Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our Costa Cruise: Santorini, Greece

The town of Thira on Santorini, one of the beautiful Greek Isles

We arrived in Santorini on Friday morning early. I'm embarrassed to say I had a hangover. I know you're shocked... but probably not if you read the earlier post about the "all-you-can-drink" packages we were suckered into buying onboard.
 I did not plan well as the tenders (the little ferries) were taking people from the cruise ship to the island at 7AM.
The kids bagged out completely deeming the time too ungodly for teenage humans.
On a cruise ship with several thousand people, there is a trick to getting all the passengers from an anchored cruise ship to land in their port of call.  It's called "taking a number for a tender". Yes, folks, everything you ever wanted to know about being cool on a cruise ship is right here at your fingertips.
We took a number and figured since they were calling "12" and our number was "32" we would have time to go through the buffet line and have a little breakfast and coffee. I'm here to tell you that Costa has their shit together and we snarfed one toast and our numbers were called. We quickly had to make our way from the top deck to the bottom or lose our spot.
Off we went to Santorini. 

Once on land, we took ten steps and were accosted by many Greek gentlemen and many stinky donkeys which, by the way Husband says, are mules, not donkeys.

"Would you like a ride to the top? Cheap for you!" they yelled.
Rambunctious donkeys

"No, we'll walk" we said with fortitude while dodging mule poop.
And so we did...
 walk, that is.
The switchback from the sea to Thira, high up on the hill.

and walk...
Watching the gondolas go by. You don't have to make the same mistake as us.
Be smart! Take the gondola!

and walk...

Finally, at the top, 25 minutes later, sweaty and with poopy shoes...
the pay off...
A stunning view appreciated greatly over a cappuccino:

Thira... sigh, lovely.

In other good news, the alcohol in my system seemed almost metabolized.  I also chugged a bottle of water and felt like a new woman.

As an aside: when I was in college, my roommate had almost this exact photo above as a poster in her room. When we were freezing our asses off during the dank, dark, freezing Pacific Northwest winters, we would stare at it and fantasize about what it would be like to wander among those white buildings and and swim in that blue water. We would be carefree, worry free, warm and have no term papers to write and no frozen fingers or toes.
 I know I say this all the time but who knew I would ever actually get here?!!!

Church bells
We spent several hours enjoying Thira. We had another Greek coffee and some yogurt and honey. Husband and I wandered through shops where I found some hand painted bowls and a Christmas ornament I had to have. We enjoyed the banquet of breathtaking views at every turn.
View looking down from Thira

We wandered back down the switchback which was now empty of donkeys/mules and it was much easier going down than up.
This potentially miserable day turned fantastic with the magic of Greek sun and sea, and alone-time for my husband and me 
 and maybe a tylenol or two thrown in there.


Özer Utku said...

Last week I went to the island of Santorini. It was like a dream. Other notes I wrote here in Santorini.

Shaun Caldwell said...

Wow! Even in pictures, Santorini is just amazing! Greece is a traveler’s dream, isn’t it? It’s full of history, adventure, great food, and stunning scenery. I wish I was there with you on the cruise.

Shaun Caldwell