This is Day 4 of my 2014 trip to Europe. If you want to read the other posts about my trip go here. This was a transfer day.
Today was our 2nd official day of touring Greece. Today was a national holiday in Greece called May Day and it was also a travel day. We were traveling from our hotel in Athens to the island of Santorini. Originally we were supposed to take a speedboat from Athens to Santorini but because of May Day the ferry workers were threatening to strike so our travel agent decided we should fly instead and booked us on a plane. This was good because we got to our hotel by 9:30am it was also bad because it meant we had to wake up at 5:30AM to head to the airport!
The airport was really crowded the morning we flew to Santorini. I was a little nervous that we wouldn’t make our flight as the lines were long everywhere! There were long lines to check luggage and there were long lines for security. But we all managed to get through the long lines with time to spare to get on the flight. It was really interesting in Europe you didn’t have to take your shoes off to go through any security lines.
Our hotel in Santorini was beautiful. It was a block from the beach and had a pool. We were the first guests of the season and the hotel staff was very hospitable to us. After we checked into the hotel we had free time until dinner around 6pm. We went for a walk along the beach and I was very surpassed to see BLACK sand on the beach. I had heard of beaches like this in Hawaii but have never seen it before. It was very soft and hard to walk in the dry and wet parts. It was almost like walking in quick sand!! After walking on the beach for a while we got really tired and had to go back to the sidewalk. That is one way to get a cardio workout.
The first night we went into Fira for dinner and it was VERY WINDY!! We had about 30 minutes of free time to walk around and explore before dinner so I walked up to the Catholic Church. I lit a candle and said a prayer. It was a very beautiful church. There was a statue there of St. Therese of Lisieux who is one of my favorite Saints. I felt like it was a sign of a good trip since I would be visiting her hometown of Lisiuex, France later that month. Inside the church I found a brochure with information about the churches on the island. I was impressed that there were over 300 catholic and mostly greek orthodox churches on the entire island. To give you an idea of the size of the island it was only about 30 Miles Long. The brochure explained how the Catholics and Greek orthodox live in harmony within each other on the island.
The dinner that night was the best one I can remember. The restaurant had a great atmosphere along with great food. Part of the section we were seated in had a cave. That was really different to see inside a building. Many of my classmates really enjoyed eating dinner inside the cave.
Originally we were supposed to eat dinner outside and be able to watch the sunset but it was so windy and cold out that they moved us indoors. Instead we just went outside during the sunset. I think the sunset that night was the best one we saw the entire trip. In Santorini I read about a sunset tradition the people have. They stop what they are doing, go outside, watch the sunset, clap, and go back inside to what they were doing. I thought that was crazy and wasn’t sure if that was really true. But I saw it with my own eyes and people really do stop what they are doing, go outside, watch the sunset, clap, and then go back inside. I think it’s a great tradition to have. I think it really went to show how different life is on the islands verses the mainland.
I could really tell that, “Island Life” was a lot different and a slower pace than it was in Athens. The food that night was delicious. The number one food that everyone talked about the entire trip were these, “Tomato Fritters.” They were a roasted tomato with cheese inside. They were so good! I need to figure out how to recreate them in some form.