Friday 9th May
This morning saw me up at 6am and checking out at 6.20am to get my taxi to the airport. Cairo looked calm and peaceful for a change!
Got a flight from Cairo to Athens, which was a mere 3 hours before pottering around Athens airport for a couple of hours. The airport actually contains a museum inside the terminal which displays all the finds found in the area of the airport, so that was a good and educational way to pass half an hour!
I then jumped on my flight from Athens to Santorini which was full, full of idiots! The flight was a mere 35 minutes long, so it’s literally take off, cruise at 17000 feet for 5 minutes then descend back down to land! You wouldn’t believe the number of people faffing around when boarding the plane….oh we want to sit together…can you move some people so we can have a seat together (to the stewardess)…..it took every ounce of patience I had to not shout “it’s 35 fucking minutes, just SIT DOWN!” Seriously what is wrong with people, it’s not like it was people asking to be moved to sit with children…it wasfully grown adults!
I was waiting to be asked if I could move, because my answer would have been ‘no’ but sadly no one asked me so I was unable to highlight their stupidity to them! Lololol
Anyway after that rant lets continue….
So arrived on Santorini in the seat that I had actually been allocated and waited an eternity for the baggage reclaim guys to finish their game of backgammon, drink their greek coffee, put out their cigarette and do some work! I see in the years I have been absent nothing has changed in Greece! Haha
I jumped in a taxi and headed to Perissa and to my little hotel for the week. The peace and tranquility against the mental-ness of Cairo and India was soooo nice, it was soooo quiet…no honking horns or shouting locals!
It was about 6pm when I arrived so I just headed to the supermarket, did a weekly shop of fruit, salad, feta, yoghurt and drinks and filled my fridge up! No eating out this week…home prepared salads for lunch and dinner to keep costs down!
I then unpacked my rucksack for the first time since leaving the UK. Not fully but all my clothes were hung up in a wardrobe on coat hangers, the crumpled messes my tops had become was hilarious!
After skyping a few people and reading on the balcony, I crashed out!
Saturday 10th May
Today was a down day really, after the last 9 weeks of constant touring and moving around I decided to spend a few days just being; rather than seeing.
So I had a lie in, got up about 9am, sat on the balcony with some strawberries and yoghurt facing the sea.
I then went for a morning stroll along the black volcanic beach, which was totally devoid of people. Sat watching the waves gently lap at the beach with mountains to my left and white houses nestled down the island over to my far right.
After a while a few tourists started arriving on the beach with their Santorini beach towels and lilos so I left and headed back to do some washing and read.
Spent the rest of the day eating homemade greek salad, reading and napping before chatting to some friends on Skype and facetime prior to sleep!
Sunday 11th May
Today was also a down day, it was Sunday…the day of rest! I had another lie in, some more strawberries and yoghurt and then hit the pool for 3 hours. Lazed around reading in the sun and listening to music until just after lunch.
Then some more homemade greek salad followed by more reading, more napping and more skyping!
Late afternoon I went for a 2 hour stroll down to the end of the beach where it meets the mountains and slowly meandered back browsing in the non touristy shops looking at clothes and shoes!
The evening was also just as riveting and contained greek salad, reading and skyping before sleeping.
Monday 12th May
After my ample napping hours, I found that I woke early today…7.30am!
So after pottering and breakfasting I decided to get the bus to Thira, which is the kind of capital town of Santorini and where the bus station is.
When I left Perissa the weather was gloriously sunny and warm, 30 minute bus ride over to the other side of the island and it was grey, cloudy, windy and cold!
So went for an hours power walk along the caldera, fighting my way through hoards of american, french and japanese tourists with cameras. I pottered round the non touristy clothes and shoe shops before popping into Carrefour to get some pomegranates and a drink.
I then waited for a bus back to Perissa, once back I napped and read until bedtime!
Such a hard life!
Tuesday 13th May
Woke late today, 9.15am; clearly the exertion of getting the bus and fighting through hoards of tourists had taken its toll!
Decided today to go to the museum and archaeological site of Akrotiri, which basically contains piles of stones and some houses dating back between 3000 and 6000 years ago and its also the supposed site of Atlantis.
Normally in Greece everything archaeological is closed on a Monday, so thought today would be a good day to go.
So bus to Thira again, wandered around to the museum to find it closed! Even the locals were confused as to why it was closed…until we found a small handwritten piece of paper stuck halfway up the entrance path stating it was closed on Tuesdays, not Mondays! Excellent work!
So abandoning the idea of seeing the frescos and pottery that had come from Akrotiri (which would assist when wandering around the site), I decided to go to Akrotiri first then visit the museum tomorrow.
