I'm gonna try and recap this with minimal block texts as possible because I know it doesn't mean as much to you as if you've been there, and there are plenty of photos to take the place of text! (Be warned--lots of photos ahead!)
MG and I arrived in Athens around 6pm and promptly dropped off our stuff at the hotel, freshened up, and headed out to explore and grab some food.
Our hotel room had a view of the Acropolis which was quite the way to start our Greece trip!
We wandered through the town of Plaka, up the winding hill/roads and found a cute taverna to eat dinner at while the sun set. I had my first greek salad, tzatziki and Mythos beer for the trip.
The next morning we walked over and up to the Acropolis where we got to wander through the ruins and take in the history and sights.
We then made our way up another nearby path/hill to catch some awesome views of the city, the Acropolis, and the water on the other side.
Afterwards, we grabbed a quick lunch in Plaka at a little outdoor cafe with lots of people watching, then headed back to the hotel to pack up. We made our way to the port of Piraeus and onto the boat where we were docked for a full day. We explored the boat, got caught up on sleep and just relaxed.
Sunsets on the boat were gorgeous and we met a couple from Detroit while sitting and watching the sunset on Sunday night. We discovered that me, and the other girl, Emily, are both speech therapists in elementary schools!
|this is actually a field of grass on the top deck of the ship--not turf!|
The next morning (Monday), we were up early to get on the first tender boat to Santorini, and happened to sit right behind the couple from the night before. We then all decided to get ATV's together to ride around Santorini since we didn't have an excursion planned and I'd heard this was a fantastic way to get to see all of the island. We took the vernacular up because it was fast (about 3 minutes)--we didn't want to walk up the hundreds of steps, and the donkeys didn't look that appealing to ride up on--if you watched Below Deck this past week, you know what I'm talking about!
|the winding road behind us where people/donkeys can walk up|
We hopped on the ATV's and made our way to Oia (about 20 minutes on the ATV's) which is where the picturesque photos with white buildings, and blue rooftops are. Since it was early in the morning there were few people out and we were able to explore a bunch and take photos without many people around.
We got to one point overlooking the water (above) and DeWayne, the guy we were with, asked me to take a video of he and Emily overlooking this area. And when I did, he started talking, got down on one knee and proposed! It was such a special moment and we felt so lucky to have been a part of it (and I was literally afraid that I would mess up the video somehow!)--DeWayne said that he had been so happy that we ended up spending the day together because we helped to capture this moment for them!
After that we took tons of photos on the walk down to Ammoudi Bay to have a celebratory drink--who cares that it was 10am?? haha
We sat and enjoyed the scenery and our drinks for a while before making our way back up the 220 steps which was strenuous!
|just a few of the 220 steps back up (and the donkeys)!|
After that we made our way back out of Oia and it was PACKED. SO so crowded. We hopped on our ATVs (and thank goodness we had them because we were weaving in and out of traffic including cars and charter busses!), and made our way to Kamari beach (a black "sand" beach) by accident. We stopped here for some bottles of water but didn't stay because the beach wasn't really that great, and then made our way to the other side of the island to the red beach. We went down to the water's edge which was a trek (with no regard for the signs that warned of potential for falling rocks!! lol)
We changed into our swimsuits, stuck our feet in the water, hung out for a bit, and then made our way back up the hill, and back to drop off the ATV's in Fira.
|(on the way down)|
|(on the way back up)|
Then we wandered around Fira for a bit...stopped in a wine store and sampled some wines, ultimately buying a bottle of their semi-sweet red, made with specific grapes from Santorini, to bring back home with us, and then made our way back to the boat via the vernacular, with our newly engaged friends!
Santorini, specifically Oia, was a DREAM! The rest of the island is pretty run down and not nearly as picture perfect as Oia is. The beaches here aren't your typical beach--most of these are more stony or rocky, but still fun to see and experience. I'm so glad that we rented the ATV's as we got to see from one end of the island to the other in the time that we were there (with some time to spare) and it was gorgeous--the pictures don't even do it justice. Something about Oia just feels super magical and it was definitely a highlight of the trip for us! The guys both knew that Oia was where Emily and I had our hearts set on going, and after our day, they both said they totally understood why--it was an incredible place!