Thursday, June 8, 2017

2017 - Greece - Day 3 [Santorini]

Today, we do the hike from Fira to Oia, which is expected to be around 3 - 4 hours long with basically no shade (sorry, I wrote that we would be doing the boat cruise in the previous post).

Signage of various hiking routes
Breakfast was the same this morning with a slight change to the Greek items at the end of the table. Still fairly good in my mind.

Some vases from the Preshistoric Museum of Thira
Our first stop was the Preshistoric Museum of Thira. We were told that it would be an hour long but we only took about 30 minutes. It really depends on what your interest is, it isn't very large. There are a lot of old pots, vases and we didn't seem to keen on them. The museum is located on the southern side of Fira and costs 2 euros but was included in the museum pass.

Random Santorini pic
This morning, we were debating about which boat tour to take and walked to several different tour companies and ended up with the one that the hotel is connected with, however, since we were talking to the tour company in person, they told us that the hotel normally gets a commission and if we booked with them directly, they would reduce the cost since they didn't have to pay the commission. The company was Kamari Tours and the tour will consist of us visiting the island volcano, the option to go swim in a hot spring (this is included but optional), visit Thirassia Island, drop off at Oia for dinner (at your own expense), time for some sunset pictures and a bus back to our hotel. It cost us 40 euros and will last basically the entire day.

Skaros Rock from above
With that completed, we did the hike to Oia and it took us about 4 hours to complete. There are a few major climbs and descents, so do beware. Also, there is basically no shade, so wear enough sunscreen and try to protect yourself. We lucked out that we had a bit of a breeze while doing this hike, without it, I think it would have been much more grueling. Overall, it was a very nice hike to do and it isn't very hard, just long. There are lots of people doing the hike which means, you shouldn't get lost and there was sufficient signage in cause you are worried.

When we reached Oia, it oozed upscale when compared to Fira. The walkways are nicer (cobblestone in Fira vs granite/marble in Oia), the roads were cleaner, the shops are nicer, there are brand name shops here and people were even dressed nicer here.

Skaros Rock (view from the bottom)
Panorama of part of the hike
After our hike I knew that we needed a snack since it was still too early for dinner and we ended up at Karma where we ordered mussel saganki, tomatokefdes, and watermelon with feta which came out to 32 euros. Food was okay, due to our time, the service was a bit lacking since it was between lunch and dinner time.

Mussel saganki top left, tomatokefdes top right, watermelon and feta on the bottom right
With our stomachs a bit filled,we wandered Oia a bit to take in the scenery and get some pictures and ended up at Amoudi Fish Tavern for dinner which is at the bottom of a steep zig-zag staircase which has an elevation drop of between 230-330 feet (70-100 meters) where there are actual donkeys at the bottom which are offered (at a price) for people who don't want to do the climb. The steps are uneven, cobblestone, and covered with donkey/horse poop, so, do wear proper footwear.

Look at all these donkeys!
At Amoudi Fish Tavern, the server showed us the fresh fish that they had and we picked a 0.5kg sea bream and also ordered fried zucchini and loukoumades for dessert, total came out to 40 euros.

Fish selection 
Fried zucchini
Our grilled sea bream
Loukoumades (basically, fried dough with honey and walnuts on top)
With our bellies full, we walked over to a spot that the server suggested for looking at the sunset which we did. After that we walked up the steps and made it to the local bus which cost us 1,80 euros each which would take us back to Fira's bus terminal. Fira's bus terminal is the last stop, so there was no announcement, but we noticed that everyone left, so we did as well. Check the bus schedule beforehand since it changes quite frequently.

View from Amoudi Bay, if you look closely at the top wall, it is full of people watching the sunset
Close up of the wall and sunset viewers
Again, look at all these people!
Oia sunset
Tomorrow, we do the boat cruise for real this time!

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