Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Belle of the Islands

Santorini (Σαντορίνη)

Santorini is also officially known as Thira, so if you are trying to book a ferry, you need to look for Thira.

The original name of the island was Kallístē which means "the most beautiful one". The name Thera - Greek (Thira - English) was reintroduced back in the C19th, but people prefer the colloquial name of Santorini. Santorini is a contraction of the words Santa Irini, Saint Irene was the name of the old cathedral in the village of Perissa.

It sits on a volcanic caldera which has been filled with seawater.

We stayed in two places on the island, in Oia on the western tip and the main town of Fira. It's very easy to navigate around as there is one main walking street through town.
--> In hindsight, I would have just stayed in Oia or tried another island as Fira is just too busy and not very pretty. Our hotel in Oia was a cave hotel and we were right at the tip of the island.

The weather on Santorini was much better than Mykonos and the first day was sunny in the afternoon. Then the weather got colder and we had to put our t-shirts and shorts away. The days would start out nice and then in the afternoon it would cloud over, as the sun would set it would disappear behind the clouds.

On our second day we took the local bus down to Fira and walked back the 9.6 kms along the coast back to Oia. With a bit of a stop on the way in Imerovigli as we met an Australian from Gippsland who wanted us to share his bottle of wine with him. We said no at first not wanting to intrude but after the second request we relented and had a great few hours. We got back to town just as the rain started, had we stayed any later we would have been drenched.

You could really tell it was the end of the season. On this walk, the further we were from the main towns, we saw many of the hotels with their windows boarded up and their swimming pools emptied.

Our final ferry trip back to Athens was rough as well. We were up on the second floor and the spray from the waves obliterated my view of watching the horizon a number of times. Lots of people were sick due to both the movement and the cabin being hot. Both of us had taken tablets and were fine. My tablets worked wonders although I still had to keep my eye on the horizon.  I would hate to think what it would have been like if the boat had not been a catamaran as they are the most stable boat.The ferry gets in at 5pm but it had left 30 minutes late and added another hour onto that so we didn’t get in until 7.30pm. Our driver was nowhere to be seen and it was freezing. We had no choice but to grab a cab, which our hotel reimbursed. The next morning while getting something to eat and money from the ATM we realised that the port wasn’t that far away. We had all day to get to the airport as our flight didn’t leave until 4pm. There was an airport bus (X96) five minutes from our hotel, so we took that to the airport.

Drying the octopus naturally makes them more tender

From Athens we took an Iberia flight to Madrid which is supposed to take three hours, but somehow we did it in just over two; that must have been some mighty tail wind.

Related Posts:

1. Athens - Greece - The First Democracy
2. Olympia - Let the Games Begin
3. Delphi - Ancient Delphi
4. Meteora - The Stone Forest
5. Mykonos - Those famous Windmills
6. Santorini- you are here

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