Trip Start May 15, 2006
Trip End Sep 29, 2006

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Flag of Greece  ,
Sunday, August 13, 2006

Santorini is known as the most beautiful island in Greece and it is as good as advertised. I would consider staying in the Greek islands longer if they all looked like this and getting here/away wasn't such a pain.

We took a ferry from Naxos which was absolutely horrible as usual. They keep everyone jammed in this holding pin to keep them away from the cars as they offload from the ferry. Well the ferry was an hour late and they didn't tell us anything, so we were stuck in this holding pin for an hour and a half waiting for this stupid ferry. Grr....I hate ferries. Luckily, after the night one I take tomorrow, we will be done with the whole ferry thing.

The coolest part about Santorini so far has been the arrival in port. The boat drops you off at this tiny port and then you take a bus up the hill to the main town. The port is surrounded by HUGE cliffs and the bus ride up the mountain provides some of the most spectacular views you will ever see. Another interesting little tidbit at the ports are the people who attack you with flyers and pamphlets when you get off the boat. All the pension owners are pointing at you and telling you to cancel your reservation and stay with them. They keep asking you how many people and what do you want to pay and all this junk. I ended up just telling them we needed rooms for 84 people and that usually put them off enough to leave us alone.

Our hotel is on the other side of the island from the port and famous cliffs. It is very nice except for the bathroom. The Greek people evidently don't like shower curtains because none of the hotels have them and the shower in our hotel room is just tiny. The shower head is hand held and the shower itself is a 3 foot by 3 foot box which means that you spray water ALL OVER the bathroom. The bathroom itself isn't very big and so you are left with a lake in the middle of your bathroom floor whenever you get done showering. Also, most of the greek plumbing systems can't handle toilet paper so when you wipe, you have to put your dirty paper into the wastepaper basket by the toilet. It is nice to go to the bathroom and get to stare at used toilet paper. I wonder if the 5 star hotels somehow manage to allow their guests to flush the paper down the toilet or do you pay 400 bucks a night to put the TP in the bucket.

Our hotel is located about 15 seconds from a black sand beach that you can see from our hotel room. It is much like any other beach I have ever been on except black. I don't really know why this is such a draw but evidently people like black beaches? Our hotel also has a nice pool that is about 15 feet wide, 30 feet long, and 10 feet deep. They decided that instead of making the pool larger, they would just make it deeper. It is weird because you can do dives into this tiny little pool that looks kinda like a kiddy pool but is as deep as an olympic swimming pool.

Our first day in Santorini, we lounged around on the beach and by the pool and then walked along the beach to find a good diner at one of the waterside restaurants. These places all have people who stand outside speaking 5 different languages trying to convince you that their places are somehow the best. What is nice about this is that all the food is cheap because their is so much competition and you can have a full meal for 10 Euros.

Last night, we hung out with some nice Italian girls and then I called it a reasonably early night. My mom has told me that I am partying too much but like I tell her, it just isn't much fun posting the pictures online of the nights that I fall asleep at 10pm. Here I am sleeping....and here I am doing some more sleeping.

Tonight we are going to try to make it down to a town on the far side of the island which is famous for its sunset. The people here make it sound like the greatest thing in the world and every tour of the island includes a stop at sunset in this small town. I don't know how much better this sunset could possibly be than the other thousands I have seen but we are going to check it out anyways. I'm off now to head back to the hotel and probably lay some more by the beach. We need to get our rest in before our ludicrous day of travel that we have planned ahead. To get up to Macedonia, we have a 9 hour night ferry, a 7.5 hour train, and then another bus/taxi across the Greek boarder to finally reach Macedonia. What a blast that will be.

As I have said before, these computers are slow as can be so I will post pictures when I find one that connects faster than 5k/second.
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