"Best €2k I Ever Spent!" Partying Through The Rainy Season In The Greek Islands

by Alex Gilman · April 20, 2011

Ah, Coachella envy. It's that deep sensation in the pit of your stomach when you see your friends tweeting about how they're watching Kanye's multi-sensory concert experience from the top of a desert Ferris Wheel, or they just got a handjob from Chemical Brothers or whatever it is you crazy kids got to do in the desert out there. It's a feeling that's equal parts self-hatred, for not being there, and general hatred, in the form of jealousy. And I realized that it was going to take 5 years off my life if I didn't do something to switch up my luck. So (with a few in-between steps), I hopped a plane to the place where art, culture, and chest hair were all born: Greece! Of course, I didn't exactly check the weather forecast first.

This is Mykonos, a resort island off the coast of Athens. It's well known for European celebrities, clear blue water, and an anything-goes party scene (and I do mean anything goes, including beating Australian tourists to death). It's also well known for raining in March and April, but as we all know, travel is primarily about getting drunk in new and exciting places, right? So let's check out the scene!

This photograph shows beachgoers wearing clothing. This is not typical, and it once again calls into focus the nude beach conundrum. As Americans, we often think of the nude beach as an ideal location, whether we're picturing silicon-enhanced babes at the topless pool at the Wynn or a shirtless David Hasselhoff slamming cheeseburgers on his bathroom floor. In reality, of course, the nude beach represents an actual cross-section of humanity at large, meaning that for every sexy young thing letting it all hang out, there's 20-25 hairy, potbellied men in Speedos who long ago stopped caring about what society thinks of them. You'd have a better chance of getting aroused in the meat section of your local Ralph's. This, of course, goes double if your whole family is traveling with you, as mine is. Let's just say that our local map described the beach we went to yesterday as "Super Paradise Beach," omitting the crucial detail that this is short for "Super Paradise Gay Nude Beach." My father does not shock easily, but he was shocked yesterday.

Luckily, you have plenty of options for drinking those images right out of your head. Like the Verizon network, the central town of Mykonos has more bars in more places, and there doesn't seem to be an inappropriate time to start tying one on. In four days of serious European boozing, I've learned a thing or two. One: the whole "liquor before beer" thing really only applies if red wine, Metaxa, and Wild Turkey aren't making random appearances throughout. Two: Greece is famous for a local spirit called Ouzo. If you think that Jagermeister is for pussies, or you enjoy feeling like you're vomiting up black licorice without having to eat black licorice, Ouzo is made for you. Otherwise, you may want to proceed with caution.

Overall, this is a beautiful, magical place, and I think I have at least a 60% chance of making it out alive. What more can you ask for? And for those of you who say, "Alex, you're an asshole, this in no way makes me feel better for missing Coachella," I get it. You're not wrong. But I'm bringing a bottle of Ouzo back with me, and you're welcome to come over next week and get hammered with me on Venice Beach to simulate the experience. Just keep your bathing suit on.

[photos via]