Santorini – My Big, Fat, Greek Holiday

“Explore.Dream.Discover”

(Mark Twain)

It was another bright and beautiful day in Thira, as I heard to the jingle of bells coming from the hardworking Donkey’s as they speedily ran past through the alleyways below us.

I was fascinated to watch them go about their daily routine as they dutifully descended the many steps to the “Old Port” below – in preparation for a hard day’s work transporting eager tourists throughout the day.  I have my own personal thoughts on this practice but will save it for another blog post.

Muesli followed by some bacon, eggs, sausages and tomatoes were on the menu for breakfast, a hearty and delicious way to start the day.  Our hotel restaurant had magnificent views overlooking the Aegean surrounding the “Caldera” – absolutely spectacular!  One could not ask for a better way to start such a glorious day.

(I would highly recommend booking accommodation that also offers breakfast as a free inclusion as it will save you both time and money.  It is worthwhile to mention that during my stay in Athens and on the Greek Islands breakfast seemed to be a standard inclusion on offer).

So with breakfast done and dusted, it was time to get a bit of exercise!  Our plan was to make our way along the “Caldera Way” that ended in the village of Imerovigli. We wandered along Gold Street and through the little narrow alleyways in a northerly direction – once again admiring the many boutique stores and souvenir shops along the way.

You will find on the islands quite a few jewellery shops selling beautiful Opal jewellery.  I took a fancy to a lovely pair of earrings. While in the same store I also fell in love with several funny and funky looking T-Shirts which I absolutely had to buy for family and friends.

We kept walking and came upon a beautiful Cathedral– the Catholic Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist and bell tower.

The further we ventured away from the main township of Fira, the more the scenery opened up the higher we climbed. We passed the “White shop” which as the name suggests was a shop that sold all white clothing and more. Outside the shop sat three resident stray cats, happily lazing in the sun.  This seemed to be common thread throughout Greece where the whole local community lovingly cares for the homeless cats and dogs (and also a nice blog post for another time).

I know I sound repetitive when I say this, but honestly it was spectacular……..looking at the brightly coloured flowers that perfectly framed the pale yellow and tangerine homes, the terracotta potted terraces, an old rustic stone building, the wrought iron fences, then looking down to the bluest sea.  The contrast in scenery was hypnotic.

Once we reached the Monastery, the cobbled path kept ascended as we by-passed the “Volkan Santorini” restaurant with its million dollar balcony views.  The trail continued on along the rows of immaculate homes with inviting swimming pools.  At the top there was a guy selling an assortment of handmade jewellery, so of course I had to buy some special keepsakes from Santorini.

In the distance I could see Imerovigli with its famous blue domed churches.  The village was probably another 30 minutes’ walk away off into the distance.  In the end we decided to enjoy the walk back down hill and made our way to the Cable cars and the Old Port.

My heart was thumping with pure adrenalin as our cable car rapidly descended to the bottom – OMG!! And what a sight to see once we got there.

The natural colours of the backdrop at the Old Port appeared more rich, vibrant and colourful.  The sea was a deep azure, the cliff faces a rich earthy colour, the boats bright and brilliant.  It was a scene fit for a magazine cover.

It was busy with fellow leisure-seekers’ everywhere and as usual, souvenir shops were aplenty and actually their mementos and T-Shirts were slightly cheaper than those being sold topside (if you’re looking for a bargain).

If you feel like a cruise around the “Caldera” that will probably take in the natural springs at Santorini, then there are a number of tours here that would be happy to offer you that experience.

There were also donkey rides which can take you back up to the top for only €5 one way.

It was great just to chill and relax at one of the cafés, enjoy a nice cold drink and do some people watching.

Then, as with all good things it had to come to an end, so back up to the township we rode on the cable car which was over in a flash.

My last evening on Santorini was spent savouring a strawberry mojito on the balcony with my hubby, admiring another beautiful sunset – and then getting glammed up to dive into a scrumptious seafood pasta meal at one of the local restaurants.

Everything on Santorini was for me, simply perfection……..

To travel to new, exotic and wonderful destinations is to truly explore, dream and discover and presents an amazing gift to learn, be creative, grow, love, nurture and leave your own unique imprint on the world and vice versa.

It is wanderlust (a strong desire to travel) at its very best and finest.

 “Wanderlust consumed her; foreign hearts and exotic minds compelled her. She had a gypsy soul and a vibrant hope for the unknown”

 (D. Marie)

 

 

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