A view of an island as we cruised along the Agean Sea toward Santorini.
Well, now I'm all caught up to Santorini. I have a lot to update on as we've already been here for three nights. The ferry ride over here was quite hellish. We didn't have to sleep outside, but it was close. We both put our bags on two chairs in the chair room (it's that exciting... two rooms filled with chairs for suckers like us... not too quiet... lights always on....and a television as well...) and then looked around to see if we could find something better. We couldn't. What little was "better" was already taken. Chairs it was. When we went to use them....we found we chose broken chairs that did not recline. Joy. We chilled out on the deck for a while with wind in out hair until we got too tired to stand it and went to the chair room (called a Pullman Room, fyi).
This was our bed. The bags are on Ev's bed. The floor was for me.
We tried to sleep sitting up, but it wasn't going to happen. I took the floor in front of the chairs and Ev slept across the chairs. I slept pretty well. Maybe 5ish hours. Ev as well, but I think my sleep was sounder. Drunk guys coming in all night didn't help. It also didn't help that the ferry stopped at about 8 islands on the way down so that the 8 hour ferry that we were already told would be a 13 hour ferry ended up being a 16 hour ferry. Joy.
But it was worth it.... the view alone from the ferry approaching Santorini... Gorgeous. I watched a few island pass in and out...Naxos...Paros....Ios...none even came close to Santorini. I was so happy I chose the island. We disembarked and found a crowd of people begging you to stay with them.
This is the view of Fira (the capital) as we approached Santorini. The port is at the very bottom with a very steep road up to the main town. Most of the towns (except Perissa) are perched at the top of the mountains.
We were lucky and found a guy hawking the hostel we booked, so he drove us up the sheer cliff to the town we're staying in...Perissa. The entire half of the island with ports is on a sheer cliff. You either get up by car, cable car, or donkey. Yeah...donkey. We wanted to do donkey, but we couldn't pass up a ride. It's just so awesome coming in because every building is white and it looks like a snow capped island just because it's so tall and high until the towns start (Fira is the capital and the first we saw when arriving) and....yeah...never seen anything like that before.
We met a girl named Megan on the ride over who is from Vancouver, BC and is coming back for the second summer to work here. She can't get enough of the island and will probably return for another summer.
Ev and I on our sooooooper slow quad. It was fun anyway. :)
She said she worked at a bar called Soul (which we went to a day later) and seemed cool enough. Also on the ride to the hostel were two lovelies named Robbie and Steve-O. I thought they were together, but they just met at Rhodes
(another island waaaaaay to the east by Turkey) and decided to travel together to Santorini. They're both British and a LOT of fun. We were both staying in the private accomodations and have been hanging out the entire time on and off. Great people and they're a riot! We even switched rooms because they're not a couple and got stuck in a room with a double bed and Ev and I got stuck in a room with two singles. We didn't see what the big problem was, but reception is still stressing out about it.
This is a pic of the castle ruins at Oia which was directly above us as we sat and waited for the glorious sunset.
Reception is the only thing I hate about Anna's Place Hostel. We decided we loved the place so much that we cancelled our rooms in Naxos to stay here for an additional two days. When we told reception, they got stressed and said we needed to book online. We went online and it said they were full. They aren't. But they won't book us because it has to be done online. So we have to go in tomorrow (tonight is our last official online booked night) at 10AM to see if there is room. Which there is. And if we want to stay the second additional night...we have to go in AGAIN at 10AM to see. Oh, and if it's full? Whatever, I guess. Even though it was all available when we checked three days ago.
This is an example of a black sand beach with the dramatic rocky cliffs that are all over the island in the background.
I don't get it. Really, I don't. Especially since I cancelled two nights in Naxos. I think we'll spend two nights in Paros
as Robbie really recommends it. She's cool and I take her word for it. Or, y'know, I'll blame her for it if we don't like it. :)
But the island itself? Awesome! Our town looks like the best as Ev and I have been renting a quad and bombing around the island and have checked out the other two main cities (Oia and Fira) as well as the other southern beaches. Perissa is the cheapest and the best. Black sand, chill bars, awesome people, and Internet cafes as far as the eye can see! Fira is very kitchy with lots of jewelry shops that sell crap for more than I can imagine spending on vacation.
This is Red Beach, west of Perissa, on the south/west corner of Santorini. The volcano blew this out and there is this big lava cliff as well as black and red boulders. It's quite dramatic as well.
. AND THERE ARE PROBABLY 30 SHOPS LIKE THAT IN FIRA! I don't get how they can all stay in business. We went to Oia as well to see the famed sunset. It's supposed to be the coolest sunset in Greece. The photos don't do justice to it. We sat just below an old castle and watched it set behind two island in the distance with the town of Oia towering to the side. It was beautiful.
The down side to quading is that all the quads in Perissa are 50CC. Apparantly a kid's quad is 50CC. We can hardly get up hills and SANTORINI IS A BLOWN UP VOLCANO! I don't get that either. It was pretty freaky getting back from Oia (which is on the northern tip and Perissa is on the very southernmost part) after the sun set on the main road (or "freeway".
This pic has nothing to do with anything. I just think Ev is tres sexy here. :)
..too small to really be a freeway) and there are busses and trucks and cars and EVERYTHING can go faster than us. Oh well. We made it safely. And it's still worth it because we've gone down some backroads and seen some awesome beaches and bars and very dramatic scenery. I thought it would be lush here...it's a desert. There are cactuses and aloe and rocky cliffs and...not much as far as natural vegetation. One reason might be because it is SO WINDY HERE. The first night wasn't bad, but ever since there are gusts and periods of wind that seem like it should uproot the trees and blow them all the way to Crete
. So windy. Ev was getting a headache from the wind in his ears. It seems like a hurricane. I'm not exaggerating. And there's never a single cloud in the sky and Ev is always wondering what's blowing in and out because the weather always stays great...except the wind.
I cannot recommend Santorini enough. It's already made the hellish journey here worth it. And I hope we're here for a bit longer to take a tour to the volcano in the middle as well as check out an excavated settlement called Akrotiri that was in existance 5000BC. Wild. I'll get pics up here soon and talk more about it tomorrow. I've left out so much and cant even get it all down here to make it seem as great as it is. I can't think of anyone who would hate it here unless someone hated beauty, the sea, fun, and awesomeness. :) Anyways...I'm running out of time here. Be back soon with pics and more stories.. Haven't even told any stories yet! Gasp! It's so great here. :)