As the plane descended, two sleepy heads woke up to a view of a vast sea running parallel to the runway. From the small window they could see the sun, as red as it could ever be, rising through the end of the horizon, painting the sky and clouds in various shades of solid orange. Jackets clanged they stepped out of the plane, just to feel the crisp air through their hair. ‘What a view to wake up into!’ she thought. They hauled their luggage into a rickety bus which would take them into the town. Giddiness and excitement was increasing by the second. As the bus sped towards the town, the barren land started opening up in front of their eyes. White houses, brown landscape and the vast blue sea was all they could see – as far as their eyes took them. This was nothing like they had ever seen before. Once they reached the town, the first task for them was to find their resort. Google maps didn’t seem to work. After a bit of phone calls and exploring around, they could see Nonis Apartments from a distance. As they walked towards the reception – the amazing view of the caldera, bluest blue waters and the cruise ship broke out in front of them. ‘I could keep looking at this for ever!’ she thought. This was the moment she had dreamt of since the past hundred years. Finally, they were in Santorini!
They spent the rest of the morning, having a quiet breakfast and exploring the rest of town – Fira. The souvenirs shops were still opening and the day tourists from the cruise ships were slowly increasing. The town was calm at such early hours, and the beauty was gushing through every corner. The white houses with soft rounded features and the small blue doors – a trademark that makes Santorini so unique – could be seen all around. It felt as if a small pot of blue paint was by mistake dropped from above and the colour splattered and sprinkled over the most admired corners of the town. What more is there to say to this, other than – pure magic!
A wholesome Greek lunch and few hours of sleep later, they set out exploring the rest of the island. Since it was October, the weather was not as hot and the cool wind was keeping the island chilly even during late afternoon. They took a bus to the next town – Imerovigli. As the conductor was approaching towards them, collecting tickets from those sitting in front, he yelled “What is in your hand?”
“What? There is nothing” the guy sitting ahead fumbled, while touching his head.
“That there – what is in your hand. Hand. Hand”
“My head is clear. Nothing.”
“Oh hand! A 50 euro note?” said the guy feeling confused and lost.
“Do you think I am a bank? Do you know how much the ticket costs for Oia?” the conductor again yelled with a wicked smile on his face.
“Umm. No” said the poor guy.
“It is 1,80 euros per person. Do you think I am a bank to have a change for 50 euro note? Give me a smaller currency.”
And the conversion continued which was a good enough reason to freak him out, as he asked her – “Do you have any change in your purse?”. Soon they were out of the bus and they laughed their hearts out thinking of what had just happened. A conductor scolding a guy left, right and centre over a currency note. ‘Experience of a life time’ they thought and continued with their evening. Imerovigli is a paradise of luxury holidaying. Such fabulous resorts with swimming pool, breakfast nooks and of course the sea – all that could be enjoyed from outside. They slowly started walking towards Fira, a hike that would take them 30 odd minutes. The setting sun peeking through the small patch of cloud – as if showering the bright orange rays of blessing, the church with bells, blue domes and the narrow lanes with white houses on either side made for a scene to be remembered for a lifetime. A few cocktails and dinner later the night was spent counting countless stars.
Santorini probably taught them the proper meaning of luxurious living. The art of holidaying! Day would start with a late morning breakfasts with a view – the sea, caldera, cruise ships and a sumptuous spread of food. Post breakfast agenda usually involved exploring the island more. Next day was reserved for Oia and watching another of those gorgeous sunsets. Oia, famous for the church with three blue domes and beautiful sunsets, deserved a full day. A short bus ride later they were in the middle of a square full of people. They walked to the church. Walked all the way down to the port for a lunch by the sea and red sand. Walked to get lost amidst the narrow paths. Walked to the windmills. Walked inside the shops. Walked chasing puppies and donkeys alike. They walked and walked and took pictures all along. Well, a warm day spent amidst old cave houses of Oia, narrow lanes, beautiful souvenir shops, bougainvillea, and tourists – loads and loads of them, was a memorable one for them. If only they could capture the spirit of Oia in a jar and preserve for ever!
The dream was lived; the island was experienced. October was the best month, probably the best one to visit the island. The weather was warm with a slight chill in the air. Crowd was less. The caldera was beautiful as ever. And she had just completed three decades on earth. What more can one ask? What more can one wish for?
Probably their only wish, if could ever come true, would be to go back again someday – after a couple of years and a few kids in tow.
Few quick points for a trip to Santorini –
- You can reach the island via sea or air. A lot of times the air tickets are cheaper than ferry. So be sure to check both.
- We used public buses to travel everywhere within the island. It was a cheap and convenient mode of transportation for us. You can also rent cars and quad bikes or hire taxis.
- Imerovigli has luxurious resorts and would probably be cheaper than Oia. We searched and searched for a perfect place for our stay and ended up booking Nonis Apartments in Fira. Be aware that stay in Santorini is very expensive!
- Watching the sunset at Oia’s sunset point is overrated. We decided to stay near the church and even though it was crowded, we managed to get some great photos.
- Don’t forget to watch ‘Sisterhood of traveling pants’ after you get back! It will take you down the memory lane for sure.
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