Trip Start Jun 03, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Greece  , Cyclades,
Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lindsey and Jon got in late the night of the 19th. Sarah, Brittany and Kelly arrived at 6 am on June 20th in Santorini. We took the public bus to Thira, the center of town. Brittany had gotten her stiches about 12 hours before, and it was time for another dose of her medication. She needed food to take her painkiller, and we had an hour to kill before the first bus to Perissa, where our youth hostel was located. Sarah and Kelly went on a mission to find an open supermarket. Nothing was open, so they had to resort to walking into a closed store and negotiating with the people for a bag of cheetos. At first they refused to sell to Sarah and Kelly, but Kelly picked up a bag of chips, took a euro out of her pocket and refused to back down.

Once they found the youth hostel where Lindsey and Jon had been staying, We all had a joyous reunion. We took a little nap, and hung around the hostel for the rest of the day. The next day, Jon and Lindsey rented a ATV and went on a tour of the island. Sarah and Kelly went to the beach. The beach at Perissa is made of black sand created by the volcanic explosions on the island. The black sand gets really hot during the day, and it is almost impossible to walk on it without shoes. Sadly, Brittany didn't feel up to much and decided to stay in bed for the day.

Santorini is an island group made up of three islands- Thira (what everyone calls "Santorini"), Thirasia and Nea Kameni. Nea Kameni is the volcano, and Thira and Thirasia were seperated by a massive explosion 3600 years ago. Santorini has black and red beaches, all created from volcanic rock.

That night Jon and Lindsey went out to Oia, the beautiful traditional city on Santorini for date night. Sarah and Kelly met some new friends, including Helen, the British girl who had just spent 2 weeks on Ios. We were amazed that she was still alive. We started out at Fusion Bar, which had an 80s dance party. Then we went to a bar called Meltimi where they were having a karaoke contest. First prize was a 30 Euro meal, so Kelly and I knew we had to enter so she could eat. Second prize was, unfortunately, 2 tickets to the Santorini water slide park. The song selection was pretty awful, so we went with the Wham classic "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go." Basically, the crowd loved us, so we thought we were a shoe-in for the prize. We even told our sob story about Kelly losing her wallet to the DJ.

And we didn't win. We didn't win 1st prize and we didn't win second prize. We didn't even win last prize, which was two free cocktails! Kelly was most upset, but our new friend Tom, the Australian, offered to buy us some drinks to make up for it. Kelly complained to the DJ, and he was very unsympathetic. An old Greek man sensed Kelly's desperation, and bought her an apple so she would have something to eat.

The following day everyone went into Thira so Brittany could get her stiches checked out. Sarah really wanted to go to Oia, so she headed out on the bus there. The doctor took one look at Brittany, found out she'd gotten her injuries on Ios and said "ohhh, were you staying at Far Out Camping?" Luckily, he said Brittany's stiches were healing quite nicely.

Our last day in Santorini Sarah Jon Kelly and Lindsey took a boat trip to see the main sites. The first is the Caladera- the Caledara is a wall of multicolored cliffs that make up one side of Santorini, they are truly breathtaking and not very well captured in our pictures. Then we went to Nea Kameni, the volcano. Sarah Jon and Lindsey climbed to the top. The volcano is still active and smoking, and as we were climbing a hole opened up on the top and was giving off sulfur fumes and smoke.

The next stop was the hot springs. They are at the base of the volcano and have to be swam into. The marbeling of the hot sulfurous water and the cold salt water felt really strange. Your arm would hit a cold spot while the rest of your body was floating in the warm water. The downside of the hot springs were that we stank of sulfur until our next shower. That was a little longer than we would have liked...

