Santorini: Exactly Like You Would Picture Greece
May 29th to June 5th
Our time in Santorini was so relaxing! We decided to stay for a week to take a break from the constant packing and traveling every few days. And we got a pretty sweet deal on our hotel, so we couldn't really say no.
We took a ferry from the port of Piraeus near Athens to Santorini, and upon arriving in Santorini we were able to make it to our hotel in the town of Perissa. Perissa is a little resort town and was nice and quiet, which was perfect after being in all the big cities. We had been a little worried about what our hotel was going to be like since we got it for so cheap, but it turned out to be great! We had a little fridge and kitchen area, a nice washroom, our two beds and a little balcony. There was also a pool. It was perfect for us.
By the time we got to Santorini and checked into our hotel, it was later afternoon so we went for a walk around town. We took it pretty easy that night - and all the others for that matter - and had dinner by the beach in a little restaurant and just relaxed.
Our second day was also very quiet, and consisted mostly of us laying by the beach and reading. In Perissa, the beach is a black pebble beach so the pebbles get really hot in the sun, and every so often you simply need to go for a quick dip in the ocean before you roast. You can just see all the heat waves coming from the beach. So every so often we would put our books down for a minute, run fast to the water so the rocks wouldn't burn our feet, and take a dip. It was lovely.
On Tuesday Meghan and I went to Fira, which is the main town on Santorini. It's the town that most people would associate with Santorini, the white Greek houses on a cliff near the ocean and donkeys going up the stairs. It was nice to see, but it was sooooo packed with tourists that we didn't enjoy it too much. The cruise ships that go to Santorini dock there, and there were three ships in the harbor, which meant tons of people. The shops were really nice though and there were tons of jewelry stores. Lots of gold! (We were told that it's known for it's cheap gold.) We went into a few stores that had some gorgeous, unique jewelry that was made by the locals. Had my bank account had a much much higher balance, it would not have remained so after visiting some of those stores! But since it isn't that high, my bank account could not afford some of the things I would have likes. Oh well... Just means I must go back one day!!!
On Wednesday, we went scuba diving for the first time ever! We both had said that we would like to try something like that and there were a couple places that had scuba diving in Perissa, so we decided that it would be something worth doing. Since it was our first time, we had to take a lesson first and then we were able to do a bit more of a dive after. The lesson involved watching a video, going over quickly how the equipment works, and then we suited up, went down to the water, and got to try out our skills near the shore. Our instructor taught is how to use the regulator, some hand signals, how to clean our masks and how to maintain the right amount of air in our buoyancy vests while diving. I have to admit, I felt like an idiot for part of it. For anyone who has ever been taught to unfog a pair of googles properly, you may know that to do this you: i) while holding the bottle of the googles still against your face, you tip the top of the googles away from you to allow some water to get in them and clear away the fog, ii) release the top so the goggles sit against your face again properly, and iii) to get rid of the water, push back and up on the top of the goggles so that the area near your nose is loose and blow through your nose. But, turns out I have a really hard time blowing through my nose while underwater. Always have. I don't really know why, but it just seems I have issues with it. So, there we are, trying to learn to clear our masks, and Meghan does it no problem. I, on the other hand, am there trying to blow through my nose, unsuccessfully doing so. Seemed no matter how hard I tried I could not blow through my nose. I would have to poke my head out of the water to just lift up my goggles to dump the water I had gotten in them trying to learn how to unfog them. The instructor was probably wondering what was wrong with me, especially since I was the first person he has ever seen who can't blow through their nose. At one point, he looked at me and just said '"Well, at least your mask doesn't seem to be leaking!" Eventually, our instructor decided (despite my inability to blow through my nose and unfog my mask) that we were ready to go for a dive in deeper water. And I am pleased to report that being forced to have no other option than to blow through my nose when I am a few meters below the surface to get ride of water in my mask really taught me quickly that in fact I can do it! Yay! Not quite as much an idiot anymore! Anyways... The dive was awesome. There is a big rock in Perissa that divides the town from another and extends into the ocean, so we swam along that. It was cool to see the rock and the little fish in the area and a few other things. I can also see how scuba diving would be addicting and I am definitely going to have to go again when I have a chance. I recommend it to anyone! (Just make sure you can blow through your nose underwater so you don't look like as big an idiot as I felt!)
Thursday was more beach/pool time during the day, and in the evening the woman who owns the hotel cooked a huge Greek meal. Obviously, we had to partake in that! Delicious! Souvlaki, potatoes, tzasiki, tomato balls, Greek salad, vine leaves stuffed with rice, Greek wine... Loved it! It was also lots of fun because Olivia and Lauren, two girls we met while kayaking in Corfu, also came to Santorini for a few days after we told them about the deal we got on our hotel, and came to the dinner too.
On Friday, Meghan and I went for a walk for a couple hours into the next town, Emporio. We had both gotten a little too much sun the day before and figured it would be best to not just sit in the sun on the beach all day. We also joined Olivia and Lauren for lunch in Perissa since it was their last day there. Afterwards Meghan and I went to Oia, a town on the north side of Santorini, as it is known for it's sunset view. We wandered around the town for a bit, checking out some of the stores, and enjoyed a lovely dinner while watching the sunset. So relaxing. I can't imagine how many people are in Oia in the summer evenings. There were lots of people there now to watch the sunset and it still isn't their busy time yet. It must be busy! One person was saying that some streets are filled with people some days, all trying to watch the beautiful sunsets that are seen.
Saturday and Sunday were both lazy lazy days filled with lounging around the pool and reading. Sunday was our last day so we packed up and caught an overnight ferry back to mainland.
A perfectly relaxing week!