The next stop on our tour sent Dana, Adam and myself to Santorini, the crown jewel of the Greek isles. As the ferry approached this eye captivating island we were surrounded by layered, multi-colored cliffsides that could only be imagined by most.
This island is the larger and has plenty to offer tourists. Adam had a good friend who was able to get us the hook up on this island for our lodging. Our hotel (Hotel Antonia) was in the heart of the island and conveniently located to all the shops and restaurants. The hotel owner, Lefteris, was a wonderful man who showed us a great time around the island. The downtown area was lined with street after street of shops and restaurants, perfect for picking out souvenirs and enjoying all levels of Greek cuisine. We sampled some of the islands Gyro stands and later in the day, met the owner of a little market who really knew how to enjoy the fruits of the land. By that I mean, he really enjoyed making his own wine, ouzo & beer, and enjoyed drinking it all twice as much! To our convenience, during our 3 day stay here, this man provided us with many memories and much humor, not to mention free shots of ouzo and plenty of wine.
On our first full day in Santorini we were motivated to “see it all”. We rented a charming Hyundai something or other and went cruising the island in search of black and red sand beaches and a sunset that only the Greek gods could create. Fortunately, we found them all… eventually. Our first stop was the infamous black sand beach on the south side of the island. It was rumored that time spent on this beach made one feel like they were no longer on the planet earth, but out in some foreign galaxy where one would expect to encounter coarse black sand under their feet while swimming in an ocean surrounded by cliffs hundreds of feet tall with water so clear you could see straight threw it no matter how deep you went. The rumors were correct; there can’t be another place on earth that could give you and equal feeling of such uniqueness and beauty. After a little over an hour of baking the sun, you literally do feel like you are baking with the heat of the sun’s rays bouncing off the black sand, we headed onwards to the red sand beach. Another equally unique and beautiful sight that can’t be experienced anywhere else in world. All our traveling, was taking its toll on us so we decided to head back to the hotel room for siesta and then head to the northern most town of Oia for the legendary sunset. You can tell this is a ritual experience on the island, because even on Thursday evening there were mobs and mobs of people winding their way through all the alleyways to see this beautiful moment. It was truly breathtaking and unforgettable.
Later that night us boys headed into town to see what the nightlife scene had to offer. All the shops were closed, and it seemed as though there was club or bar on every corner. We entered the Highlander to meet up with some “friend of friends who know somebody” from Adam. We were welcomed by Christos, the bar owner, who with the simple use of a laser pointer, had shots suddenly appear before us… time and time again. It was no different than hitting up a club in any major US city… loud, packed, and exciting. We made friends with bartenders that reminded us of home and enjoyed watching some other tourists make fools of themselves. We headed back to the hotel at a reasonable hour in order to get ready for our early ferry ride back to Athens in preparation for our trip to the Parthenon.