Athens to Santorini – Exploring Fira

Santorini Thira Villa FotiniWhen last I signed off dear readers, Nick and I were awaiting the flight information for our Ryanair flight from Athens to Santorini.  The flight information took some time before it was posted up but we were able to go to the gate and be scanned in shortly after I closed my laptop for the night.

As we had priority boarding, this meant we were able to bring our carry on into the main cabin AND we were able to board the plane first. As such, Nick and I were some of the first people on the plane. Nick was seated up in row 8 while I was waaaay down the back of the plane in row 33.  The very last row even.

All good though, this flight was less than an hour and honestly, I would barely have had time to talk to Nick if I had been sitting next to him.  I just spent the flight reading and before I knew it, we were landing in Santorini.

At this point, it was around midnight.  Thanks to our light travelling though, we were able to exit the airport, hail a taxi and be on our way to our location for the night, Stella Apartments located in the capital of Santorini – Fira. The taxi ride was a little odd as the driver seemed to have brought his wife along for company.  At least, we assumed it was his wife – they were very familiar with one another. Nick heard them discussing (in Greek) Australians, presumably us, at one point of the short drive but I was so spaced out I didn’t notice.

When we finally arrived at Stella Apartments, we were so tired we were about to drop.  Of course, there seemed to be some issues with check-in with their EFTPOS machine seeming to be dropping out which was blamed on the ‘bad weather’.  It was very windy, but that was about the extent of it.

As we couldn’t get the payment processed right away, the owner showed us to our room which was a very unassuming little twin share and wanted to talk us through a few things.  At this point Nick and I were both radiating “Please, please let us sleep vibes” and eventually Nick left me in the room to shower while he processed the payment through, and then he too came back and showered and we both konked right out.

We woke up to bright sunshine for our first ‘lie-in’ of the holiday so far, though it was only 8am. Once I was awake, I couldn’t fall back asleep but we did lounge in bed for a short time before Nick went to check out the small balcony.

Unfortunately, we didn’t seem to be facing the more picturesque side of the island and eventually we decided to head out for some breakfast. In keeping with our recent theme, we opted for something decidedly unhealthy – crepes. We located a small creperie called “Creme De La Crepe” which served up both sweet and savoury options.

Nick got an apple and cinnamon crepe, flavoured with grand marnier  while I got a chocolate and sour cherry flavour.  They were pretty hefty and filling and I enjoyed mine immensely. We also got a freddo cappuccino or iced coffee, which was surprisingly strong, to share.

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After this, we wondered around the alleys and shops of Santorini for a while, though it was still early so many of the shops weren’t open quite yet.

Eventually, we headed back to our hotel and checked out to go to our new hotel in Santorini, Villa Fotini. However, before checking in, we met up with Nick’s brother, Phil who is also staying in Santorini right now with several of Nick’s work friends also. Once we had rendezvoused with Phil, we left our bags at Villa Fotini and then headed out to get some brunch for Phil and some coffees for us.

Once Phil was fed and he and Nick and I were all caught up on one another’s holiday activities, we headed to Phil’s hotel, Agali Houses which was quite a lovely place! We also caught up with Phil’s other travel companions, Louise, Beth and JB who very graciously invited us to hang out with them.

JB took some pictures of us (some incredibly sneakily!) which are a bit of fun.

 

After a companionable catch-up between all of us, we decided to head out for a walk and some lunch. As a group, we went exploring the north of the island including a scary outcropping which only Nick, JB and Phil climbed to the top.  It has been a very warm, but gusty day and I wasn’t prepared to climb the rock-face in my dress, thanks.

 

Shortly after this, we went for some gyros in pitta at “Let’s Eat” which was hands down the best gyros we have had so far. After all the walking, talking and climbing, we all decided to retire to our respective hotels for a rest before regrouping again later. Nick grabbed a cheeky quick souvlaki at a nearer outlet called “Why Not! Souvlaki” before we checked into Villa Fotini.

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Gyros from “Let’s Eat!”

Our room at Villa Fotini is simply huge as we were allocated one of their apartment units.  there are 2 single beds in one room, and a double in the room out the back so we are spoiled for space here.

