Sunday, September 24, 2017

Part 2 of the day Excursuion from Santorini

After the hike on the volcano we headed back to the boat and went out to the tiny island of Tharissa. It was only a 5 minute boat ride and there we were, docked with a bunch of other little boats that looked like a parking lot of tiny little boats, it was a very pretty setting.

The shoreline was dotted with a few restaurants and a souvenir shop. Since this was a sunset tour we were told we were going to be there for about 2 hours before we headed back out to watch the sunset.

We had the option to climb the zigzag of almost 300 stairs to the top of the mountain where the people of this island all lived, or just sit at one of the restaurants, enjoy some dinner and relax. I'm sure you can guess what I chose after the 3 mile hike up the volcano. The population on this Island is about 150 people in the winter and about 300 residents in the summer.  They actually did not get electricity on the island until the mid 1980's, can you imagine that??  I can't believe they lived like that in my life time.


Mode of transportation to get on and off this island
(they must have muscular arms from rowing and strong legs walking up the stairs)



that zig-zag are the steps to go up and down the island

a closer, but not to close look of the stairs going up....

our view from the restaurant
Our meal consisted of Santorini tomato fritters and french fries 
followed by c ac cup of Greek coffee




The Mediterranean ocean is so clear no matter 
how deep the water is, it's just beautiful

Sunset on the way back to Santorini

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Day excursion from Santorini

So my daughter and I decided to take a six hour boat excursion to visit a 400 year old volcano named Nea Kameni Island which translates to New Burnt Island right across Santorini. The excursion also included a swim hot spring which will turn any color swimsuit to a rust color if your not wearing black (we passed). Then on the last stop visiting Thirassia Island before sunset.

Taking the grey hound bus down Santorini is probably scarier than going up.... needless to say we made it and got on the boat.  The tour guide was a very pleasant young man as was the capatain and his first mate.  Now, when they say "visit" the volcano, I honestly thought "look at" it. I was gravely mistaken as neither I nor my daughter were prepared to "hike" the volcano in flip-flops, no water and without any hat to protect us from the blazing sun.  So if the stairs in Glyfada weren't enough to get me over my fear of heights this shit certainly was.  I was tempted to wait at the bottom but I didn't want to disappoint my daughter so up we hiked...... it was hot rock and steep. my daughter had to hold my hand at some points just to help me up.  I really felt my age at this point.

There was an area that a small rope at calves height as there to "protect" people from falling down a steep area...  hmm.  As I took pictures of the black rocks going up and down, just to prove to my husband that I have truly over come my fear of heights, My daughter captures the perfect image, one that I didn't even notice....

on the boat to the volcano



made it to the top!

my flip flops about had it.....

I doubt that rope would do anything to prevent a fall.......


The two above pictures is what I my view was on this volcano.....

This is what my daughter saw!!!  I totally missed this view!
I did print this picture and have it in my home.
.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sanotrini

Santorini is a hub for tourists from around the world.  Walking down the street you can hear all different languages spoken.  It was also the only Island that we went to that had cruise ships coming in and out of the port. The amount of people on that small Island was over whelming.  The streets were jam packed with scooters, four wheeler's and smart cars rented by tourists.  The bad thing was there are no street lights and most of the drivers were speeding, or just plain disrespectful by driving the four wheeler's through the narrow walking pathways. Trying to cross the street was crazy.

The only time it was a bit quiet was early in the morning, that's when we would venture off for water, coffee and spinach pie for breakfast. Walking uphill towards the bakery I would have to stop a few times to catch my breath as "older" residents would just pass me up at a much quicker pace. I felt very out of shape (which I am). I'll also tell you that I haven't eaten so much spinach pie in my life on daily basis and still managed to lose five pounds from all the walking!

The path next to Vina's place was one where the herd of donkeys would be ushered through twice a day.  I had no idea that they were so big!


There was also a playground next to us and a small church. It's amazing but this Island doesn't have much greenery. Only a few trees planted here and there, but overall the island was just a big mountainous rock.

this is the play ground











Thursday, September 14, 2017

Arriving in Santorini 7/18

Santorini is a small sliver of an island in a jagged uneven crescent shape.  Unlike the other islands my daughter and I traveled, the inhabitants of this island live on top of the mountain, not at the bottom. When we arrived with the BlueStar Ferry we had arranged for a ride to the place we were staying. The ride was a large bus, almost like a greyhound bus.... that was the local transportation system.  Since I wanted my daughter to experience what if feels like to be "real" tourist I booked a room in the heart of Fira.  Now, the bus must zigzag up the mountain to get to the city.(a bit scary!) The driver MUST know what he is doing because every so often he stops to let the bus/car from the opposite direction pass before he continues.

