Ticket To Ride
Unforgettable horse riding in Mykonos’ gorgeous surroundings.
I had made my decision; I would ride one of these horses no matter what. Peter, Ian, and Cathy were experienced riders, but for me and the others this would be the first time to get on a horse. I had heard so much about this particular Mykonos experience and Katerina told me it was an opportunity I shouldn’t miss. Boy, was she right!
We arrived at the ranch at 6:00 in the afternoon; none of us were what you’d call a morning person, so we didn’t even consider the morning shift (9:00 a.m.). Fanis, our instructor, an incredibly friendly and funny guy, welcomed us warmly and showed us around. There was a super cute Jack Russell terrier running all over the place playing and also geese everywhere, which immediately made me think of my 4-yeard old niece (for some reason she’s crazy about geese). I told Fanis I should have brought her with me and he told me that not only could she play with the geese if I had, but also ride a horse herself! Apparently you can go horse riding in Mykonos when you’re 4, which relaxed me a lot
All horses, 15 or 20 of them, were beautiful. Fanis explained they were of this rare Greek breed (it is official: The more the local elements in a trip, the better the trip) and suggested that I, as a first time rider, should go for Artemis. Needless to say, I loved my horse’s name: Artemis was the Goddess of hunting, so how could I not be a fearless rider as well? The experienced riders of the gang held the reins on their horses, whereas the rest of us offered willingly our own reins to Fanis; from now on, he would be the leader of the first-timers.
For the first part of the ride everything was great. We were passing by cows and sheep, we saw a beautiful lake (one of the two Mykonos has), the locals were greeting us, the Ano Mera village was so picturesque (God, I love Cycladic architecture). But then I saw the downhill path to Fokos beach. I thought I could never make it; it was so steep, and after all this was the first time I rode anything taller than my bike! Thankfully, Fanis started teasing me and he was so, so funny while descending, that I got to the beach without even realizing it.
The beach was – well, there are no words. Fokos is completely isolated, so the golden sunset only made this magical moment even more magical. Fanis revealed another great skill of his, apart from warmth and humor: He took such great pictures, that we all gave him our phones and cameras to take the right souvenirs with us. Peter, Cathy, and Ian rode on the beach with their horses while the rest of us decided almost simultaneously we should take riding lessons as soon as possible. It was truly unforgettable.
Going back to the ranch (ascending the path was a piece of cake) we saw a lovely wedding horse carriage on its way to pick up the bride. Later that evening, Peter said that using an open horse carriage for a wedding was definitely an option to consider. Hmm…
Till next time,
* Anna is an Amsterdam-based writer, and a keen traveler. She only writes about stuff she really, really enjoys.