More Santorini

Trip Start Jan 01, 2006
Trip End Jun 30, 2006

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ah Santorini Island!

White washed buildings and churches with blue roofs, doors, and trim. Long beautiful black pebble beaches and endless surf. This is where we decided to enjoy the last remaining days of our 6 month adventure.

From Athens's port Piraeus, we caught the Blue Star ferry, which left port at 7:30 am. We were told by our very helpful travel agent to catch the 6:10 am subway (taking the green line to the end of the line) to arrive at the port at 7 am. From the subway station, we were able to buy a small breakfast and two, much needed, coffees. We boarded the ferry with lots of time to spare and found seats along a couch at the back of the ferry. Unfortunately, we soon learned, that this open area was really the smoking area. Prior to visiting China, anyone smoking near us in a room would receive glares from us. Now we were able to stand being in a room full of smokers and it not really bothering us.

The ferry ride from Athens to Santorini is 8 hours long with 2 brief stops along the way. The Blue star ferry is very large. As I enjoyed my breakfast and coffee, David investigated the ferry. There was a room with airline seats, two long decks of chairs to enjoy sitting outside. There were also several little shops to buy souvenirs, postcards, food, drinks, and rent DVD's and DVD players. Luckily we still had our portable DVD player all juiced up so we watched Naked Gun around lunch time. I spent the morning reading the Lonely Planet Greece book - concentrating on the Cyclades chapter. David read the Clive Cussler book Sahara that he purchased in Beijing.

After watching the movie, we got a little cabin fever and decided to enjoy the out doors. We sat outside for the rest of the trip, enjoying a Greek Salad sandwich, chips and pop.

We arrived at the Athinios Port in Santorini shortly after 3 pm. We were greeted by many locals trying to sublet their apartments and rooms to people arriving at the port. It was all very loud and confusing. We had arranged to be picked up and transported to our hotel from the port. Beyond the locals, were the bus drivers collecting people to take them to their hotels. David spotted a sign that had Smith written on it. We sort of regretted having something prearranged since there seemed to be so many options available at port.

Our hotel for 3 nights was called the Kafieris Apartments. We had a little room on the top floor which over looked the caldera. We were told later that when you come to Santorini you should have a view. Santorini is believed to be the epicenter of what was probably the biggest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The island was originally a circular island named Strongili (the Round One). About 1650 BC, a colossal volcanic eruption caused the center of the island to sink, leaving a caldera with high cliffs. Some writers, artists and mystics have speculated that this catastrophe destroyed the mythical lost continent of Atlantis.

Although our first hotel had a magnificent view of the caldera, the staff left us wanting more. The Kafieris apartments need new management. The staff were not very friendly and gave us the attitude that they were not too concern if we were not happy at their establishment.

On our first full day on Santorini, David rented a Piagio to tour the island for two days. I had never ridden on the back of a scooter before and was a little nervous. Once David explained to me that - since I could not touch the ground while I was on the bike - I should stay on the bike while we road. ;) We had a great time the first day visiting Kamari - the black pebble beach on the other side of the island. After lunch we found the Sea Side beach hotel and booked a room for us to stay in until June 13th. While relaxing on the beach, I enjoyed a relaxing massage by one of the girls giving massages on the beach for 30 E.

The next day we road the bike to the Red Beach. We noticed that the population of the island suddenly exploded with the arrival of more than 5 cruise ships. We stopped in town on the way to the beach to quickly check email and enjoy a morning coffee. On the way to the cafe, I spotted a guy wearing a Canadian flag on his baseball cap. Him and his wife were from Stittsville on a 12 day tour. They only had 5 hours to enjoy this island. We told them about our 6 month journey and gave them our travel card.

The red beach was beautiful. It is a small bay surrounded by red sandstone. We spent 3 hours there relaxing and sun bathing and then decided to drive to the end of the southern tip to see the light house. Having done that, we drove all the way back too our hotel to return the bike and enjoy dinner.

The next day we got up early and transferred to our new hotel. Instantly we sensed a difference. The people at the Seaside love their little place and it shows in everything they do. David and I were given the corner room of the hotel, over looking the water. Nick - the son of the owner - made sure that we were very happy with the room and the service. It is so very nice to meet very friendly and caring people when we travel.

We returned to the black pebble beach where it was time for David to enjoy a long massage. Luckily we found the same girl and she only charged us 25 E this time. After a nap, we enjoyed sagonagy cheese on bread, followed by delicious lamb chops for dinner at the restaurant at our hotel. We went for a long walk down the main drag and found an internet to email our friends before enjoying a few drinks at a near by bar.

Today we found a travel agent in town who will investigate how we will get to Paris on June 18th to fly home on June 22nd. Although we have not made hotel arrangements past June 13th, we would like to stay on Santorini Island until we leave on June 18th. We spent the rest of the day relaxing on the beach, where I received my second massage. I think the girl has finally worked out all the stress caused by me worrying about the dog bite in Hungary :)
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