Athens & Santorini

After what feels like a very long time we finally went on holiday this time to Athens & Santorini.  We flew out of the new terminal 5 at Heathrow and after all the trouble they had when it opened it is a smooth and painless process now.  Arriving in Athens early afternoon, we headed to the hotel and dropped our luggage before heading down to Pireas, the port, to book our ferry to Santorini having achieved that we could relax and have a look around watching, over a frappe (cold coffee drink), mass hordes of people being unloaded from the ferries just in.  We took the metro back to Synagma Square and from there walked leisurely back to our hotel taking in the sights and sounds of Athens, before having a well deserved rest before dinner (we had been up since 3am!) We had dinner at a small restaurant close to the hotel not realising straight away that it was a Romanian restaurant, not that it mattered the food was good and after ordering a beer each and an ouzo (thinking we’d get a shot but instead received a 350 ml bottle!) no need to say but we were both in a rather good mood by the time we’d finished.

The following day we spent at the ancient sites of the Acropolis, Arch of Hadrian, Temple of Olympian Zeus then wandering through the Plaka (old turkish quarter) & the national gardens before finally making our way to Lykavittos hill, taking the funicular railway to the top to see the sun set and Athens illuminate.

Up early the next morning we were down at the port before 6.30 to catch our ferry to Santorini, we had decided on the fast ferry which took 5 hours instead of 9.  Arriving around midday we manage to find in the chaos a bus up to the main town of Fira, the road zigzags up the very steep cliffs finally reaching the top.  From Fira we had to catch another bus to Imerovigli, however having the misfortune of a very unhelpful driver we completely missed our stop ending up in Oia, after a half hour wait the next bus arrived with a much better driver who told us when we reached our destination.  Finding our hotel took a little while, not knowing exactly where it was but it is one of those places that once you know it’s easy, being very hot the first thing on the agenda was a swim in the pool and a beer while enjoying the incredible view.  We had an easy night having picked up a few supplies from the supermarket we ate dinner on our balcony with a bottle of local wine.

As I haven’t published this yet and my memory is beginning to fade here are just the highlights from the rest of the trip.  Sailing round the caldera for sunset which included a hike up the volcano and a swim in the warm sulfuric water.  Hiring a quad bike and zipping round the Island with me on the back a little scared at times.  Visiting an art gallery/vineyard buying a bit of both.  Finding a little shop in Fira which made the best cakes ever.  Sitting in a outdoor cafe on the cliffs drinking cocktails and watching the sun set.

After 5 days it was back to Athens for a night then back home.  An awesome holiday!!