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When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
We've heard it before and, heck, we've even uttered it ourselves. And that's just what we did when we were in, well, Greece. After arriving on Mykonos, we saw heaps of scooters going every which way and it looked like the best way to experience the island.
Locals have the right idea to get around the island, navigating narrow laneways. A sputtering scooter turns a trip around the island for a gliko frappe or a spanakopita into a lickety-split affair. You not only get to see a lot more than just one city, but you'll escape the hordes of tourists all looking for tacky souvenirs at the same shops.
Sunday's New York Times has one of those nifty "36 Hours" stories on the Greek island of Mykonos, doling out sage advice on where and when to drink, eat, party, and sleep. According to the newspaper of record, the island's tourist infrastructure has crept upscale over the past few years, following a bleak period "not so long ago" of overcrowding and atrophy.
We can't debate the differences between Mykonos now and Mykonos when Jackie O discovered it, but know one thing for sure: the place is spectacular, whether or not it's currently in vogue with the A-list travel set (whoever they are). After a five-day visit to the island few years ago, we concluded that you'd really have to have something wrong with you if you couldn't have a good time in Mykonos. From the winding, pedestrian-only streets of the old town to some of the best beaches in the Aegean, it's (almost) everybody's idea of a summertime paradise. Everybody under fifty, in any case.
Sadly, we recently received an email tip from the Greeks that does not disprove the urban myth, as a matter of fact it corroborates it:
In reply to your blog article about the Myconos pelican Petros I that is sadly true. The sexual offender and bird lover was allegedly either a drunk German tourist OR an Egyptian sailor who was caught, charged, and convicted after his confession.
Apparently we can add drunk German tourists and Egyptian sailors to the list of bird fuckers.
Jet Set Lara posted this photo of a Pelican, asking readers to identify the only Greek Island with a pelican mascot.
The answer seems to be either Mykonos or Astypalea.
The Legend Begins:
Two score and some days ago a Greek fisherman finds an injured pelican and nurses him back to health. Once the birds health is restored the mariner tries to set the pelican free, however, the bird loves his new digs. No more fighting over fish, tanned bodies as far as the eye can see, who can blame him right?
Mykonians name the pelican Petros and make him their mascot. Petros becomes world famous and his 1986 death is mourned around the globe. Jackie O, who spent time on the island, donates another pelican named Irene-Irini, and a German zoo sends a pelican named Petros II to the islanders in mourning.
Furthermore, a few years back a new wounded pelican shows up on the island, is nursed back to health, and decides to stay, ala Petros I, this bird is named Nikolas.
The Legend Is Sullied:
So today three pelicans waddle around Mykonos delighting tourists and Mykonians alike. End of story, right? Not so fast. There is a vicious rumor circulating on the Snopes message boards about the circumstances surrounding the untimely demise of Petros I.
The Snopes poster claims Petros I died as a result of sexual molestation. Yup, that is the rumor--we know Greeks are rumored to enjoy it in the back of a Volkswagen, but in the back of a bird? That sounds too far fetched to us.
We can only hope the almighty power of the Internet proves this vile rumor false, post haste. Either that or someone on Mykonos has a lot of 'splainin to do. If you have any information about the death of Petros I please leave it in the comments section below, or send it here.