September 21, 2017 – The one day on our Europe trip that we actually slept in… Dare I say we were bored?!
We hung around in our Airbnb until our fresh bread arrived a little before 10:00 am. I made coffee because our place had a cute little French press and delicious Greek coffee. Of course we ate out on our balcony and we even had some little visitors this time!
After breakfast, we spent some time relaxing. I caught up a little bit on my blog and Eric hung out on the balcony. It was nice to just sit around taking in all of the amazing beauty that surrounded us!
At noon we emerged from our place and wandered over grab some lunch. Where do you think we went? Pito Gyros of course!
We really wanted to eat lunch on our balcony like we did for breakfast. Why eat in a crowded view-less restaurant when you have delicious gyros to-go and your own private ocean view balcony at your disposal? The decision was easy.
First, we went to grab some more water at the grocery store. Then Eric went in to order our food. The line was pretty long, so Eric gave me the bag of groceries and just told me to head back to the room. Oh Lord. The Santorini crowds gave me so much anxiety; I was dreading trying to meander through on my own. I went up to the pathway and squeezed in to start my way down.
Suddenly I heard a guy behind me saying, “PLEASE! THANK YOU!” over and over in a Greek accent. He was carrying a big bag of what I think was laundry and looked like he knew exactly what he was doing. As soon as he passed me I saw an opportunity and took it!
I got right behind the guy, almost close enough to tap him on the shoulder, and followed him all the way to the staircase by our Airbnb. He, quite literally, barreled through all the tourists like a bowling ball. It was fantastic, unlike anything I had ever seen. Like he was Jesus parting the sea, except his name was probably Kostas and he had no idea I was behind him. It was every bit as rude and obnoxious as it sounds, but I couldn’t have cared less. This guy was just the hero I needed in that moment.
I reached our beautiful Airbnb and there were two people sitting on our doorstep. They were wearing cruise stickers so I knew they weren’t staying on the island (side note: these cruises made their people wear ridiculous stickers, most of which just fell off and littered the pretty pathways. We were asked to wear them the day before for our catamaran tour, but we made sure to take them off before we got back to town).
As I walked up to our door I expected them to see me standing there and move. Nope, they just sat there. So then I said, “Excuse me can I get to my door please?” They looked at me like I had just asked them to jump off a cliff. I couldn’t get over the blatant rudeness we experienced from many of the tourists on the island. It made me wonder how the people who live there feel dealing with it on a daily basis. It’s like they were treating the island as their own personal playground. We saw tourists walking on top of people’s homes trying to get cool pictures. We even saw a couple walk into someone’s patio area that had a sign that clearly said, “private property: no pictures”. I cannot understand the complete lack of respect; it made me sad.
Once inside our Airbnb, I breathed a sigh of relief: out of the chaos and into serenity. Now all I needed was my gyro!
Eric returned and we set up our lunch out on our balcony. It was just as delicious as all the times before!
After lunch, we were trying to figure out what else we could do. Our Airbnb host had told us about a pool that was open to guests of the island. It was completely free as long as we bought a drink. That sounded easy enough! So we made our way over to that side of Oia.
We got to the pool area where a guy told us we could sit wherever and he would bring us menus. Once we found 2 chairs and sat down, he came over to us and rather harshly said, “No no no! Those are reserved! You must sit somewhere else!” So we could sit anywhere EXCEPT for the chairs with invisible “reserved” signs. Got it.
So we walked around a bit more and found a table with 2 chairs. But the wind that day was brutal so sitting at a table wasn’t very pleasant. We found one open lounge chair and saw another empty one by a group of people. Eric walked over and asked if he could use it and a lady sitting in another chair spun around and said, “that’s mine!” Well, ok then.
It was around 3:00 pm. We decided our time would be better spent sitting on our balcony so that’s where we went back to. Eric wanted to keep trying to get a spot, but I told him that fighting people for chairs was not what I came to Santorini for; I came for the views and we could get that on our private balcony.
We opened the other bottle of wine we had bought earlier and sipped it as we spent our last few hours of daylight on Santorini gazing into the caldera.
Since we wanted to experience sunset before dinner, we both got ready and made our way to the viewpoint where we’d be able to see it best. It was a complete madhouse. We thought the walkways were crowded during the day, but for the sunset, it was even more so. I almost said forget it, but we stayed.
The sunset was so beautiful. We had seen it from the catamaran the night before, but it was a different experience seeing it from town.
It was also incredibly windy so every time I tried to get a picture I was also struggling to keep my dress from flying over my head.
After the sunset, we went back to the room so I could put my camera away and grab a jacket. Once the sun went down, it was a little chilly, especially with the wind.
We also wanted to let the walkways clear out a bit before we tried to go to dinner.
We made reservations at a little place called Melitini. It was a tapas place which we were excited about because we had yet to have Greek tapas. We walked over around 7:00 pm at a cute little table on the rooftop.
We got 4 small plates, but we could have gone with 3 because the plates were huge! Our waitress warned us that Greek tapas were bigger than Spanish tapas, but we wanted to try several things. A lot of food was left on the table (sorry no food pics!).
After dinner, we made our way back to our Airbnb to do my least favorite thing: pack! We were on the first flight out the next morning which meant we would have to leave Oia by 5:00 am.
Continue reading the Travel Diary here: Day 24: Traveling from Santorini to Brussels (+Brussels Sightseeing)