Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Serene Santorini

I am struggling for words as I don't know what should I write and how should I write to do justice to this magical place. They say if you experience something 'magnificent' it stays with you forever. Visiting Santorini was one such experience. 

We keep reading about how beautiful Santorini is, about it's multicolored cliffs & beaches, about it's blue and white cycladic houses, about it's glorious sunsets but when you actually visit and witness all this with your own eyes it leaves you feeling enigmatic. It is so pretty, so beautiful that you find yourself comprehending whether it's real or a dream. 

Different walkways,  Oia 
We spent four nights in Oia at a B&B called Maria's Place. Maria's place offers a great sunset view and the rooms are tiny but comfortable. Like most of the properties here, this one is also family run. It's owned by a lady called Maria (obviously) but run by Anna who is Maria's husband's sister. Anna's husband acts as a cabbie and handles airport pick up and drop offs.

Little Kittens sleeping at Maria's Place
Oia is known for it's beautiful sunsets. 'Oia Town' is 10-15 minutes walk from Maria's place. During our first evening we spotted cave houses with colorful roofs and cobbled streets leading to churches where street performers were singing merrily. 
Beautiful views from every corner
Oia Town over flows with tourists during sunset time. The main 'sunset point' is usually incredibly crammed up. We did not even try to get there and enjoyed golden-orange sky from one of the cobbled walkways. 
One corner of the cobbled street
Almost every restaurant here offers a stunning sunset view. So picking a restaurant is easy. But a few of them are insanely expensive, go through the menu and prices before picking a restaurant. 

We also explored Fira which is known to be Santorini's nightlife hub. There is a bus station close to Maria's Place & Anna is there to help you with the bus numbers.
Restaurant lane 
Tip - Do not hire cars here. The best of this place can be experienced on foot, by a bus or ATVs. 

Fira has it's own charm. Walking down the narrow streets with peculiar shops and cafes on each side was! You can find some amazing stuff here to take away with you. We bought original Greek olive oil infused with Garlic (YUM).

In Fira we also booked a sailing tour for the next day. We had to be at the port at a certain time and we were told that it is damn easy to go down the steps to reach the port. Guess what? It wasn't! There are around 200 slippery steps covered with donkey poo. Imagine what slipping here will do to you. Our hands were smelling of the poo for a long time :D
1. On the ship 2.Having lunch at a fisherman's village
We wanted to experience the real essence of Santorini and decided to book an old sailing boat instead of the air conditioned speed boat. Unfortunately, it was extremely hot & sunny that day and there was NO shade at all. It took a while for us to adjust.
Smiles came after a while
There is one more thing that you can't miss in Santorini and that is the wine tasting. We went to Santo Wines vineyard and ordered their set menu which consists of 6 wines, 3 whites and 3 reds. 

Apart from the wines, this vineyard offers a great site for watching the sunset. 

Us, Wines and a drunkard 

Pro tip - Go to Santorini before Mykonos because Mykonos is ten steps ahead of the former and maybe.. just maybe you won't appreciate Santorini as much.

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