So we get to a busy street and the bus driver tell us to get off, walk up the narrow steep pathway, take a left, take a right, and keep walking to get to Vina's place, which is a small hotel I rented a room in. As we dragged our small suitcases up the cobblestone pathway's to Vina's Place, the lady was waiting for us out by the gate to greet us which was nice.  I think she questioned our relationship though, and asked if we were SURE wanted separate beds.... I assured her we did, and explained that she was ACTUALLY my daughter....

Our room reminded me of my grandmothers room when she was alive. The old antiquated chairs, beds and wardrobe cabinet.  Over all it was clean and nice enough.  Did I mention the further away from Athens the less and less internet connection we had even though it said connected????  I did not get any internet the entire time in that room.



on the zig zag road on the bus looking back at our Ferry

that really is as steep as it looks! 
I did not tilt my phone.
By the way this was the mode of transportation of the (older) lady that owned the hotel 

looking up at our balcony

our room




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Day tripping to the Island of Paros, Greece

Paros is an Island right next to Naxos, and only a short ferry ride away. Sitting on the coast line you can see the mountainous islands across from each other.

My great niece and her boyfriend happen live on a tiny island name Antiparos that sits on the opposite side of Paros from Naxos.  I contacted my niece who was vacationing at her daughter's home, and we all decided to meet up and have a day trip together in Paros.

This tiny island of Antiparos is where my great niece's boyfriend is originally from.  The Island is so tiny that he had to take a ferry every day to Paros to attend high school.

Upon arriving to the Island we all met up at the pier and the BF droves us to a beach straight out of a postcard. The water was aquamarine and shallow for a long time before you hit any depth. The Tiki bar was HUGE, the music was loud, and everyone was partying!

We rented lounge chairs under umbrellas, ordered some drinks and a light lunch.  We spent the entire day on the beach before heading out to a beautiful dinner served outdoors on the restaurant balcony and watched as the sun set over the ocean.

We had a great time together and it was long over due since it had been a decade since I had seen them last.  It was also the first time my daughter go to meet her cousins.

Just a little note: It is mandatory for all males to go into the military at the age of 18. I'm not sure the length of the entire term the must serve, however certain males that are exemplary and fit  into a certain criteria,  thin and very tall, can get chosen to become guards at the Parliament in Athens while serving. It is a very special honor to be chosen for this position.  That was the case for the BF.

He served for nine months as a Parliament Guard, they are not allowed to speak or move from there post until the change of the guards occurs. (My great niece would skip class just to sit and stare at him on his shift...  that's how they met more that 3 years ago!)



my great niece and her BF

my niece















   

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Naxos 7/16-7/17

The beautiful Island of Naxos, Greece, how I wish I could spend every summer there......
Everyday we would get up and make Greek coffee, sit out on the balcony and watch the calm water of the ocean.

The island is very walking friendly and we were just minutes from everything.  From seafood restaurants, bakeries and small grocery stores that supplied everything we needed, we were right at home. I even found a working glass studio on the island that we visited after visiting their gallery in town.  The people at Yalomorfon glass studio greeted us like family and gave us a tour of their beautiful studio! They even showed me a design to try and cut, but I was not successful. Thye use float glass in all of their designs and I am spoiled with a "softer" art glass   When Kras and Dimitris bought the studio it came with cats, currently thirteen cats that live in and raom out of the studio as they please. The island is known for their cats!
So here our the pictures for the last two days we spent on this island.











Saturday, September 9, 2017

Naxos 7/15

We woke up at 4am to shower, make sure everything was paked up and tidied up before the prescheduled cab came to pick us up at 5:15 am to take us to the port in Pireasus to catch the BlueStar Ferry to Naxos.  We were both excited and ready for the ilsand! When we got on the ferry about an before it left the port, we were watching the newscaster on tv in front of our ferry talking about how the people of Athens were all leaving the city to vacation on the Islands! It was pretty neat to see this real time with everyone waving!  It was about a 2 hour ferry ride and we got to drink fresh orange juice, spinach pie, and our favorite frappe iced coffee. It was a great ferry ride! Upon our arrival I called the young man who we reserved the studio apartment with and he came right up and picked us up. One thing that I noticed about these born islanders on Naxos, they all had big blue or light eyes,  fair skin and very light brown-blondish hair, very different from the mainland. Anyway Tony, our host was very cute, pleasent and professional. It was litterally a 2 minute drive to St George Studios. Tony carried our luggage up to the roof top studio that overlooked the beach. The studio and the view was BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!