In the hollywood movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, they talk about their "bucket list" the list of things they want to do before they "kick the bucket" aka die. Without a doubt, the fact that Santorini was on both Edar and my bucket list was probably the common bond for us to do the Eurotrip together despite the fact that we live on different continents and had never planned for such a big trip by ourselves. Hey, we had one thing in common and the rest? Paris and Amsterdam? Didn't sound too shabby neither...;)
We flew into Santorini via Athens the next day after Edar arrived on Monday morning. It was a 4.5 hour flight to Athens followed by a 2 hour transit and a half hour propeller flight to Santorini. By the time we arrived it was dark at 8pm and boy was it cold! We dropped off our bags, ran to the neighoborhood stands to get some local gyros(like falafels, oiled pita bread stuffed with sliced grilled chicken from the pit and stuffed with french fries and a local garlic sauce) for dinner and then called it a night.
Each day, we woke up early and got our breakfast and took it up to the sunset terrace which was flanked on both sides by the gorgeous expanse of the bluest blue Aegean ocean. We stayed in the city on the northern most tip of Santorini called Oia. But Santorini in person is like something right out of a fantasy movie. A village awash in white cottages and blue domes perched precariously on a jagged grey cliff overlooking the infinitely blue Aegean ocean. We had seen it in movies and pictures and the real sight of it literally takes your breath away still!
Our hotel, Aethrio was a cozy little hotel 5 minutes walking distance to the main town of Oia. After breakfast, we would stroll around the little town taking pictures and once the sun was high up and scorching in the sky, we would head back to our rooms, lay our sunbeds out and suntan in our bikinis. Thank God that despite it being cold at night and in the early mornings with a high wind chill factor, when the sun was out, we would get a full 5 hours of blazing sun to enjoy!
There were only 4 songs on Edar's iphone i don't think we both will ever wanna hear again. It was hilarious cuz everyday, we would listen to the same songs on loop- Papparazzi by Lady Gaga, Forever by Chris Brown, Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus, some ballad by Mandy Moore and a haunting latin song from some movie soundtrack while we yapped and gabbed, catching up about gossip, celebrity titbits and talked about our lives, dreams and goals. Where we were going, what we were up to, specifically we spent a lot of time with me trying to figure out my next step and how we ended up here and me getting alot of good advice to just let go of having to know the final answers and to just enjoy my break!
One of the days, we took a bus to the neighboring town of Fira. Fira is the capital of Santorini where the ships dock, donkeys take the tourists up to the city where they can head off to their different destinations on the island. It is where the nightlife and majority of the shops are. Though we were both glad to be in Oia which was more exclusive and sophisticated and not so rowdy and jammed with tourists.
In the evenings, as we headed out for dinner, we would climb up to the standpoint where the sunset was best viewed. I had read several times that the sunset in Santorini is considered the most beautiful in the world-thats alot to live up to! True enough, everyday around 5ish, a crowd would gather there sitting along the walls or filling the restaurants with newlyweds or families having a memorable dinner watching the stunning sunset. Once the sun had completely set, the crowd would errupt in gentle applause as if thanking the sun for its magnificent performance and then bowing off stage for the next day.
Greek food is quite rich. Full of feta cheese, yoghurt, garlic and meats. We stuffed ourselves with the yummy gyros which as 2.5 Euros (approx 3usd) a piece was a cheap and absolutely delicious way to fill our tummies. However after 3 consecutive days of gyros and rich greek cusines and no fresh food, we felt so unhealthy, we went out and bought some old strawberries and grapes. Plus we made ourselves run up the entire span of steps from the top of the cliff to the harbor. We did this the last 2 days and it was a pretty funny sight am sure for the other tourists watching these 2 Asian girls huffing and puffing up the cliff, forcing ourselves to do the "Santorini stairmaster" au natural but if made us feel a tad bit better each time after!