Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 / ChrisandChelsea
All the guidebooks say the sunset is best in Oia, but as far as we could tell the sunset was equally fantastic in Fira. And no crowds! We had the entire rooftop to ourselves (aside from one pooping cat) for a totally romantic Santorini sunset!
It was definitely the perfect way to end our time in the Greek Isles.
Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 / ChrisandChelsea
The next day we checked out of our hotel and headed to the town of Fira. Chris and Michi weren't feeling well (possibly the result of the GIANT gyro the night before) so they opted to chill on the beach with the baby while Chris and I went exploring.
And oh boy…Santorini is an incredible place to go exploring! It's the equivalent of the McDonald's Playplace for adults. Colorful, winding streets, something new and exciting around every bend, I'm still a little obsessed!
Mmm….gyro. Pretty much all we ate the whole trip.
See that backpack? It's me pretending to be hardcore backpacking through Europe. I'm quite proud that it contained everything I brought to Greece. It's hard to be an actual Euro-backpacker though when you're the only one in your group with a backpack. It looks awesome, but I was really just a big poser ;)
It started because all my research for the trip was conducted on backpacker blogs and the whole idea of backpacking the Greek Isles was romanticized in my mind. I couldn't convince anyone else, but I was determined! The backpack proved it's worth multiple times throughout the trip, but particularly on this day as we had to check out of our hotel early and then had to haul the luggage around the rest of the day up and down the cobblestone streets and concrete stairs. We could go anywhere, my backpack and I. By the end of the day I was sold on backpack luggage and will likely be using one more frequently in the future. European cities just weren't built for,carrying luggage. Maybe I just need to go on a traditional backpacking-through-Europe trip and get it out of my system. Who's with me? :)
The view towards the other side of the island where we stayed.
We decided that if we ever come back to Santorini, we will fork over the extra cost to stay in a caldera-view hotel (we stayed in a more budget-friendly hotel on the back side of the island). After seeing the killer vistas these places had, we decided some things are worth it. If you are going to visit Santorini, you might as well go all out. Because really…. Look at this hot tub:
I could explore Santorini for years.
Saturday, January 18th, 2014 / ChrisandChelsea
Next up on on our island-hopping adventure was Santorini! You can't really visit the Greek islands without going to Santorini. From what we've seen it's second only to the Acroplis as far as defining landmarks go. It's EXACTLY what you picture Greece to be too. Bright white buildings clinging to cliffs with their cerulean blue roofs, windmills blowing in the sea breeze, and fresh seafood restaurants everywhere you turn. Only with more tourists than locals.
The ferry ride from Naxos was almost 3 hours, so we arrived just in time to find our hotel and start exploring before sunset. All the guidebooks (and tourist posters EVERYWHERE) said the town of Oia was the best place to watch the sunset, so that's where we headed for the evening.
“Explosion to your mouth!”
Oia is built right on the sheer cliffs overlooking the big sunken volcano that created Santorini. It was much more posh and ritzy than Naxos, definitely catering to the upper class tourists. It was also much more crowded, particularly right before sunset. Looks like everyone else read the same guidebooks we did. Go figure.
The town was spectacular though. It looked just like all the postcards you see from Greece! And despite the crowds, it was a pretty cool place to watch the sunset!
We also found the best gyro pitas and baklava of the whole trip in Oia. The gyro place was right next to the main bus station and you could order GIANT gyros if you wanted. There we discovered that the best gyro pitas are the ones where the tzaziki sauce is put on the bottom before the meat. That way you get the perfect mix of meat and sauce and veggies as you are eating. I'm kicking myself for not writing down the name of the pastry shop we bought the baklava from, but it was seriously the best we found the entire time we were in Greece, and we ate a LOT of baklava. It was crispy and chewy at the same time and literally oozing with honey (great… here comes the drool again). Ah…so yummy :)
Friday, January 17th, 2014 / ChrisandChelsea
Ok… before we leave Naxos completely… here are just a few more shots from the morning we explored the port before catching the ferry to Santorini, just because I think they are beautiful!
And because I can totally picture a wormhole portal opening up to another dimension within the Temple of Apollo ruins, can’t you?
Thursday, January 16th, 2014 / ChrisandChelsea
Our last night on Naxos, we stayed out on the beach until the last possible moment, wanting to savor every little bit of it. We were rewarded with a killer sunset!
Chris in his element.
Goodbye Naxos! Perhaps we’ll be back someday!