Friday, July 22, 2016

santorini, greece

^^blue domed churches errywhere. had to walk about 30-40 mins up the Caldera from the main shopping area in Fira to find this one!

^^view of Santorini from the ferry

^^more door love

^^water color is so pretty! we went on a volcano/hot springs tour for 20euro

^^all the stairs looked like this, pretty much

^^the red beach

^^dock for the boats at the volcano

^^only saw a few houses that weren't white

^^sunset in oia

^^see the wedding photo shoot?

^^the view from the end of the volcano tour

^^as viewed from the ferry...see the crazy road you have to drive up??

^^old port! got the boat to the volcano tour here

^^the "hot" springs (they were freezing lol)

^^end of oia sunset

Santorini was absolutely beautiful...But I still liked Paros better :)
And notice there aren't really any pictures of beaches except for the Red Beach. There are other beaches - the white beach and the black beach as well as other miscellaneous ones - but they are nowhere near as beautiful as the ones in Paros! And even the red beach shore wasn't really sandy, but more rocky - I was happy I had my Chacos aka my new bffllllls (you can make fun of me all you want but I love love love them!) It was still beautiful, though! There are other beaches - the most popular being Perivolos (Perissa, a part of Perivolos) and Kamari - that are more "sandy" that I didn't visit, but I just think you have so many more options on Naxos/Paros!

I was also (pleasantly) surprised at the number of solo travelers I met in Santorini. I took the ferry from Paros by myself to Santorini (Andrew was headed to Ios for a couple days, then was meeting me in Santorini) and immediately upon arriving at my room in my hostel (Fira Backpackers! Also highly recommend) I met two solo female travelers going to see the sunset in Oia - so I asked if I could go with them! And they said no. Lol jk of course they said yes and we headed out to the bus stop to go to Oia (pro tip: arrive at the bus stop at least 15 mins in advance! The line to get on the bus to Oia gets packed pretty quickly and the bus may fill up so you'll have to wait for the next one. It isn't the end of the world as the buses run pretty frequently, like once every 20 mins, but you'll want to get to Oia early to find a good sunset viewing spot as it gets pretty crowded!). One of the girls had heard of a lady who let people watch the sunset on her roof if you got a henna tattoo (and she wanted to get one) so we found her place and were able to watch the sunset there away from the crowds! It was quite beautiful but also not the most beautiful sunset I'd ever seen in my entire life. I'd still recommend doing it, though! It's just one of those touristy things you just have to do - if not in Oia, at least somewhere in Santorini.

The next day I wandered along the Caldera by myself as the two girls I had met both left that morning. It's funny - I was excited to do things alone, but sometimes I felt lame not having anyone to do them with, if that makes sense. I realized it was just me making myself feel lame as I had a great time wandering around and managed to find some pretty blue domed churches to take pictures of (is it lame if I admit that was one of my goals of the day? lol). There are soooo many of them, but the one I got my favorite picture of (the first one in this post) I had to wander the furthest to find - it took about 45 minutes to walk there. And once I wandered past the main shopping area in Fira it really wasn't too crowded anymore which was awesome.

The next day Andrew and I went on the boat tour to see the volcano and the hot springs (and met up with another female solo traveler from my room! So if you're afraid to go to Santorini alone don't be - so many solo travelers!) - which were not hot at all and were actually pretty freaking freezing. The color of the water in the actual hot springs was like a muddy brown - but all around them was a beautiful green!

I would also highly suggest to walk down to the old port and either walk back up or take a cable car (if you're doing a boat tour that leaves from there).
The donkey rides make me so sad - they have to walk up and down the steep terrain on the slippery cobblestone floor. I saw a donkey almost slip at least a few times - and some of them are so small, I swear that they had riders that were almost the same weight as them! But yeah - it made me sad. Just a warning, if you decide to walk it smells like donkey crap the entire way lol.