adamas, the “biggest” town on the island, for a light lunch on the harbour.
It was 31 C, or warmer, and we headed back to the “suites” for a siesta.
Late afternoon we fired up the Suzuki Jimmy for a short trip down to Plaka, the “capital” of Milos.
As the French Would Say, De Trop:
Castle in the sky: In the Byzantine times, 13C for anyone who cares, the Venetians actually ruled Milos, erecting a castle at the highest point, in Plaka affording a 360 vantage from Africa to mainland Europe. While relics of the original remain, the outlook is mainly a new build church, and the concept of something ancient. It was a hell of a climb on such a hot day and, yes, only tourists were making the trek. The stairs were dotted with feral cats in various comatose states who found our presence both idiotic and perturbing.
The piazza of Plaka was pretty with narrow corridors like Puglian hill towns, and the walls were teeming with ivy, rosemary, scraggly fig and olive trees, and huge swaths of cactus.
Below are 360 panoramic views from the literal top, “the Kastro.”
The long and winding road led us back to Pollonia, where we freshened up before taking dinner on a deck overlooking the harbour, the town, the sunset.
Pictured: Stephen’s favourite, marinated anchovies in a lemon vinaigrette. Below, it looks less than tempting, not one tourist dared, but our host highly recommended it: Cuttlefish, cuttlefish ink, in orzo, with Parmesan and orange zest. Oooh la la, Top Chef worthy. Very hard not to order a second plate.