Buona Festa Della Mamma!
Happy Mother’s Day!
I hope my mom is having a wonderful day today, she deserves it! Love you! 🙂
As of yesterday I am safely back in Rome! I had the most amazing time in Greece, and trying to tell you everything that happened in one blog post, without you getting bored, is easier said than done. But I like a challenge. Actually not really, but we’ll see how this goes
Day 1: Land in Santorini
The first shocking thing I noticed when we landed in Santorini was no customs. I mean not really. They had a sign for it, but you just walked out the doors straight to the pickup area. On the one hand I was happy that I didn’t have to go through customs, but I really wanted a Greece stamp in my passport! Now I have no proof I was there.
When our car finally picked us up, we were a little worried. I mean two young American girls in a country by themselves and we don’t know the language? Yikes. We were praying we weren’t going to die. Our driver was very friendly and even though he drove at crazy ridiculous speeds, he brought us safely to our hotel.
Once we checked in, we went inside our room. It was quaint. Two twin beds, two dressers, a tiny TV, and a mini-fridge. Not that bad at all. Our bathroom was another story though. There wasn’t really a shower. More like a sectioned square with a stool and a shower head. We were very skeptical at first, but it really wasn’t that bad. It definitely took up less time in the shower than normal. Since I didn’t bring any shampoo or conditioner, it wasn’t even that much of a struggle for me. I didn’t need to wash my hair. Yes I went a week without washing it and it didn’t fall out. Yay.
After we rested for a bit, we walked to the beach, about a 10 minute walk. The beach is called Perissa Beach or Black Sand Beach and we ate at a restaurant looking out over the Aegean Sea. It was so beautiful. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to order Fried Calamari. This was a huge squid, I swear I could still see the eyes. But I ate as much of it as I could and then we walked on the beach for awhile as the sun was setting.
Day 2: Trekking for Miles
When we woke up, we went downstairs for breakfast. It’s the same thing everyday, but it’s so good! They give you four slices of Sesame bread, butter, jelly, a hard-boiled egg, water, juice, and Greek Yogurt with honey. Very simple, but very filling.
We didn’t really have a plan for what we would do while on the island. I think we figured we would go with the flow. So for some odd reason we thought it would be fun to walk the island. Ha Ha, the joke was on us. They don’t really have sidewalks there. It’s more of you walk, and when a car comes, you hope there’s enough room for him to move over or for you to move over. I think in total we probably walked about 6 miles. We also had no idea where we were going. But hey, that’s the fun of it right?
We made it from Perissa to Pyrgos and roamed about that little town for a bit. I took a picture with some nice, white stairs. Very basic of me but oh well. Then we found a map! We realized, we were just one road away from the road to Fira, and to our ultimate destination…Mexican food!
Yes I ate Mexican food in Greece. No I am not ashamed. I have been craving Mexican food ever since I came to Rome; it’s not a thing here at all! But in Greece of all places, they had it! We sat with a beautiful view of the caldera and ate delicious burritos. The only difference is that they use Greek Yogurt instead of Sour Cream. I wasn’t the biggest fan; we all know about my intense obsession with sour cream. But other than that, the food was great!
After food, we walked the rest of the way to Fira and it was so worth it! It felt like I was finally seeing the Santorini that is always pictured! We walked around the shops, did a little sight seeing but by the time we had reached Fira, we were so exhausted; we took a Taxi home.
Day 3: Beach day
Since we had done so much walking around the day before, we thought it very necessary to do nothing and just relax on the beach. And that is exactly what we did. The best part about coming to Greece when we did, is that it still is considered the low season so there weren’t a lot of people there. We basically had the beach to ourselves! Yay! We grabbed some snack food and settled ourselves into some very nice beach chairs. We were there for probably five hours. And yes Gramma, I did use sunscreen! Surprisingly, I hardly got sunburnt and I got really tan! That Grecian sun did me some good that’s for sure.
I did read part of my book that I have to read for class: Ovid’s Metamorphoses, so I was semi-productive.
Once we had our fill of sunshine, we headed back to our room to cool off. Then we went on a mission to find Gyros.
Apparently, Gyros are not really a thing here in Santorini, and they definitely aren’t like the ones in America. Slightly disappointed. Normally, when you ask for gyros, it’s more of a build your own plate. They give you the meat, pita bread, tzatziki, and veggies and you build your own. Not bad, but not my favorite. However, we did find one shop that does have gyros the way we’re used to them in the States. The one difference being that they put french fries inside the gryos. YUM! I was very happy I finally found gryos, but I think I still like the Americanized version better.
Day 4: Tour of Santorini
Even though we’ve been having great relaxation time, we both wanted to see more of the island. So we did an all day tour!
Our first stop was to the Volcano and Hot Springs. I normally don’t like swimming in water that I can’t see to the bottom, it just freaks me out, but I did it! I swam in the Hot Springs! The water looked really pretty but soooooo salty! I thought the entire area would be warm but it was really touch and go. You’d swim through some warm water, than get a shock with cold water and then back to warm. It was really fun though!
