Santorini – Oia Exploration

Again, as you do on holidays, a lazy wake-up followed by a leisurely breakfast of crepes at Vitrin Cafe Creperie.  There was a gorgeous backdrop of the caldera and a church with bells while we nommed on a savoury crepe of cheese, tomato, ham and pineapple and then a sweet crepe with sugar, lemon and cinnamon.

After breakfast, we did a bit of exploring of Oia town along the caldera edge.  We checked out the local artisans and stalls that had fascinated me in passing the day before and also visited one of the top 10 bookstores in the world, Atlantis Bookstore.  This shop was really something else.  As Nick said, you could really feel the passion for books the owners must have.  Everywhere, inscribed on the walls were famous quotes from various authors, Sylvia Plath, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and many more.  The books themselves were arranged in delightful alcoves inside the store with many review plates in English, French and Greek (that I recognised, there were probably more).

The best feature of the bookstore however was its upstairs lounge and book exchange where people could go and sit, read a book, leave a book, take a book and look at a  stunning view of the caldera.  If ever there was a more perfect spot to stop and read a book for a while, I don’t think I have seen it.

We did a bit more sightseeing and Nick had to check my impulse buying twitch a few times (justifiably, everything I wanted to look at was impractical or just unnecessary ha ha) but eventually the warmth of the morning got to us a little.  We had put on sunscreen thankfully before leaving in the morning, but it was still a bit toasty feeling so we decided to head back to the apartments and have a small rest before lunchtime.

Lunch consisted of, what else, gyros at Niko’s Place.  I am low-key worried that Nick and I both will be addicted to gyros – the next few weeks travelling when we have no access to them will be tough, we will have withdrawal symptoms! Niko’s Place is a nice establishment quite close to the bus terminal in Oia so there was quite a bit of of buzz happening all around there.  Happily, we managed to get there between busy busloads of tourists so we didn’t have to wait too long.

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Definitely the face of addiction right there….

We sat and ate the gyros outside in the sunlit alleyway, enjoying the warmth and the tasty food. Since it was so warm, a short time after lunch we decided to stop for gelato at Lolita’s Gelato.  It was my turn to chose the flavour, so being adventurous, I chose mastic.

The fellow behind the counter asked me if I had tried it before.  I replied in the negative so he gave me a spoonful to try before I committed to a whole scoop.  From this, I gathered that mastic is not to everyone’s tastes. I quite enjoyed the flavour though.  Its very hard to describe.  It had a slightly bitter almond taste at first, but then sweetened. Others say that mastic has a pine/cedar aftertaste, but this gelato to me was almost sherbet-y.  Luckily, buying a cup gave you two scoops so I got to choose another flavour too.  I chose a nice, light coconut which I thought complimented the mastic nicely.

Nick and I sat and ate the gelato in the Lolita courtyard, again, sitting in the shade but enjoying the very warm day still. We ended up heading back to the apartment for a nap before sunset.

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Again, we watched the sunset from the rooftop and enjoyed a few drinks.  The sunset tonight however was quite hazy as there was quite thick cloud cover on the horizon.  Undaunted though, we watched until the sun set to a pale lilac sky.

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Shortly after sunset, we headed out for dinner. Nick had located a place that was off the main tourist track and didn’t have a view of the caldera.  For these two reasons, the restaurant, Oia Vineyart was relatively quiet when we arrived. Its actually amazing what a difference being one street away from the town epicentre makes.

As the name suggests, the restaurant was a combination vineyard, restaurant and art gallery.  There were several stunning photography exhibits lining the walls of the place and they boasted a wide selection of Santorini local wines and beers.

Nick and I were seated and we ordered  the Sea Bream and a traditional island pasta dish called Tarhana which was served as a thick soup with beautiful spices like paprika and cumin. Both dishes were pretty sensational and we enjoyed them a lot.

We also felt like a bit of cheeky dessert and so ordered the chocolate brownie (with three kinds of chocolate!) with salted butterscotch sauce. Pretty happy with the meal and the day, we wondered back to the apartment.

Nick took himself on a short night walk to Amoudi Bay and got a few lovely night snaps.

Km’s walked: 9.1

Flights complete: 4/10

Tomorrow: Exploring Oia

 

 

 

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