So wandered back to the bus station to wait for the bus to Akrotiri, saw hoards of tourists loitering and thought to myself ‘they won’t be going to look at 6000 year old piles of stones, they will be going to the beach’……wrong…..the bus pulled in for Akrotiri and everyone descended upon the bus like their life depended on it! I couldn’t trust myself to not elbow one of them on purpose and didn’t fancy joining a scrum to get on a bus! Thought I had left all that nonsense behind in London!
So with people standing down the aisle and hanging out of the door of the bus, I decided to just opt for the bus back to Perissa and go for a walk there!
Did the usual nap, salad, read and decided to visit Akrotiri and museum tomorrow!
Wednesday 14th May
Right…decided I was going to smash this today! Up early, breakfasted and was at the bus stop for 9.15am bus. The only other people at the bus stop were 2 retired french ladies and 2 russian girls, which meant I had to try hard not to launch into a tirade about Putin being a knob and my dislike of russians! Lol
The bus in usual greek fashion was late….the french ladies were getting a bit irate and after some huffing and puffing decided to try to hitchhike, in Greece at a bus stop! Hasten to add some 20 minutes later they were still standing at the bus stop!
The russians had huge suitcases which, judging by their attire, were full of mid calf white socks and velour shorts so I assumed they were going to the airport as they seemed somewhat annoyed by the bus’ tardiness!
I, smugly, was enjoying the relaxed nature of the greek’s timekeeping abilities, after all I was in no rush….
Another 5 minutes passed and the russians decided to ask the quad bike rental place next to the bus stop if they could run them and their suitcases full of velour to the airport. They obviously negotiated a price for 2 quads and 2 guys to drive them, I watched on amused as they squeezed onto the quads and the guys were busy trying to fasten their suitcases to the other quad!
In the meantime the bus arrived, which pleased old hitchhiking frenchy and me, but seemed to displease the russians, which pleased me further! Hahaha
We boarded the bus, watched on as the russians didn’t board the bus and off we meandered to Thira.
The journey continued to amuse me as the poor guy selling tickets on the bus got an earful from frenchy about the bus being late, to which his reply was that it wasn’t late the timetable is only a guide, the bus arrives when it arrives and is therefore on time! Excellent response my greek friend!
Someone else piped up in support of frenchy, to which the ticket guy’s response was just to shrug and walk back down the bus!
Frenchy then asked where her supporters were from, only to be told ‘russia’. I started visibly twitching with hatred but was saved by none other than frenchy (who is now my hero), who then launched into an anti russian tirade about the Ukraine!
The bus journey was fast becoming a tense UN summit about greek time keeping and the Russians desire to rule the world and beat all previous USSR countries into submission along with any homosexuals! It was brilliant…..I was all up for public flogging of the russians but stayed quiet so that no one knew I was British! Wasn’t sure that would work in my favour! Lol
I wasn’t sure the day could get any better, but alas as I rounded the corner from the bus station I found the museum…open! Thank Zeus…the greeks had decided to get off their arses and do some work!
So pottered around the museum for an hour taking in plaster frescos of dancing ladies, fishermen and blue monkeys (no idea!) that had been removed from the walls of houses at Akrotiri and various forms of decorated pottery such as oil lamps, cooking pots, amphorae (large handled oval tall storage pots for containing oil or wine!) and ceremonial drinking vessels.
I believe seeing artefacts that have come out of a place before seeing the ruins helps you put everything in context when walking around, It helps you visualise life there and the everyday lives of the people.
After the museum I headed to the bus station and waited for the bus to Akrotiri. I spoke to a nice old man who worked there and asked if I was going to have to fight to get on the bus. He said that there would be 2 buses running to Akrotiri due to popularity so wait for the second! Excellent snippet of information there my greek friend!
So the bus pulled in for Akrotiri, the hoards all descended on it fighting to get on, again people standing all down the aisle and hanging out of the door. A second bus rocked up and the guy said ‘Akrotiri’, so I merely leapt on unchallenged, took a seat and then watched loads of people jump back off the other bus and fight to get a seat on the one I was on! Such fun! Lol
Anyway, eventually the buses left Thira and headed over to Akrotiri. I leapt off and managed to get to the front of the queue for a ticket and was off bounding up the hill to the entrance before the masses had got their tickets!
Akrotiri is a huge place and it takes an hour to circumnavigate the site taking it all in.
I wandered around in relative peace as everyone else was doing the guided tour, having been previously to Akrotiri, read up about it and the myths around Atlantis and having already visited the museum I was one step ahead and didn’t need to listen about what was found during excavations and the fact there was a fresco containing blue monkeys!
After an hour wandering taking in the narrow streets, stone houses, staircases, windows and remaining pottery I headed back down to the bus stop and for the bus back to Thira and an immediate connecting bus back to Perissa.
After the intense day I had and the fact that all I had for lunch was a nectarine, I went to the bakery and bought a small pizza for tea rather than another salad!
