We purposely chose Santorini as our final stop in the counter-clockwise tour of Greece, renting an private Airbnb for three nights that gave us incredible views of the bay. Once the ferry docked we located a taxi that would take us to the far side of the island, a tiny village called Imerovigli that is literally built into the steep cliffs of the island. With a western facing view, the village is nicknamed "the balcony to the Aegean Sea". By the time we arrived it was nearly noon, and the temperatures had climbed into the low 90s. We located our Airbnb host and walked down the narrow corridors and steep staircases to find our apartment, a white-washed cave-home that was built into the side of the rocky island. Our porch had two relaxing patio chairs and a four person hot tub, and looked as absolutely incredible as it had on the internet when we selected it. For the cost of this place (nearly $700 USD per night due to the peak tourist season visit), we had decided that most of our time in Santorini would be spent on the porch and relaxing in the cool apartment.
Thankfully the evenings relaxed the crowds and we were able to wander around between restaurants and bars, soaking up the warmth of the night and watching the starts shine overhead. After a whirlwind week and a half leading up to our visit to Santorini, it was wonderful to have nothing to do and nowhere to be. I took photographs of the famous places, and spent a while each day rotating my lens towards different buildings to try and capture a more quiet image of the island; I can only imagine what it'd be like to visit it in the shoulder seasons. The colors of the water, both abundant pools and ocean, shine brightly against the bleach white buildings that stretch as far as the eye could see. As a gift to myself I didn't write much during our stay in Santorini. It was a fantastic time, and I feel lucky to have visited such a beautiful and unique place.
After three days we got on another ferry, this one far less clean/enjoyable, and took a seven hour ride back to the port in Athens. It was quite the experience and was followed by a cluster of a situation getting to our final Airbnb, a venue that was a disaster in itself, enough that we walked back out the door and on to the Marriott Athens for a comfortable night leading up to our flight home. The next morning we took a pre-arranged taxi to the airport, and after an easy walk through security waited at the gate for our flight to board. West-bound flights from Europe are some of my least favorite, as it all takes place in sunlight and therefore feels like the longest day ever. A quick layover at New York's JFK International put us on a short jumper back to Boston, and we were back home just before midnight.
It's always a pleasure to travel and see the people and things this planet is home to. I think the opportunity to experience different cultures is one of the most special privileges many people have in this world, and is one that everyone should take advantage of in whatever capacity they're able. The easy ability to hop on an airplane, get in the car, ride a bicycle, or simply walk and be somewhere else in such limited time is something we often fail to appreciate.
I recommend a Greek adventure to anyone who has never been, or anyone who has ever wanted to go. Rent a car and see the places TripAdvisor doesn't list as a must-see, relax on the world-famous beaches of Crete, hike in the wildly varied terrains, and eat as much tzatziki sauce as you can humanly manage. For me, Dani and I have checked Greece off the bucket list and are off to find the next adventure elsewhere, after all, the world is chock full of them to choose from.
Onward & upward,