The day started early. We had to drive back to Athens in time to catch a flight to Santorini, and that meant leaving the hotel before 7:00. Breakfast doesn’t start until 7, but we hoped to sneak in and get a doggie bag for ourselves anyway. No. The lady setting up the buffet wasn’t going to fall for our tricks and excuses. We did finally talk her in to letting us grab “a role” before walking out to the car.
The drive back was beautiful, but we did hit some patches of smoke and fog. We only hit a little bit of traffic right as we entered Athens before we turned east to the airport. So we were able to miss most of it, which was great.
Flying to Santorini
We flew on Sky Express, which is one of those discount carriers where you pay extra for any little thing such as bringing a carry-on item with you on the plane. It wasn’t close to full and we had a nice flight. I was amazed at how many islands there are in the Aegean Sea. The entire flight from Athens to Santorini was filled with islands. There was never a time you could look out the window of the plane and see empty ocean. It was always filled with islands. Our flight stayed pretty low too. I thought that was interesting.
Santorini is the island everyone told us to visit. It’s one of the most popular destinations in Greece. We are excited to see it. It’s famous for its white buildings and blue-domed churches. We arrived around 4pm and got a taxi to our hotel. The covid rules prevent having more than 2 people share a taxi unless they are family. We’re all family on this trip, so we shared a single taxi to our hotel.
Marketing vs Reality
The hotel is pretty nice, but some of the things that convinced Charmaine to book this particular hotel instead of any number of others didn’t live up to her expectations. For example, even though the hotel is almost as far west on the island as you can get (not a single road further west), it doesn’t have a west-facing view. That means no famous Santorini sunset from the hotel. Another thing was the size of the bed. This hotel was one of the only hotels to advertise having King-size beds, but they turned out to be smaller (but still fine). But none of these things are a big deal. We can simply walk across the street to get the sunset views and access to the trails and shopping, etc.
After getting settled at the hotel we wandered around the town of Fira. It definitely has a lot of white buildings and a few blue domed churches, but it’s not my style of town. There’s plenty of shopping and a lot of good food, but there’s nothing really special about it and the people running around are not my people. There are “influencers” at every viewpoint taking hundreds (literally) of photos of themselves for 20+ minutes. It’s so terrible to watch. Luckily, we don’t have to.
Dinner and Sunset
We had an excellent dinner in Fira with a great view. We finally managed to find some lamb gyros, although the were listed as a “kebob special” on the menu. The gyros on the menu were, as always, pork or chicken. But I ordered the lamb kebobs and they were magical. We let them talk us into an orange souffle with chocolate ice cream for dessert. It was really great. We walked home happy after that.
We did some exploring, shopping, and taking pictures of the town before heading back to the hotel for bed. We have a big day tomorrow. We’re doing the 10k hike from Fira to Oia along the ridge from church to church. It should be interesting if nothing else.