Thankfully, this morning started off slowly and very relaxing. I woke up around 8:45 from the sun coming through our window. Kristen was still sleeping, so Carolina and I went down for breakfast around 9:15, and by time we got back around 9:45, Kristen was awake.
We had already decided that we wanted to start the morning by the pool, which is exactly what we did. Our Santorini hotel, Odysseus Art Hotel, had two pools, one of which was a thirty second walk from our patio. It was lovely to lay uner the canopy. Our hotel is made of the same white-washed building materials that Santorini is known for, so it was a lovely sight to look out across the water, which reflected the sunlight in an almost irridescent way, to see the white-washed buildings of our hotel, surrounded by brilliantly bright flowers.
I stayed by the pool for about 2 hours, and then headed in to shower and get ready for lunch/our planned outting for the day. I was surprised by how much of a tan I had from those two hours, but there is definitely a lot of sun on the Greek islands. There’s a reason Alexandra stressed the importance of lots of sunscreen–to protect against the strong rays, which had little cloud cover.
Once we were all ready to go, we walked down to the beach to get lunch. Instead of eating at the same restaurant as yesterday, we walked in the opposite direction along the beach and stumbled upon a family restaurant that looked promising.
I ordered a gyro platter, and was a little surprised not to find it in a wrap, but as a plate where I could pile the chicken and other items onto pita triangles. Regardless of how it looked, it was delicious, as per the usual.
After lunch, we headed toward the bus stop, hoping to go explore Akrotiri, the supposed location of the ruins of Atlantis. Unfortunately, there was not a direct connection on the bus to get to the stop, and we were too afriad of getting lost or stranded again. Instead, we decided to take the bus to Fira, then up to Oia to explore. Though, Kristen decided at the last minute that she’d prefer to stay at the hotel and hang by the beach, so it was Carolina and I who ended up navigating the bus system to get to Oia.
Getting to Oia was surprisingly easy, and only cost us 4.20 euro to take both bus lines. Carolina and I didn’t have any specific plans in Oia, so we mostly just meandered the various pathways and explored the city center, popping into shops and taking photos along the way.
After awhile, we stopped at a small bakery called Skiza Piazzaria Cafe, where we bought a piece of chocolate cake (for Carolina) and a piece of homemade baklava (for me). We took the pasteries to go, and sat outside to enjoy them. I swear, my “dinners” on this trip have been my favorite….
We wanted to catch the 9:30pm bus back with our travelmates who signed up for a sunset wine tasting excursion, so we wandered around more. We evnetually found a spot not far from the bus stop to watch the sun set, since Carolina was not on the cruise from last night.
It is amazing think about and try to compare the two sunsets. Both were lovey, but they had nuanced-enough characteristics to make them entirely different experiences. All in all, I enjoyed the sunset cruise more because there were far fewer people on our boat than on the mainland. But both experiences were lovely.
Carolina and I made the bus (thankfully) and were on our way back to the hotel in no time. When we returned, we joined Kristen and walked down to the beach to see it at night. With the dark sky and sand, and the gentle lapping water, it was very relaxing.
I particularly enjoyed it because the same restaurant we ate at for lunch today was having a Greek night with authentic Greek music and dancing. Although we didn’t walk up to the beach restaurant (since we had no intention of buying anything), it was still very fitting and appropriate that we looked up at the stars from the beach with live music in the background.
We stayed out on the beach for maybe 15 minutes, then headed back to pack. Even though we don’t have deart until 9:30 tomorrow, we still wanted to pack tonight to be ahead of schedule.
It’s crazy to think there are only 3 days left of the tour, and that we fly back to the US in 4 days. We’ve done and seen so much in the pasts 2.5 weeks, it will feel weird to not be traveling to a new city every other day or so.
Santorini, like Athens, is definitely on my list of places I want to come back to someday. The scenery is so beautiful and peaceful, and I’ve met some of the nicest locals here.
Tomorrow we board a ferry to Paros, the Greek island that many Greeks go to when they vacation. Yanis, the artist from Athens, told us that we will love Paros, so I’m excited to be there, even though I’m very sad to be leaving Santorini.