I'm writing this from the lobby of the Tzekos Villas hotel, as our transfer to the airport does not leave for more than two hours yet. But we have been down at the pool area for the last four hours and it is time to get out of the sun! That is hard to say as I know I will be flying home tomorroow to some chillier days.
We arrived here on Sunday after a horrible ferry ride. Things did calm down after Naxos as far as the wind went, but it was so crowded, and very hard to move around. Getting to the W. C. at the back of the ferry was an adventure in itself! Suitcases were piled up three and four high, right down the aisles, and in an aisle, making it difficult to get around. I realized very soon that the people standing at the back of the ferry were not lined up for the toilets at all...they were just getting into position for exiting the ferry when docked. I finally made my way through all the people and luggage, used the facilities, then couldn't even open the door. Someone was standing right out the door, and when they realized what had happened, had to move. I still couldn't get through the suitcases, and finally took one of them from the floor and threw it back up on the pile to get it out of my way. I just did my best to stay calm, as by that time, I had to go against the traffic to get back to my seat. I didn't even realize we were that close, as the curtains were closed on both sides of the ferry.
When we arrived at the hotel, we immediately jumped into the pool. From the lobby to the pool deck is 88 steps. Fortunately, our room was somewhere in the middle, at the half way point. So we never had too many steps to do at once, excep if you wanted to go right from the pool to the lobby, which I just did to get up here out of the sun! Once is enough... After our dip in the pool, we ventured into the town. Obelix was the place to go for a gyro according to the receptionist at the hotel. Yum! We sat at their stools and enjoyed them immensely with the ever popular Mythos! We strolled through the square, taking in the views from the caldera along the way. There were lots of cruise ships here compared to Mykonos, but we didn't let that deter us from enjoying being here.
The weather here is very hot for October. There has been a haze over the horizon every day here, and if I was at home, I would assume that there was a forest fire somewhere close by. Even the receptionist said that it was like August weather. Too much humidity in the air.
The next morning we enjoyed the breakfast at the hotel, and started our first full day in Santorini. We started to walk north along the caldera to Oia. After an hour, half our water was gone. It was incredibly hot and muggy. No wind at all. Oh, for the winds of Mykonos! We eventually had to give the walk up and headed into the town to find the bus stop. We timed it perfectly as no sooner as I got the change out, the bus showed up. Of course, if was already full from Fira, but we crammed in there and were off. Oia was further away than I thought, and we were glad to get off the bus. We spent a couple of hours walking the streets and checking out the many shops. I took a whole roll of film there, and even bought my first t- shirt from this trip!
Once we got back to Fira, we headed straight back to Obelix for another gyro. This time we got it "to go" and grabbed some Mythos from the supermarket. We took it all down the pool for a late lunch. We still went out for dinner though. Mamma's house, another rec from the receiptionist here. What a great place, made even greater because of Mamma! She is just a short little thing, and felt quite small standing between us, and was not shy about saying so either!
The next morning we were up early, wanting to get to Akrotiri earlier, rather than later. There were already three cruise ships here when we got up, and we wanted to beat the rush. After breakfast, we walked over to the bus station and we were on the first bus heading south. We got there just after nine in the morning, and it was super quiet there. We wanted to take a guide, but they needed 6 people before taking anyone. There was an American couple on the bus, but they didn't want a guide, and actually told us we didn't need one anyway. In the end, we decided to go around on our own as we didn't know how long it would take for four more "English" tourists to arrive. It was the right choice to go ahead on our own. As we finished, an hour later, the tour buses showed up. And then some more, and more again. We were glad we had risen early!
After leaving the site, we headed down the road to Red Beach. We took the time to hike down to the beach. It was getting pretty warm by then, and the only shade was by renting an umbrella and lounge, or sitting up against the rock wall. Dave was not going to take a chance against the wall, and in the end, we just decided to head back to the hotel. We hadn't packed our swimsuits anyway. By the time we took some pictures, there were people heading down the trail by the dozen. It was filling up very fast!
Back at the hotel, we jumped in the pool again. After a cooling off period, we headed over to the museum. It was really nice to see everything from Akrotiri displayed in such a nice building. And only 3 Euro to enter. We did a bit more shopping, picking up some tea towels and knives and spoons made from olive wood. We got a t-shirt for Dave as well.
Back at the hotel, down to the pool again! This time we were treated to a real show...three hang gliders took off from the cliff, right beside the hotel at the quarry. It was amazing to watch them going back and forth, right over top of us, and gliding over the cruise ships. We watched them right up until they landed somewhere down on the shore behind the cliff.
We were going to go out to another taverna for dinner, but we wanted to enjoy a glass of wine down by the pool first. The fellow that runs the pool bar had given us a list of choice wines to try, and we had bought a bottle from the market the day before. He actually gave us some wine glasses so use, rather than the room glasses. And surprise of all, he brought us two plates of goodies to have with the wine. One was cucumbers and olives. The other was bread with two different types of spread on them, and feta cheese. After eating all that, and having our wine, I had no interest at all in going out again!
This morning we took our time getting up, knowing that we had a long day ahead of us waiting for the transfer. It is almost five now, so not much longer before we will be officially on our way home. One night in Athens, at the Sofitel, then an early flight to Paris, then to Amsterdam, then to Vancouver...and then one last ferry to get us home!
While I am ready to go home, I am also not looking forward to going in the front door without our Maggie there wagging her tail to greet us. Our daughter will be happy to see us anyway, and our son... well, he is our son, and we actually got two e-mails from him this trip, double what we got last trip!
Safe travels everyone!
Joan and Dave