This morning we would farewell Greece and Santorini to head on to Verona, Italy. We actually both had a shocking night’s sleep the night previous, though I had been sure that we would both conk right out from the swimming and activity the evening before.
So it was decidedly too early and blearily we greeted our last morning in Santorini, but despite the early start, it was still a very fair, warm day. Once we rolled out of bed we decided that first up, we would attend to breakfast.
We walked to Fourni Bakery once again and chose a savoury and sweet treat for ourselves. The savoury was a spinach and feta filo pastry, more locally known as Spanakopita, and the sweet was an interesting cake slice called Ravani which is a Greek coconut cake. This was was also flavoured with vanilla and mastiha (mastic) syrup which made for a delicious breakfast. We took the pastries and a couple of coffees to go and ate our breakfast in the apartment while we packed up our last belongings for the transit.
We bid farewell to Christos Apartments and headed off to the Oia bus station to get back to Fira where we planned to have lunch and then catch the bus from Fira to the airport. The first part of this plan went off without a hitch.
We made it to Fira in good time, took a snap of the schedule for the airport and then headed first to a nearby internet cafe to print off boarding passes for the flight. The reason for this is that Volotea, the low-cost carrier we were flying with, would apparently charge an extra €53 (each!) for e-boarding passes rather than paper printouts. Pass on that ridiculousness. We would spend the €1.80 at the internet cafe and sort it out there.
Nick then went to grab us our last Santorini gyros of the trip <sad face> for lunch before we would jump on the bus to get to the airport. However, due to a slight miscommunication, we had snapped the incorrect timetable and we ended up missing the bus by 5 minutes. This wasn’t too big of a problem as we caught a taxi instead, but it was the difference between €3.60 and €20. Ah well. This would mean less pasta in Italy later.
The airport in Santorini is tiny. Unfortunately, it is much too tiny to adequately service the crowds of people coming and going. We left getting through security for as long as possible but still having a reasonable gap before we were supposed to board but due to an hours long delayed flight to Athens, it was pandemonium on the other side of the gates.
Happily, our flight was unaffected and while it boarded slightly late, we were still on our way in good time and didn’t have too much to worry about. However, as with all low-cost carriers they did do the infuriating thing where they split Nick and I up (but we could choose to sit together for a small fee) so Nick was sitting a few rows behind me and we both had middle seats.
My seatmates at least were very quiet and respectful. All three of us just read for the whole 2.5 hour flight with no issues. I finished another book, so I’ll have to find another one soon!
Nick unfortunately was stuck next to a rather annoying woman who carried on a bit so his flight experience wasn’t as nice as mine. However, it was still a very uneventful flight and when we arrived in Verona, it was a simple matter of being bussed to the terminal and then, with no luggage to collect and no customs to clear, we just headed straight out.
“…In fair Verona, where we lay our scene…” Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare
Once out of the airport, we bought a ticket on the 199 bus which would take us to Verona Porta Nuova (the Verona Train Station). It was a very nice transit bus and it only took about 20 mins to get from the airport to the station.
From the station, we walked to our AirBnB which was located in central Verona and admired the beautiful historical buildings surrounding us. After dry Dubai and salty Santorini, verdant Verona has been very soothing and lovely. The streets are clean and tiled with a marble like (very slippery!) stone, and there are fountains and parks smattered in amongst the streets.
The day’s warmth, in even the late afternoon is on par with Santorini’s and very comfortable. In no time at all, we made it to our location for the next couple of nights, Joyce’s AirBnB.
Joyce herself was here to greet us and take us up in the lift (which I was surprised this building had!) to her beautiful apartment. She has multiple rooms which she lets out to AirBnB-ers and currently there is an older Canandian couple staying here as well as us. Joyce is extremely friendly and personable. She is a translator by trade and thus, speaks English perfectly. She also teaches English and translates the menus for local businesses.
One of the best things is that she has put together a little guide for her guests on the best things to see and the best places to eat while in Verona. She even helped us locate a nearby laundromat to wash our clothes at tomorrow while we are out and about.
Our room is incredibly spacious and bright and has a very cute “Beatles” theme with the famous Abbey Road decal as well as another artwork image of their faces in negative on another wall.
We share a bathroom with the other guests, but it too, it very large and bright. I think we will be be very comfortable here!
Nick and I each had a shower before changing and going for a walk around the city. Both Nick and I are stunned by the architecture beautiful buildings. One such wonderful structure we came across was Castelvecchio (which is Italian for “Old Castle” – super creative name right?). We couldn’t resist stopping and taking a few photos here while the light still held out.
After a walk around, we also stopped at a local supermarket because, unfortunately, we discovered that we would need an adaptor for our adaptor as the building we are currently staying in is old, and the powerpoints have a slightly thinner standard prong. The supermarket didn’t disappoint and came through with a cheap adaptor we could use.
The real hilarity came when we went to check out. I suggested we try a manned counter but Nick didn’t want to wait in line so strode over to the self checkout. He scanned the adaptor before realising that there was an “English” option on the register and then we were stuck with Italian.
A kindly shop assistant came and helped us though the screen that stumped us (it was asking how many plastic bags we used – the answer was zero) and then we paid for our purchases. When we tried to exit the supermarket, we also didn’t realise we needed to scan our receipt to get out! It was a bit funny and I was laughing as we walked down the street to the restaurant for the night.
What kind of people would we be if our first Italian meal wasn’t pizza? Bad people. I am sure of that. So we went to Bella Napoli Pizzaria (Nick was chuffed because he had picked this place via his research and it was recommended by Joyce).
We were seated and we did our nauseating couple thing by each picking a pizza with the intention to swap the plates over halfway though. Nick got a siciliana which had anchovies, olives, capers on a red base while I had the salumi piccante which was a simple pepperoni, mozzarella and oregano on a red base. Both were quite delicious and we also smashed a couple of bottles of water as we were incredibly thirsty (probably from the rather dehydrating flight)!
Once we finished dinner, we headed back to home base where we again showered quickly and turned in for the night. Ready to explore Verona more fully tomorrow.
Km’s walked: 9.9
Flights complete: 5/10
Tomorrow: Exploring Verona!