We arrived at the Athens airport very late, and spent the rest of our night sleeping there. We took a taxi to a ferry for Santorini the next morning. Our ferry was like a mini-cruise ship. We didn’t have assigned seats, so we got to the ship early and claimed some good seats for napping. The ride from Athens to Santorini took about seven hours. After stopping at a few other islands, we finally arrived at the island of Santorini! At first glance the island was cute, but looked nothing like the Santorini on Google Images. We took a taxi from the port to our hotel in Fira. The people at our hotel were very helpful and gave us ideas of the best things to do on the island. It was crucial for us to spend our time wisely because we only had 24 hours there. We were taken to our room, which looked like a luxury hotel compared to where we had been over the past couple of weeks. Our shower was tile and you could move in it without bumping into a wall and it was so clean that we actually welled up a little (that’s British for cried. We cried about a shower.)
By recommendation, we quickly left our hotel and went to the bus stop for the last bus of the day to a village called Oía, located on the other side of the island. Oía is what you see when you search Santorini on Google Images. White and pastel buildings, bright blue roofs, and a breathtaking view of the sea consumed us from every angle of Oía. We spent the evening there, watching the sunset from an elevated rock. I remember thinking to myself; I can’t believe I’m seeing this with my own eyes. It was more stunning than any picture I have or any word I know. I was in awe the whole time we were sitting on that rock and I still am, four weeks later, writing this.
We went back to Fira, had a fabulous dinner, and made friends with some of the restaurant staff who gave us a crash course on the Greek language. We spent the rest of the night in the neighborhood. The next day, we went to a black sand beach before our ferry left for Athens.
We had another seven hours on the ferry, and we spent literally all of that time trying to find a way back to England after our journey was over. Our original plans were to fly to Manchester from Brussels, Belgium; but that was no longer safe. Right when we thought we had exhausted all of our options and were going to have to exhaust our bank accounts to get home, we found a reasonably priced plane ticket to Glasgow, a city in Scotland that is just a train ride away from Ormskirk, England!
In Athens, we saw ancient ruins and spent a lot of time staring at the Parthenon at Acropolis. I also had my first vegetarian street gyro and I was hooked! We only had half of a day in Athens before we were on our way to the airport again.