After such a great but exhausting wedding week it seriously did not take long at all for Bryan and I to hit our limit and chill out for a spell. Immediately after the wedding I had a voice that could sing a stellar “Smelly Cat” and we both could have slept and napped for hours if given the opportunity. The flights to Europe did help us take some time to do some serious napping. Our departure flight went smoothly with routes from Chicago to Munich, Munich to Athens and finally Athens to Santorini. We arrived in Santorini around 4 pm, found our transport to our accommodations (Oia Mare Villas) and only found our way thanks to the brawns carrying our luggage for us.
The suite that Bryan picked out for us was perfect. We had views that were super dreamy, our shower and bathroom were enormous, we had plenty of space and we were a hop, skip and a jump from the pool. After checking in we showered, changed and set out for dinner because we were now hungry and wanting to get some food in to hit the sack. We found ourselves at Skala which was recommended by the front desk attendant at our hotel. I was quite pleased with this dinner, getting to sit as close as we could to the panoramic views with reasonable prices and tasty food to boot. For our first meal we were delighted to get a 7 euro 1/2 liter of white wine and several traditional Greek dishes; roasted eggplant with tomato and yogurt sauce, Greek salad, fried tomato balls (exceptional) and Moussaka. We happily shared it all and loved every single bite. We left the restaurant to head back to our room, stopping at a few shops to browse. We hung out poolside for some time and were brought two glasses of white wine on the house from the hotel. Great first night in Oia!
Wednesday morning began with a free Mediterranean breakfast spread at the hotel. Fruits, eggs, roasted potatoes and of course Greek yogurt. Once full we set out for an unplanned journey. Our first task was to rent a scooter. This we accomplished successfully and were on board our 150 cc scooter in no time. We set out on the winding roads first through Fira, stopping at the ferry terminal to investigate ferry times, and then onward to the black sand beaches. The only problem was that I was not wearing my swimsuit so Chelsea became a grumpy and hot camper who couldn’t swim. We continued to the Acrotiri to take in the ruins of a very, very old city.
We headed back towards Oia with Bryan in the drivers seat and were back at the hotel to swim in the pool to cool down before heading down this time for dinner. We walked the many steps down to Ammoudi Beach to the Ammoudi Beach Fish Tavern. Right on the water we got a table and decided on a simple dinner of tomato cucumber salad, the best fried calamari, grilled smoky octopus and another plate of fried tomato balls. We learned at this restaurant that it literally takes ages to get your bill to pay in Greece. After a lengthy dinner we set back up the 200+ steps back to the main streets of Oia. There was a couple playing some music on the sidewalk and we checked out the view from the “castle” before making our way to Lolita’s for gelato per recommendation of our friend. We had another sound slumber in Oia.
Another morning, another breakfast at the hotel al fresco. This time we decided on a day at the beach, but the local beach to Oia. Much less crowded we got two chaise loungers and umbrella to do some swimming and some reading to idle away the afternoon. After we got our fill of water and sun we headed back to Oia. My flip flop came apart so I was quite the sight dragging my flip flop through the many shops in search of new shoes. After many stops I found some Toms that I was willing to buy, tossed my sandals, grabbed one gyro to share for a snack and headed back to the hotel.
More swimming in the pool, a nice shower and cleaning up for the night we set out for Santo Wines Winery. This was the best part of Santorini in my opinion. The views from the winery were out of this world and the relatively inexpensive 12-wine tasting that we split even came with cheese, breadsticks, olives and tomato spread. This time was relaxing and enjoyable. We had to return the scooter before closing at 8 pm which worked well because we were also back in Oia in time for the legendary sunset. After the sunset we attempted to go to many restaurants, all of which did not have any available tables because of all of their “reservations”. We decided on getting cheap gyros, a salad and Red Donkey (local beer) instead that we ate at the bar seating. Great choice! We got more Lolita’s gelato, I bought a scarf and we headed back to the hotel to pack and get ready for our midnight departure.
Our transporter arrived at the room at 1:30 am to take us to the ferry terminal for our 3:20 am ferry to Kos. I got a cat nap in before but Bryan did not. The ferry was unfortunately an hour late so we were awake until 4:30 am waiting to leave. I slept the majority of the 4 hours to Kos and we arrived in the Kos harbor to make our short walk to the hotel where we slept another couple of hours. We walked next door to Gusto to get some lunch. I got a few mezzes of zucchini and shrimp fritters and more roasted eggplant, tomato and yogurt sauce while Bryan got an Italian sandwich.
Our activity for the afternoon was to rent bikes as Kos is flat along its exterior and has many great bike paths. We rented bikes each for 3 euro! We headed to Tigaki beach, 13 km from our hotel, taking a quick dip mid-route to cool off. We made it to the beach and immediately stopped to purchase beach mats, huge water bottles and some cut up fruit to snack on. We swam and ate and drank and napped again on the beach. Back to the hotel we biked and it really was a great bike ride and something to get our legs a little activity. We returned the bikes and cleaned up in the hotel and set out for dinner. Our dinner ended up being at Elia’s, the oldest tavern in Kos and quite the busy place. We ended up getting some more cheap house white wine and the mezze plate that was literally so large we couldn’t order anything else. Dolmas, phyllo cigars, tzatziki, meatballs, chicken in cream sauce, pork in cheese sauce, fried halloumi, and so much else all of which was fantastic. We wandered the buzzing streets back towards the hotel where we had another solid slumber.
Saturday morning we woke rather early to pack up and head back to the ferry dock to catch our 10 am short ferry to Bodrum, Turkey. I picked up frappes for the two of us while Bryan checked out and we wheeled our bags to the terminal. At the terminal Bryan was eager to see the Maltese Falcon; the most expensive and well engineered sailboat in the world. We caught the ferry without a problem and our transfer to Otenkant to board our sailboat was there waiting for us. We had a few hours to spend at the hotel, were given a room to change or take a nap, got lunch of spaghetti bolognese for Bryan and kefta (meatballs) and fries for me with a great view, and took a swim before our boat was ready!
Next stop…a week on a sailboat in Turkey!