Visit Greek islands

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Lauren Stevens's Goal

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On 11th August we arrived at Santorini port at 12:00 on a delayed SeaJets ferry (See 'Visit Athens, Greece'), so we missed our 22:30 hotel transfer to Irineos Studios in Perissa, in the east of the Island. We called the hotel for advice, but thankfully they came to pick us up and we arrived at the hotel at 01:00, so we unpacked and planned the rest of the holiday. The hotel was 40 metres from the beach, next to lots of restaurants and bars and we had our own pool. We swam in the pool and then went to get the return ferry ticket. We then took the bus, which was really nice and air conditioned, to Fira, in the centre of the island. We looked at restaurants and a spa and thought about getting a quad, but we needed a driving license and neither of us had one. We had an ice cream before we climbed to Imeroviglis and had a slush puppy on the way. We found a fairly expensive bar where we had drinks overlooking sunset, but it was worth it for the view. We then caught the bus back to Fira and I bought 3 postcards, 3 stamps and a pen. We then had some crepes and took the bus back to Perissa.

 

On 12th August we went to Perissa beach, which was very stony and had very clear waters. I borrowed Fatima's googles and I was able to see lots of fish, which I really enjoyed because I've never been in natural water with such good visibility. I was disappointed that I forgot my own goggles and my underwater camera. I went in to Santorini Dive Centre to find out about scuba diving. We then took the bus to Megalochori to change to the bus to Akrotiri, because someone had advised us to visit the red beach. We climbed some dodgy rocks to the red beach, which was quite crowded and we didn't have our beach things, so we climbed back over. I wanted to see the Akrotiri ruins, but we didn't have much time left and we were tired. I had Cheese sandwich and we took the bus to Pirgos, because a local recommended that it was a nice spot to see the sunset. We had to walk some way, so stopped in a restaurant where Fatima had a moussaka. We then climbed up to top of Pirgos for sunset, which was beautiful and very peaceful, because it was a local area and there were very few tourists. On the way back I started to feel hungry again, so I had eggplant (which I had been hoping to try) with chips and a coke in the same restaurant where Fatima had her moussaka. There were no more buses running, so we took a taxi to Perissa and then went to the Mediterranean Dive Centre to compare it to Santorini Dive Centre. The staff seemed much friendlier, although the Santorini Dive Centre seemed very experience so I had difficulties deciding which one to go to.

On 13th August I had a half of a cheese pie for breakfast. We had booked a trip to the Volcano, hot springs, Thirisia and Oia on a traditional boat. We left Perissa at 10:15 and arrived at the port about 30 minutes later. We got on the boat and had to wait for an hour or so for it to fill up. We arrived at the Volcano (which wasn't active) and had an hour or so, so walked up almost to the top. For some reason I thought the hot springs were inside the Volcano, but they weren't. We got back on the boat and went to the hot springs and I finished my cheese pie from breakfast. Then we had to jump off the boat into the water, which was quite scary but thrilling. I was wearing my swimming goggles and my swimming shoes, which were slightly too big and started to fall off, so I had to take them off and put them in my swimming costume! We then went to a small island closeby called Thirisia, which is apparently like Santorini in the olden days. Unfortunately Santorini seems to have been taken over by tourists and that kind of kills the vibe. We had 1 hour 30 minutes, so climbed up loads of steps to a restaurant, where I had traditional tomato stuffed with rice and eggplant with vegetables. I saw the boat moving away without us, so we started running and shouting, but it was just moving to let another boat out, which was pretty embarassing. We then got back on the boat and headed to Oia in the north of the island, which is said to be the best spot to see the sunset. There were more steps to get up the side of the mountain and we didn't want to climb them because we were tired. Fatima had also really wanted to go for a donkey ride so we rode them up the mountain. Mine was quite energetic and overtook the others, which was quite frightening on a cliff side. We then found a nice cafe where I had a milkshake and we found a good spot to see the sunset, although it quickly became overcrowded. It was difficult to get back out of Oia because there were so many people. A bus back to the hotel was included in the price of our boat trip, but it took quite a long time to find it and eventually we got back to the hotel. I was feeling ill so we went to get some remedies and then went to the Mediterranean dive centre to book my scuba dive for 15th August at 15:30-17:30. We then went to a restaurant called Aqua, but I wasn't up to eating much, so I just had soup and some coke.

On 14th August I was feeling worse, so we went to get some more remedies and medicine, because I wanted to get better for my scuba dive on Friday. I posted my postcards and we went back to Aqua for some orange juice and soup. We then came back to the hotel and I changed into my bikini whilst Fatima chatted to some Athenians staying in the same hotel. We went to the beach and Fatima ate some food, but I couldn't. We went back to the hotel to change and then went to Tranquilo, a hippy bar and restaurant and I had a vegetarian wrap, although I found some chicken in it. There were some hippies on the beach so we went to talk to them and borrowed their hoola hoop.

On 15th August I realised I had made the incorrect hotel reservation for Athens, so I called and changed it to a day earlier to 16th - 19th. We went to a bakery and I bought a pan au chocolat, but only ate half.  In the morning Fatima and I parted ways, because she had been scuba diving before and, so decided to go to the north of the island whilst I went scuba diving and we planned to meet up in the centre of the island in the evening. I tried to relax with an iced tea at Vinsanto bar/restaurant on the beach, but I was so nervous, especially because of my cold. However, I went to the Mediterranean Dive Centre a few minutes early, had some training and went for an off-shore drive. The experience was amazing; it took my breath away (literally) to be underwater with such good visibility and to see all the sea life and I can't wait to try it again in the future (See 'Go scuba diving'). I went to meet Fatima in Fira and we had dinner at a nice local restaurant, where I had a vegetable moussaka. Then we went to a bar called Murphys and didn't get back to the hotel until late!

On 16th August we checked out of the hotel and went back to Tranquilo and had a rice dish for brunch. At 14:30 the hotel kindly transferred us back to the port, where we caught the 15:30 - 23:15 Blue Star Delos ferry to Piraeus. It was nicer than the SeaJets ferry because we were able to walk around and sit on the deck and it felt less cramped and more relaxed. There were also restaurants and cafes, although they were a bit pricey. For the first few hours we sat in the 'air seats' in the economy area, which were really comfortable, but later we realised that you have to pay extra for those seats, so we had to move. I bought a sandwich, chips and coke and we ate on the deck. We ended up talking to some Australians for most of the journey until we arrived in Athens (See 'Visit Athens, Greece').


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