Thursday 15th May
Again, this morning saw me getting up and out early. Got the 9.15am bus which was only 10 minutes late…sorry running on time at arrival time of 9.25am! It was also devoid of french UN envoys and russian fashion victims!
Bus journey was relatively quiet in comparison to yesterdays, I did have 2 retired south african ladies behind me who were moaning about the lack of queuing to get on the buses and the fact people just barge. They then proceeded to say that it was like that all over Europe apart from in the UK as the British are very good at queuing! My god…is that the only good attribute we have left….we are good at queuing! Expatriate me now!
Anyway arrived in Thira, hopped on a bus to Oia at the far end of the island, where narrow cobbled streets snake down and around the caldera and beautiful white houses and blue domes dot the landscape.
I spent 3 hours wandering around, getting lost (well metaphorically) and taking pictures of the views.
Saw plenty of photo shoots going on, the weirdest was a korean couple having wedding pics taken. The bride was dressed up in a satin wedding dress and very impractical high-heeled shoes (not ideal for sloping cobbled streets love!) and the groom was donning a polo shirt, shorts and trainers??!! (Again no idea…)
After my walk I headed back on the buses to Perissa, had late lunch followed by nap and the evening was spent reading and packing my rucksack back up again ready for the off Friday morning.
Friday 16th May
I checked out at 8.50am, headed to the bus stop for the estimated 9.15am bus, which arrived today on time at 9.40am! Lol
Got to Thira, headed to the ferry ticket office to pick up my ticket for the boat over to Mykonos, the renowned gay party island! Now there is a reason behind my visit, it’s not to party hard in a pair of leather chaps but to visit a UNESCO world heritage site which is an island called Delos and as well as being the centre of the ancient greek world was also the supposed birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.
Had a 45 minute wait for the bus to the port followed by a windy 40 minute drive down to the port.
There was a 1 hour wait at the port for the ferry/catamaran crossbreed!
The crossing itself was choppy or probably more suitably described as bouncy, huge wheelie suitcases everywhere, the luggage racks were full, the aisles were full of suitcases as were the exit areas! Excellent greek safety there!
The boat stopped at Ios and Naxos on route to Mykonos so a few people got off and got on but other than that pretty uneventful!
I docked at 4pm, found Bobby the owner of the pension where I was staying and he drove us through Mykonos town up to the area where the pension is.
I dumped my bag, hit the supermarket for fridge fillers then skyped and decided on plan of action whilst here!
Saturday 17th May
This morning saw me go for a peaceful early morning walk around Mykonos Town, it’s about a 30 minute stroll from my hotel to the town. Mykonos Town is basically a labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets with white buildings either side displaying terracotta pots filled with red flowers! You easily get lost, which is exactly what I did, knowing I would have the back up of GPS on my phone to get me out again once I had strolled enough.
I wandered along the waterfront also taking in an area called Little Venice which comprises of tavernas all dotted along the cobbled streets fronting the water and on the way back from town I caught sight of the famous stone windmills Mykonos is famous for.
I then spent the afternoon sitting in the courtyard at the hotel, eating lunch, reading and chatting on skype and facetime.
Sunday evening was the opening night at superclub Cavo Paradiso, so everyone had disappeared off there leaving me in peace and quiet to enjoy my book and chill in the courtyard until bed.
Sunday 18th May
Up and out early today, left at 8.30am for walk down to the port, the roads were devoid of traffic and people as everyone, it appears, had been partying at Cavo Paradiso and had not long gone to bed! I found the ticket counter and picked up my ticket for my guided tour around Delos.
We boarded the boat, all 200 of us for the half an hour journey to the island!
Again here was me thinking ‘who is gonna go traipse around an island full of ruins at 9am?!’….apparently 199 other people, most of them on a Thomas Cook holiday!
Thankfully when we arrived at Delos the Thomas Cook contingent disappeared off with their guide leaving me and 14 others with our locally booked guide.
We basically strolled around the island for 2.5 hours taking in stone house, shops, streets, an amphitheatre, dozens of temples, market areas, beautiful mosaics and marble statues before hitting the museum to see the pieces they had removed from outside and placed inside for protection.
At 1.30pm we boarded the boat back and after having strolled back to the hotel I had a late lunch and a nap before sitting in the courtyard speaking to friends and reading.
Monday 19th May
This morning I had a lie in, did some washing and had breakfast. Afterwards I decided to get this written for you so that I can pop out this afternoon for a walk down into town quickly to get some cash to pay for the hotel and then let Bobby know I am checking out tomorrow and getting the 2.15pm ferry across to Athens.
Other than that it will be a chilled day, reading in the courtyard and packing my bag ready for the off tomorrow.
My original plan was to get to Athens, spend a few days there seeing the Acropolis and museums before heading out to Sparta, Delphi and Olympia but I think the wind that blows me along has changed direction so it might be all change! Will keep you posted….who knows where my next blog will be coming from! Lol