The third stop was Thirasia, which has a village on top of the mountain. To climb to the village it was 150 steps, which doesn't seem like a lot, but they were big steps and it was HOT. Santorini is not only heated from above by the sun, but also from below by the volcanic activity. We had brought fruit, nutella and peanut butter and decided to climb to the village to find a bakery. We ran out of water about half way up. At the top of the trail, we found a completely abandoned village. There was not a bakery. There was not even a supermarket. There were signs for these sorts of things, but when we arrived, they were just abandoned buildings. We did find an old man selling water out of a hole in the wall, so that was something.

The last stop was Oia. Again, the boat dropped us off at the bottom of the hill and we had to make our own way. The traditional way is to hire a donkey, but we were too cheap for that. So more walking up hills for us! We had almost made it, but then a stampede of donkeys came down the path and were were almost trampelled. Kelly even got swatted in the face by a donkey tail. At the top of the town, we watched the beautiful sunset.

We got back to the hostel and met up with Brittany, who had spent a romantic day in the village of Oia also. Unfortunately, we did not run into her. The bus was leaving at 10:30 from our hostel and we couldn't miss it because we would miss our ferry. Jon and Lindsey decided they wanted snacks for the ferry. Jon went down to the bakery and Lindsey went a little further down the road to the market while Brittany, Sarah and Kelly waited patiently for the bus. Greece buses never run on time and are almost always 10 minutes late so the snackers figured they were fine. Unforuntately, the bus pulled up and they were nowhere to be found. We boarded the bus and tried to stall the bus a couple minutes so Lindsey and Jon would make it. The bus driver was not having any of our shenanigans. Jon came lingering down the road but there was still no Lindsey. After some deliberation, we decided that they would have to take a cab and Sarah, Brittany and Kelly would take the bus. As the bus pulled past the market, Lindsey came walking out (wearing all of Jon's clothes) with a bag of goodies. When she saw the bus passing by, she stopped in her footsteps and gave the epitome of a puppy dog face as Sarah gave her the evil eye.

Fortunately, we all made it on the ferry. When we got to the top of the escalator on the ferry, there was a dead body sprawled across the ground, with a white sheet over his body (besides his face and feet). We were confused as to a) why his body was at the top of the escalator, which everyone had to go up and b) why his face was not covered.

We were showed our accommodations on the ship which were plastic benches in a smokey, stuffy enclosed room. We were determined to find something better. First, we settled in the child's playroom. We took out our sleeping bags and decided to catch some Z's since this was an overnight ferry and everyone else was sleeping all across the boat in all different positions and on all types of furniture. However, the ship crew did not enjoy our sleep positions and, in broken English, told us we had to move upstairs if we wanted to sleep. They even personally showed Kelly a tour of the acceptable sleeping arrangements. We decided we would risk it in our playroom because we did not want to move. Brittany even went to the bathroom and was pulled aside by a crew member who told her "you do not belong here." We were unsure if it was because of her pajamas, sweatshirt, or gash across her forehead (probably a combination).

Luckily, we ended up sneaking into first class and had some nice, roomy chairs to sleep in until the ferry arrived at our next destination. First class even had TVs which were conveniently playing softcore porn, so some of us had trouble sleeping.

This is where we part ways for a few days, blog entries may be confusing. Sarah, Kelly and Brittany go to Kos, followed by Bodrum (in Turkey) while Lindsey and Jon spend a couple days in Rhodes.

Glums and Glows

Glum: waking up blind because eyes were swollen shut so roomies had to cover the mirrors so she couldn't see herself (even though she couldn't see)
Glow: my fabulous 4 nurses and Tom's emails about people with worse problems

Glum: seeing the dead man on the ferry
Glow: watching the sunset over Oia

Glum: last time with Lindsey and Jon and Brittany's bed rest/dead man on ferry
Glow: Her apple with cinnamon from old non-English speaking Greek man at the bar

Glum: losing the karaoke contest and messing up her adorable feet with a stumble down the volcano
Glow: her day alone in Oia

Glum: last island with the crew and Brit missed most of it (and his blog is still worse than ours)
Glow: taking the lead in tan-ness and morning chocolate pastries
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