High life

Mykonos has turned into hell (I still blame Jackie Kennedy)

But further east, poor craggy Aegean islands are having it far, far worse

15 August 2015

9:00 AM

15 August 2015

9:00 AM

The wind is maddening and constant, and gets stronger as the sun falls below the horizon. The streets are lined with plastic and rubbish, the beaches covered with greasy bodies and sunbeds, and ghastly music blasts away all day and night. Motor scooters without mufflers and cars choke the tiny roads that lead to the centre of town, where literally thousands of sunburned young people wearing expensive rags down tequilas with a thousand-mile look on their unshaven faces. Welcome to Mykonos, once a brothel of an island, now reverting to type after 30 years as a gay paradise.

I am on a 125-foot schooner, the Aello, which was built in Hamburg, Germany, in 1921, by Max Oertz, and commissioned by Anthony Benakis, a great Greek benefactor. She has been totally and perfectly refitted by her present owner, a Greek ship owner, and I have chartered her for a fortnight’s cruise with my son and grandchildren. The crew is splendid, all six of them Greek. They love to sail — even under these storm-like conditions. Our one and only mistake was to come to this hideous island, now overrun by nouveaux-riche ‘cool’ people. Vulgarity rules the roost as never before. What is interesting is that average room rates for Mykonos hotels exceed those of luxury hotels in Monaco. Those are two hellholes I will never again get caught in, as God is my witness. One of the crew went out to get rid of the rubbish and ordered a local beer from a shack. It cost €20.

Mind you, Paros was wonderful, with friendly locals, tasty food and without music blasting throughout the night. I saw many friends, dined al-fresco and drank wonderful chilled Greek white wine. As I write, I’m waiting for my daughter and her hubby to get to this modern Sodom and then we’ll head back there.

What makes this trip fun is the crew and its willingness to put up the sails and to travel. I have many friends who have houses on Mykonos, but they use them like Fort Zinderneuf. They venture out only when absolutely necessary. Once upon a time this was a magical island, with unblemished beaches, very clear water and very few visitors, as Mykonos is 90 miles from Athens with an open sea between. Then Jackie Kennedy Onassis visited and bought some local trinkets. In no time at all, every house turned into a boutique and you know the rest. The building went into overdrive and houses sprouted everywhere. It got so bad that the local authority had to install traffic lights in the middle of town. Boutique hotels are dotted all over the wretched place like the Taleban outside Kabul, and large tourist boats disgorge thousands of Chinese daily — silent types that inspect the sinuous streets and myriad boutiques, never buying and never smiling. Still, all visitors are welcome here, including some who rob the place blind at night. I know two families who have been burgled while asleep, which makes it obvious that professional thieves are working overtime but stealing only from Greeks and friends of Taki.

Further east, things are far worse. Since the beginning of the year, about 100,000 migrants have arrived via Turkey, that vile place ruled by the vilest pseudo-democrat on the planet. Greek islanders have tried their best to help those wretches, but how many bodies can one put into a lifeboat before it sinks? Bleeding hearts back in London can write their bullshit, but they should come over and see for themselves. A poor craggy Aegean island can hardly feed its own people but is now expected by the bleeding ones safely back home to do more. The clowns in Athens that govern the country are so amateurish and clueless, they didn’t even know that Greece had access to €500 million for just such a migrant emergency. A Brussels bureaucrat by the name of Vincent Cochetel, famous for having the tiniest willie in the world, has criticised Greece for not doing enough. ‘Wake up and do more,’ said the bureaucrat while recovering from a penile-extension operation. But how can an island of 35,000 inhabitants take in 40,000 refugees and provide for them?

One Roger Cohen, a columnist for an unspeakable American paper, calls Europe a place without ideas. Calling unlawful immigrants a swarm has shocked Mister Roger Cohen. He also deeply dislikes the Daily Mail. According to him, ‘it’s a trumpet of what’s worst in Britain’. Needless to say, Cohen shares his houses with many migrants — in South Africa, where he comes from, in Britain and in the United States.

But I digress about a small man with even smaller and very predictable ideas. At least that Cochetel chap has the right to call small things bad names. Cohen is just lining up with the great and the good. He should come to Leros with his yacht and see the mess first-hand, then shut it for good.

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  • ViolinSonaten b minor.

    Jackie Kennedy a most strange looking woman, obviously not renowned for her
    I must say although not one for the boating life myself, that beautiful turquoise looking water looks tempting.
    If you indeed see thousands of these asylum seekers ( mainly young men)
    it looks like a ‘ swarm’ there really isn’t any other word.

    • Bonkim

      Plague of grasshoppers better definition than swarm. Don’t defame bees.

