Day 9: Athens/Santorini
On day nine, we woke up in the city of Athens and fell asleep on the island of Santorini. From this point on we were on island time and the tour was completely different.
We had a later flight to Santorini so we didn’t need to be in the lobby until nine. I forgot to mention previously that this hotel had two different sets of elevators; one on the right for the even numbered floors, and one on the left for the odd number floors. And they were incredibly SLOW. Oh! And you could only fit four people in at a time; three with luggage. This was not conducive to everybody checking out that morning. We got stuck down in the breakfast area for about 15 minutes waiting for the elevator to go back up to our room. With checkout time creeping closer, we decided to just walk up the 18 flights of stairs. After then waiting at least ten more minutes to get back down; we ended up putting our bags on the elevator, with someone else, and walking back down to the lobby. Good thing the bus was late!
We finally made it to the airport and made the quick flight to Santorini safely. The airport was so incredibly small and cute. They bused us from the runway to the airport and we picked up our luggage from the single baggage claim. We then made our way to the Orizontes Hotel.
We had about 90 minutes to settle in and change before making our way to the beach. Jason called ahead of time and one of the restaurants allowed us to use their beach front chairs and umbrellas for free. Obviously expecting that 30 people would be giving their business money.
Santorini was formed in 16th century B.C. after a volcano eruption devastated the area. This eruption formed the island which has two principal town which were formed on the cliffs overlooking the crater (caldera) formed by the volcano. This also means that Santorini has black, red, and white sand beaches made up of lava pebbles.
By the time we got to the beach, we were all hungry. We were sitting at Fougaro Beach Bar, where you could get food delivered from Sakura, a Japanese/Sushi restaurant. Since the sushi was so expensive and some of us do not eat sushi, we made our way down the beach to Afros, a Greek restaurant. Our first mistake was sitting down to eat. It took FOREVER to get our food. We even,
After finally getting food and eating we made our way to the beach. We had lounge chairs with umbrellas to sit on. As hot as it had been in Athens, the weather was the opposite in the i
We stayed at the beach until about 1830 and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
Since we didn’t have anything scheduled until 1430 the next afternoon, Amanda and I decided to take this opportunity to experience the European nightlife. The plan was to head into Fira for an informal tour with Jason, find food, then meet up with the group for a night out. There was also an option to attend a My Big Fat Greek Wedding/Mamma Mia/Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fake wedding party but we decided to opt out. We found dinner on our own at a takeout souvlaki place called, Meat Corner, and explored the streets of Fira until the other group finished their wedding. Before heading back to meet the group, we accidently stumbled into a Greek sex toy shop. Apparently, Greece is full of penises…and tourists. Lots of tourists. We shopped for souvenirs and met up with the rest of the group around 2300 at a bar called Tropical.
Tropical was one of the first bars to open each day in Fira so we started our night there. The bar originally offered to provide drink specials for our group and welcome shots, but this never actually happened. We ended up hanging out there for a drink and some dancing as a group and then made our way to the next stop, Two Brothers. Two Brothers
After leaving Two Brothers, we made our way over to Highlander, which offered the same music and atmosphere with a whole lot more space. At some point, while we were there, the bartenders stood up on the bar and rained napkins down on all the people. It was very strange. After Highlander, we made our way to Murphy’s, our last stop. Suddenly it was 0300 in the morning and we needed to get home. We taxied back to the hotel and made it back around 0330. I even managed to get a free chicken sandwich from one of the other members of the group! We went to their room to hang out for a little bit and headed back to sleep. I hadn’t realize how late it was until I asked Dave what he was up to and he said he was going to bed. Yikes!
By the time I fell asleep, it was around 0530. Amanda and I had considered doing the Fira to Oia caldera hike, but it was incredibly windy and Jason warned us that it was actually pretty difficult. Instead, we decided to scratch the idea and sleep in. Good thing we didn’t have anything planned until 1430 the next day!