 

On the plumbing situation, one thing I am getting used to is that you can’t flush paper down the toilet.  Most bathrooms have a toilet with a little bin next to it that you’re supposed to put the used toilet paper into.  No big deal, just a little different.  Everything else is as you would expect and hey, at least it’s not my nemesis, the squat toilet.

Nick and I lounged around for while before Nick decided to join Phil at his villa.  I decided to stick around our rooms to rest which turned into a late afternoon nap.  Nick eventually came back up to collect me for pre-dinner drinks.

A quick change and we grabbed a bottle of wine on the way before heading back to Agali Houses.  Nick told me that while I had been napping he had been lounging in Phil’s room’s private Jacuzzi.  Jealous. Once there, we were introduced to some friends Phil’s group had made on their own travels. Bridget, originally from San Francisco USA, and two Australians, Kelsey and Hannah all of whom were lovely.

 

We had some drinks and laughs and were eventually (politely) asked to keep it down by the hotel management.  Shortly after this, we decided to have a pre-dinner drink closer to our dinner venue.

We found a rooftop bar, Mylos Bar & Restaurant, which was located just over the top of our dinner venue and killed time till our booking (9pm).  However, as it had turned quite cool and windy, we were more than ready to head down to the restaurant to eat at Casa Di Te.

Casa Di Te is a small, cozy establishment which serves modern Greek cuisine. As a group, we ordered appetisers to share (excellently chosen by JB and Bethany) and a main each.

Bethany also convinced us all to get a cocktail with dinner.  8 Tequila Sunrises for the table, please.  The appetisers were served up in short order.  As we were with the group, we didn’t really take many pictures of the food so you’ll just have to use your imagination as to how excellent the food was.

We started with meatballs stuffed with gruyere cheese in red sauce, fried zucchinis with yogurt sauce – flavoured with fennel & lemon.  We then moved onto fresh calamari with spearmint sauce & wafer thin potato chips and mixed Greek cheeses kadaifi with tomato jam, the last of which was my personal favourite.  There was also a Greek salad which I ploughed into as I have been feeling the lack of fresh vegetables already this trip.

We then had our mains served up.  Nick had chosen the octopus salad with cherry tomatoes, green olives, cucumber, rusk & yogurt sauce and I had the very last order of lamb, wrapped in cook paper with potatoes, honey mustard & rosemary.  The meat of mine was simply falling off the bone and Nick also helped himself to my dish. 

 

Phil had also wanted to order the lamb but as I beat him to the last one he made do with a beef fillet. Others around the table got some lovely pastas and moussaka and most everyone enjoyed their meals. Nick and Kelsey who had the octopus salad however, found their dishes to be quite vinegar-y and sour so that was probably the one meal that wasn’t universally enjoyed.

However the restaurant was very gracious and when given that feedback they offered to get Nick a new dish. He declined however as he was pretty full as it was from all the appetisers (and his earlier cheeky extra gyros in the afternoon).

Once the plates from the mains were cleared away, we were asked if we wanted dessert.  We declined however as we were all very comfortably full.  The restaurant staff however, brought us out tiny serves of chocolate pie on the house as well as a complimentary shot of tequila each.

This was perfect as it gave us just a few spoonfuls of the silky chocolate pie (which is the dessert I would have chosen if we HAD have ordered a dessert – lucky!) and the shot of tequila was also wonderful as it was good quality tequila. Nick however, isn’t the biggest fan of tequila and so regretted having that final shot.

After dinner, we broke up and headed back to our respective hotel rooms with plans to rendezvous the next morning for the ferry transfer to Eos.  However we knew that the morning ferry had already been cancelled due to inclement weather (the winds which had made us so cold were dangerous out on the water) and it was likely that we would need to change our plans for the next day.

We would tackle that bridge when we came to it. For this night, with a full belly and having kept excellent company halfway across the world from home, it was very easy for me to curl up in bed and fall asleep.

Km’s walked: 13.1

Flights complete: 4/10

Tomorrow: Eos? 

 

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