  • Patrick_Blankfein

    Greece has now to contend with those people it spend thousands of years keeping out. But the Greece of today is a piffling shadow of its much romanced self. It amuses me that ‘Euclids’, ‘Aegeus’s’, ‘Menelaus’ abound now when the most popular name in Athens will be Mohammed in 20 yrs time. The country is utterly insane; not even Enoch Powell would bother trying to warn them.

  • Ron

    And even better the EU laws says if any country bothers to pick up illegals before they get to UK they have to return them to there point of entry. Other than our Government that today fined a Birmingham haulage firm £30K because a driver couldn’t remove 30 of them in his lorry.

    • Pacificweather

      And didn’t drive them straight to a police station.

    • I’m Really Not Very Happy

      From Dublin III:

      “(41) In accordance with Article 3 and Article 4a(1) of Protocol No 21 on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, annexed to the TEU and to the TFEU, those Member States have notified their wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Regulation.

      (42) In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of Protocol No 22 on the position of Denmark, annexed to the TEU and to the TFEU, Denmark is not taking part in the adoption of this Regulation and is not bound by it or subject to its application.”

  • Dan O’Connor

    I bet Cohen doesn’t advocate third world replacement level mass invasion of Israel.

  • johnhenry

    I avoid foreign travel as much as possible out of respect for foreign places. Still, I know more about foreign places than most tourists. Love Ruskin’s Stones of Venice, but have no intention of ever visiting the place…because of all the silly fools, wealthy yacht owning/renting twits as well as middle class ones, who ruin it by their vulgar presence.

    Funny article, Taki, but you’ve used the phrase “mind you” far too much over the years. Burp.

    • Pacificweather

      I once walked in Venice for 2 hours and saw only 15-20 people the whole time.

      • johnhenry

        From 02:00 until 04:00 in July?

        • Pacificweather

          Tall buildings, narrow allies, lots of shade, cool churches and keep away from the grand canal.

  • I_love_monday_mornings

    €20 for a beer in Mykonos, really? I paid €1.50 for a 500ml bottle of Mythos in May.

    • Pacificweather

      If you come from a big yacht you get the big price? Still what can you expect from a journalist who thinks the DM is a good newspaper.

    • Sanctimony

      Perhaps the barman fancied you../

  • Zhang Wei

    Greece should just be nuked, job done.

  • ohforheavensake
  • Fritz123

    There is no easy answer and some want to be happy in the UK.

  • GenJackRipper

    Great piece as always, but you come down far to hard on Monaco.

    Yes, they tear down to many beautiful building and replace them with ugly one’s, and the amount of russians are a little to much…
    But it’s still a wonderful country. Prince Albert II is great, the old town is lovely as ever and the atmosphere is wonderful.

  • Notsuoh

    Taki is a traitor to his class, except when it comes to immigration. “Cheap labor” will overrun us all with disease and demands for handouts.

  • Stacey Harris-Papaioannou

    Perhaps a solid fact check of your ridiculous descriptions of Mykonos are in order. Amazingly there are no specific names named in your sloppy writing. Do your homework on the ground instead of sharing your nightmare ramblings from the deck of a boat. And do please produce a photo of the traffic lights.

  • Sanctimony

    Mykonos… sodomites’ serendipity…

  • Panos

    Bravo Mr. Taki, spot on. Mykonos is a filthy mess filled with surly locals. The greed that money and more money has created has stripped the island of most of its charms and its inhabitants of their manners. We are waiting for you here on beautiful Paros.

  • Jack Hawk

    What exactly is this article about ? Disjointed and poorly written … English as a second language ? As well, I don’t believe ‘Taki’ sounds like old money old sport …

  • Ghazi Azzabi

    Would we not all love it if our expectations were matched with everything we tried? However, i am not sure what you were expecting in Mykonos that disappointed you zoo much for it to cause you writing such a blasphemous article, where you spare absolutely nothing or no one, even Jackie ‘O.

    May I suggest you head down, to the coasts of Libya next time, you may just find the odd local beduin, and his goat if you are lucky. I am unsure as to how much the beer costs there, but i could ask Rommel for you, who I am sure would also be able to guide us as to the great local haunts with no music blaring.

    Fuel is cheap there, so cheap as a matter of fact it is sold by the barrel for anyone who dares set foot o their soil, and for entertainment you may just be lucky enough to have your crew scalped or even beheaded…

    I love Mykonos, and for those of you who come in yachts or skiffs, we have plenty to offer from the beer at 1.80 to the Midas at 172000, it is the island of choice for many of us, and I see no reason to go elsewhere, particularly if i have to meet the likes of you who seem to complain about everything, even dead people.

    Tally ho!

  • Ghazi Azzabi

    Are you sure it was not a chill oil he ordered for you at 20 quid?

  • caecilius

    what crap