Monday, June 8, 2009

Waking Up In Paradise

We woke up this morning in a place much different than those we’ve traversed thus far. The first 29 days of our journey have included places of history, with landmarks and sites that many, if not all, can easily recognize…places like Big Ben & Parliament in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich, the Colosseum and the Vatican in Rome, and the Acropolis in Athens. I don’t know if there is anything recognizable about where we are now, and maybe that’s what we like about it. Today was our first full day in Santorini, Greece and it was a great day. We started the day by renting a 4-wheel ATV, or “quad” as they’re referred to here, which we quickly found out was definitely the way to go. We’re staying in Perissa located on the southeast corner of Santorini. The great thing about Santorini is that there are beaches all arount the island and from Perissa we’re able to take the quad all the way to the other side of the island to the town of Oia (eeh-uh) in around 45 minutes. The unique thing about most of Santorini is the black sand beaches, which are a result of one of the Earth’s biggest volcanic eruptions that occurred around 3600 years ago (so I’m told).

We started the day off by going the Red Sand Beach. It took us a while to get there since we’re still getting use to the island and the road system (or lack there of). Once we parked the quad it still required about a 5 minute hike to get to the beach, but it was definitely worth it. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun was blazing hot. After Red Sand Beach we drove north through Thira, the capital of Santorini, and then to Oia. By Oia we found Katharos beach, there was a much smaller crowd there and the scenery was pretty great. We stayed there for a couple of hours before making the trek back to Perissa. Once we got back to our hostel we got ready and went out to dinner at The Volcano, a family ran, authentic Greek restaurant close to where we’re staying. I don’t know if it was due to being halfway-delusional from all the sun I got or what, but the meal was incredible. Erica and I split “Feta from the Oven” with bread to start and then split the Gyro Platter and the Fried Squid (calamari) Platter. By the end of the meal we could hardly move and couldn’t have been happier. Somehow we managed to pry ourselves from our chairs and made it home eventually…great first day!

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