Monday, September 15, 2008

Santorini = Heaven

Prior to my roommates and my departure to Santorini on Thursday night my one roommate (leslie) and I felt the need to do a little exploring. We had heard of this street that is closed off and just shops. Pure shopping at its very best. No worries, I may get lost driving from Downingtown to Warminister but where there is shopping, I am very much on top of my directions. Anyway, we found the prized Erimou street and did a little window shopping and purchasing. I will be returing to Erimou when I receive my $100 deposit back for my books at the end of the semester.

Anyway, we took the metro to the port Thursday night and got on our 10 hour long ferry ride to the island of Thira, or as we know it, Santorini. We reserved deck seats, that to the best of our knowledge were literally on the deck of the boat. So, we came prepared for the worst only to find that deck seats are actually a couple levels below the deck and are actually comfy airplane like seats. Just another cultural mishap. The ferry was actually really nice.. a dumbed down cruise ship if you could picture that.

Needless to say none of us slept in our "comfy" seats. We willed ourselves to stay awake for sunrise, which I must say was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced .We went on deck around 5:30 AM to watch the sunrise over the island of Santorini. Awesome. We pulled in to port, grabbed some breakfast and waited for our pre-arranged driver to arrive. Two hours after we got to port we arrived at our hostel (which is 10 minutes from the port). Greek time is not Kylene time, yet I have not had a major anxiety attack yet. I just opt for walking instead of waiting.

We dropped our stuff at our hostel, changed in to our bathing suits and headed towards the red beaches. A 10 minute walk from our hostel, which was located in the town of Akrotiri, we followed the crowds to the beach. You'll see in the pictures the amazing red cliff that this little strip of stone beach sits within. We went swimming in the Aegean Sea and just enjoyed the sun for the better part of the day. Soooo many people from all over the world. There was a German couple to the left of us, an Asian couple in front of us, Greeks behind us, and some French and Aussies a couple chairs down. Oh yeah, mostly all couples in Santorini and enough jewelry stores that if you forget to buy your engagement ring while you're there then the Greeks have failed in their marketing.

We left the beach, showered, changed and grabbed a quick dinner at the restaurant across from our hostel. I ordered fish and somehow I got a whole fish.. like with the eyes and body and all that good stuff. Note to self.. need to learn words for food a.s.a.p. We then took the bus (old coach buses) to the capital of the island, Thira. When you think Santorini you think Thira. The shops, restaurants, and houses all on the cliff looking out to the volcano. Basically gorgeous. We grabbed dessert at on of the cafes overlooking the water and then made it just in time for the last bus back to Akrotiri. I ate Baklava with homemade vanilla ice cream...probably one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life.

Determined to further explore Thira in depth, we awoke the next morning to homemade breakfast at our hostel (pays to go to family run places!) Climbing back on the bus, we headed to Thira for a day of shopping and exploring. We visited the Archaeolgical Museum (only in Greece are students allowed to enter all Museums and hisorical sites for free..sweet deal) which contains the remains of the site of Akrotiri. In brief, the town of Akrotiri is being excavated becasuse after the volcanic eruption however many years ago it is one of the few sites still in tact in terms of housing. It is the equivalent to a modern day Pompei. The site was closed when we were there but we got to see what was already excavated. We visted a wine museum.. a complete bust but found out dessert wine is not for me.

After our visit to the wine museum we headed back to Thira and found a Irish pub (murphys) where we grabbed a beer and watched the soccer game. Speaking of beer..Greece has a very limited selection. Its either Heineken, Amstel, or their Alpha beer.

We ate dinner at a rooftop restaurant and watched the sun set over the volcano. Beautiful. Overall, I did a lot of shopping and saw some of the most magificient views ever. I would definitly venture back. Unfortuantely, most of the island shuts down post-Ocotober just because of weather and lack of tourism. So, that just means I will have to come back again another time!!

Enjoy the pictures!!!

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