Monday, February 8, 2016

Santorini, Greece

Our time in Santorini was a mini vacation in the middle of our traveling. By this time our feet had blisters and our muscles were acing, so it was time to relax. We took an early morning flight out of Athens so we could have two full days on the island. Once we got to our hostel all we wanted to do was nap. However, we forced ourselves to walk to the beach and take our naps there. The island is divided into two types of dwellings, beaches($) or cliffs($$$). This setup worked in our favor because we didn't care about our view was as long as we could spend our free time laying on the beach. So we found a hostel a block from the ocean in Perissa.

^^ Blake took some pictures as I slept.

With the hot sun and cool air it made for the perfect beach day. We were surprised that the black sand was not burning which work well for Lizzy. This black sandy beach would be her first beach trip, and she loved it! She would sit and spend all her time running the coarse pebble like sand through her fingers. We spent our whole morning laying in the sun, taking naps, and ordering food to our umbrella. Most people come to Santorini for the cliff views, so we almost had the beach to ourselves. 

^^ love that we are all waving^^

Another advantage about staying on the less touristy side of the island is wonderful local service. We visited a bakery by our hostel a few times in the two days we were there. The lady was as sweet as the pastries she was selling. She happened to have a daughter the same age as Lizzy and brought her in the next day for them to "play". 

That afternoon we took the local bus to Oia. There we saw the famous views of the white house dwellings on the cliffs. Once there we walked around the narrow and windy street of shops and houses. Occasionally having to make way for a train of colorful decorated donkey. Everywhere you turned seemed to be picturesque. We stayed on this end of the island the remainder of the day, and ate dinner as the sunset. It was supposed to be a nice romantic spot. But with all the time changes and traveling Lizzy was a crying mess the whole meal. Blake and I took turned walking her up and down the street while the other ate. It probably sounds like a miserable meal, but as I sat there eating my Greek salad alone I could not help but enjoy the time of self meditation and thinking how much Blake loves me for letting me be the first to eat. 

The next day we again spent our morning at the beach taking naps. Then rented a car and drove to the Akrotiri, where we toured the ancient ruins and excavated sight of a 4,000 year old civilization. After that we made the rocky hike to Red Beach. It is amazing how many different types of sand a volcano can make.
It was nice having a car so we could take it to the highest point of the island. The drive was quit scary. As we drove higher and higher fog started to obstruct our view. The further we went the more narrow and windy the road became. At the same time the land on the edge of the road began to disappear so it felt like at any moment or wrong turn of the wheel we could drive right off a cliff edge. My stomach drops again just thinking about it. But at the top of the old volcano the fog dispersed and we got a good view of the island. 
On the way home we chased the sun finding new and less crowded cliffs to watch the sun set.

Before leaving Santorini we stopped into a small grocery store to pick up some food for our trip to Rome the next day. There the butcher sliced off a few different types of Greek cheeses and meats. Although I can not remember the name of them I do remember thinking it was funny that Feta was one she picked out to eat with salami. However, it ended up being my favorite. 

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