Finally…Santorini

25 09 2015

I think I fell in love with Santorini before I even set eyes on it.  I was one of the many many many girls who was caught up in the tales of friendship, love, loss and life in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books.  And after seeing the movie, I’ll admit that it was on my list of must see places.

I’m not going to say that this was one of the main reasons why Santorini made it to the top of the list of places to see when we decided on Greece as our vacation destination…but….it could have also been because its regularly listed as one of the top islands to visit in the world!

Regardless, I was pretty excited and spent a lot of time on the blogs, looking at photos and trying to decide, sunset or caldera view…where should we stay?   Ultimately I couldn’t pass up staying on the iconic cliffside of Oia.  And once again, Nathan did not want to look at photos and spoil his ‘first look’.

Here’s the thing…I looked at a lot of photos.  I looked at professional photos and I looked at other travelers’ photos.  And even though I knew what to expect, there is nothing that can compare to when you finally get your ‘first look’ at those blue domed churches and the white washed cliffside.  It’s like, you have a moment where you feel like, ‘yes! I have finally arrived!’

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My ‘first look’

This is especially the case because we took a flight to the island, arrived to a desolate airport with a locked door, while we all peered through the windows looking at the empty baggage claim spin round and round.  We took a shuttle along the east side of the island, away from the sparkling caldera views.  So I was a little confused when I didn’t see white-washed buildings, blue domes and windmills.  For whatever reason I thought the entire island would look like that.  But we were dropped off when the shuttle driver said, ‘there’s your boy’.  Come to find out that our hotel had sent someone to help us with our bags…..THANK GOODNESS.

We wound through the narrow pedestrianized streets (really more like alleys) and went up stairs, then down stairs, then down a lot of stairs.  At one point I wondered if our suitcases would hold up from being carried so far.  Our guy didn’t miss a beat when he hoisted my 45 lb suitcase onto his shoulder and started the trek down 100 stairs to get to our hotel.

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By the time we had reached our hotel, Oia Mare Villas, and checked in I was hot. So hot.  So so hot.  Sweating through my dress and all I wanted to do was strip down and jump in the pool.  But, we had to go foraging for lunch (tough life I know).  

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I may not look like I’m melting….but I totally am

We didn’t make it too far before we came across Lotsa and met our new best friend Litsa.  We loved Litsa and went back a couple more times during our trip just to see her.  And enjoy some delicious mussel saganaki and fava bean dip of course.

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Much needed beer with our view

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Now this is a view for our lunch

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Mussel Saganaki & local Fava Bean Dip

We didn’t make it too much further than the pool and the glorious A/C in our cave suite for the rest of the afternoon.

But by the time the sun was setting and the air had cooled slightly, we got ourselves together for a glass of wine by the pool and decided to make the trek down the steps to Amoudi Bay.

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And I was greeted by a sight that I have been waiting for!  The donkeys! The donkeys! The donkeys!   As soon as I read that you could ride a donkey for 5 euro, it was on my to do list.  And I had these visions of getting the cutest donkey photos.  Luckily they wear these bells, and we could hear them going up and down the steps from our hotel – so I was constantly on donkey watch.  I got my very first photo of the donkeys just steps (ok…a lot of steps) away from our hotel.

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It seemed like a really good idea to walk down to Amoudi Bay at night.  It wasn’t as hot so you didn’t feel like you were melting walking down (and then back up) the steps.  You didn’t have to worry about being too hot when we were eating down by the water (but it was still pretty warm).  And there was something fun about spending our first night eating grilled octopus that had been drying in the sun all day, right on the water that was shimmering with colours.

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The one thing that we didn’t take into account was that we were walking the same steps that the donkeys walk all day.  Up and down…up and down.  Only at night, there are very few lights to help you make sure you don’t walk in exactly the same steps the donkeys walked before you.  But, you hope for the best and wipe your sandals off before you get back to the hotel room – and it didn’t prevent us from taking those same steps down to Amoudi Bay two more times during our trip! 

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4 responses

25 09 2015
Abi Nagendram

Stunning photos!!!!

25 09 2015
tracilee

Thanks Abi. It’s hard to take a bad photo in Oia!

27 09 2015
Cathy

What beautiful pictures, so glad you visit such awesome places and share your travels and stories.

27 09 2015
tracilee

thanks Cathy! Thanks for taking the time to read my stories!

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