Friday, September 02, 2016

72 Hours in Santorini: Last Bits & Video Diary

We woke up fresh and early on our final morning in Oia so that we could squeeze in just one more fun activity before we had to pack up and leave. We decided to go for a dip in Ammoudi Bay bright and early so we could have the place to ourselves. We meandered down the steps to the bay at around 7:30. It was beautifully quiet with just a few locals getting ready to set up shop for the day.
And of course it was another gorgeous sunny day in Santorini so a swim was in order anyway.

AMMOUDI BAY
To get to the swimming spot in Ammoudi, you walk down the steps, take a left, and walk through the restaurants until you reach a dirt path. Follow the dirt path for a while until you see a big triangular rock in the water. The path is destroyed in a few parts but just get adventurous and climb over the rocks and rubble. Oh, and don't forget to turn around and look behind you every now and again because the view of the shops in the bay is so picturesque.
Ah, here's that triangular rock I was talking about.
Do you see that little man-made wall on the lower left portion of that triangular rock? It's actually a church and people cliff jump off of that little wall. I was a bit too chicken to do it. M said she would do it but I was too chicken for her. Maybe next time; I think I would have more confidence if there were people there and if there were fewer early morning motorboats racing around the bay.
Even though I was chicken about cliff diving, we did go for a dip though, how could we not? And we did swim out to the rock; we just didn't do the cliff diving. It just means we have to go back (after working on my bravery).
The water was bright and refreshing and even though it was a bit chilly, once you got in the water, it was easy to get acclimated and comfortable.
After basking in the beauty of the bay, we slowly made our climb back up the hill whilst enjoying the rising sun and avoiding the donkey poo.
Once we got back to our room it was mid-morning so we called in for breakfast. While we waited, I managed to capture our little swimming spot from our balcony. You can see the little church from this angle.
After breakfast, we packed our bags and one of the hotel staff kindly carried them up the steps to the reception area. We checked out and they let us leave our bags behind while we did a bit of exploring.
BUS STATION GYRO PITAS
We decided we needed to eat some gyro pitas - we hadn't eaten any thus far - so we went to a little stand adjacent to the bus station (with the intention of getting some ice cream at Lolita's afterwards).
Gleefully, we watched as the man shaved bits of gyro meat off the spit and tucked the pieces into a fluffy pita slathered with tzatziki (which was laced with pickles) and topped the whole thing with a pile of veggies. We each got the same thing, including a peach juice box, which tasted like candy. It was honestly a perfect lunch.
After our meal, we headed back to Lolita's where M got a scoop of orange sorbet and strawberry sorbet in a cup and I went for the zabaione (za-ba-YO-neh) in a cone. The sorbets were creamy and tasted like fresh fruit. The zabaione was incredibly custardy and rich but not heavy; basically, it was perfect.
After our meal, we explored the town a little more, savoring in our last moments in Oia before we headed back to the hotel. We decided we would just relax on the sunloungers by the pool before our transfer came to take us to the port.
Along the way, we witnessed a car jam where two buses almost got stuck. The roads in Oia are rather narrow and there are only a few bulges here and there where buses can get by each other. It's an interesting even to witness and it's something we experienced both inside and outside of the bus. The size of the roads is the main reason why there's horrible traffic all the time, the buses are never on schedule, and why I do not recommend driving around Oia.
After pool time, our transfer came to pick us up (though he was a bit late thanks to the aforementioned traffic) and brought us to the port where we awaited our ferry to Paros.
Visiting Santorini was a beautiful experience and I cannot recommend it enough. Yes, it's kind of cliche and yes, it is a bit pricey and yes, it's overrun with tourists but it's totally worthwhile. The price range for hotels varies so you can certainly find something in your price point, including Airbnb and VRBO apartments. If you want to save money on food, you can cook in your hotel or grab a pita from that bus station pita shop for every meal because it's a whopping €2.80 for a pork gyro pita. Bus rides are a great way to traverse the island and it's cheap and pretty reliable so you don't have to spring for a rental vehicle. The main activity, which is just gawping at the gorgeous scenery, is completely free. If those aren't convincing enough reasons, then you probably have a heart of stone and there's nothing anyone can do to make you want to have fun, right?

Here's our little video diary, in case you need an extra dose of charm:

xoxo.

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