What wasn’t fun was not having a change of clothes. I didn’t really think this out very well did I? That’s why I need my mom with me always. I had other shorts, but my swimming shorts were still soaked so I couldn’t put them on over it. So guess what I did? I hiked up a volcano in my bathing suit! Yep it happened. I also didn’t wear the right shoes either so I hiked up in my flats as well. Yay for dumb decisions.
I don’t know why in my mind I thought that at the top of the volcano, I would look down and see a huge hole with lava bubbling about inside. Yeah, definitely did not happen. It was more of just a giant hill with a tiny bit of steam coming out. I loved the view it gave and now I can say I climbed a volcano; but I was hoping for a little more action.
After the Volcano, we went to one of the nearby islands Thirassia for lunch! We had no desire to climb all the stairs to where the actual city was, so we ate lunch on the water. I tried Moussaka! It’s really similar to Lasagna but reminds me of breakfast. The top layer is almost like eggy, gravy or something. I don’t know how to describe it but it was delish!
After lunch, we sailed to Oia! Oia is known for many things. It’s known for being able to watch the most amazing sunsets! Buuuut….it is also where The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants filmed part of their movie! I’m literally living my childhood right now! Before I get to how amazing Oia is, let me tell you what’s not so amazing. The walk up. They don’t tell you that you either have to walk up a million stairs or ride some not so friendly donkeys.
I actually don’t know if the donkey’s were nice or not. But I do know, that when they race down the stairs on their way back down, either jump the cliff or prepare to get ran over. They came in waves too, so the first time, you are kind of panicking and at first I went to the cliff wall and put my arms out towards the donkey’s, like you’re supposed to do, but then I got scared so I ran over to where Maddy was, up on some rocks away from the wild beasts.
That was just the first wave.
Now that we knew what we were up against, we sprinted up those steps to try to reach a landing before the next ones came down. I’ve never ran so fast in my life, and we barely made it before the next set came. I’m telling you it was terrifying.
We still a had a bunch of steps to climb, and buy the time we got to the top we were literally crawling. I kid you not, we looked so pathetic at the end.
Thankfully we saw a fish eating feet place. I know that sounds gruesome but it’s actually amazing. It’s those tiny little fish that eat the dead skin off your feet. At first it was extremely ticklish, but by the end, it was more of just a nice vibrating massage on my feet. And it was much deserved.
Oia did not disappoint. Everywhere I looked it was one stunning view after another. We found a cafe that overlooked the water and we sat and ordered drinks while watching the sun go down. It was perfect and worth every tear of sweat coming up those steps.
Day 5: Poolside
Given that we had been put through the ringer the previous day, we were too lazy to even walk to the beach. So we hung out at the pool, got more tan, and I did a little more reading.
I did get a tiny bit of sunburn, but it’s okay, because it was just a little bit.
I also read more of my book so it was another productive day!
Day 6: Learned the Bus System
So fun fact: the buses here are actually all tour buses. Which is cool if you can get a seat. Not so cool if you have to awkwardly stand in the middle and shift back and forth as people get on and off.
We thought it would be fun to take a bus back into Fira; we didn’t want to be beach bums the whole time. So we bussed it.
Guess what I found? SELF SERVE GREEK YOGURT! I swear it follows me. Every country apparently knows how much I love self serve. It was delicious of course.
We walked around the shops again, bought a few souvenirs, and then decided to take a bus back to the hotel.
Now that was a hot mess.
The buses aren’t really numbered properly and they hardly ever come on time. When we finally did make it onto a bus, it kind of turned into a school bus, because all these kids kept getting on, and the someone said it was only an express bus so we had no clue where we were going to get dropped off at. So we got off at the nearest place to our hotel and walked the rest of the way.
Needless to say we won’t be taking the bus again. Too stressful.
Day 7: Beach Bum Extravaganza
Considering we were almost done with our vacation, another beach day was necessary. So we spent a few hours there, got tan, did some reading, the usual. The weather was nice all week but today it was extremely windy. So windy that we left early because it was just too much and everything was blowing away.
Even though we were staying really close to the town of Perissa, we had never actually gone there. So in the evening, once it cooled off a little, we walked through the town to the far side of the water for dinner. It was pretty cute, but definitely reminded me of a college beach town. If it was in the summer, I could imagine tons of drunk college students.
We ate dinner, and I got a cheeseburger. I know, I know, that’s so lame. But in my defense, it was a delicious burger! I don’t know what they did to it, but they had this special sauce that made it sooooooooo good. Definitely worth the walk.
Day 8: Last day
Our last day was another beach day. Same old, same old. Finished my entire book and was able to jump start on some of the homework. Since it was the last day, I had some goals.
Get tan. Eat Baklava. Buy a souvenir.
Day 9 was the day we flew home, and that wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be either. I was actually really happy to come back to Rome, but I’m not looking forward to classes starting again.
I now have the travel bug, and want to travel everywhere. Anyone down for some adventures?
Sidenote: Sorry this post was so incredibly long.