The morning we were getting to Santorini, had me so excited. This is one place you see in pictures so often, you need to experience it for yourselves! I’d been now waiting two years for this opportunity!
We ate breakfast at about 7:00, and right from there headed to get our tender tickets. In reality, we probably should have gone before breakfast to get them. Even after getting the tickets, we waited about an hour before getting onto the tender. We would know better for the next time.. We got off the tender at about 10:00, and had to be back on board by 15:30 – not much time; so you need to know what you want to do beforehand!
The tender brings you to the town of Fira. From there, we wanted to get to the town of Oia. Oia is where in all the pictures of Santorini you see, has the blue domed roofs.
As soon as we get onto land, you see all kinds of people trying to sell their attractions – whether it be to go to the top of Fira, or how to get to Oia. Tyler really wanted a donkey ride to the top. He insisted and insisted, and literally stayed mad at me for over an hour because of it. The best attraction to me, was the Speedboat Ride to Oia, which included a bus to the top (instead of walking the steep hill), and a private charter back to Fira. I asked the man outside, and it was 15€ an adult, but kids were free – perfect! Onto the speedboat we go, and we get to Oia in about twenty-five/thirty minutes. The views along the way were beautiful, so it was a nice boat ride!
Looking up from the marina area was beautiful – you see a couple of blue roofs, among tons of white houses. It kind of looks perfect…
The small ride to the top was a little surprising with how the area is not a well “preserved” area – lots of run down, falling apart houses. Even when the bus stops to let you off, you question where you are supposed to go to find the picturesque views… You follow the crowds of people, and then poof, just like that, you know this is where you are supposed to be. First thing you see when you get there is a white church with a blue fence, and white and blue thin pillars. This is pretty much what you picture when you think Santorini. Even the marble tiles outside in the square are a grey-ish white colour too. There was this beautiful dolphin mosaic I fell in love with as soon as I saw it!
Keep walking, and every building is the same – white in colour, with blue accessories (window frame, doors, patio sets, fences… etc). Every. Single. One. It was amazing to see the contrast of colours put together so beautifully!
Keep on going, and you see off to the side, a group of people in what seems like a weird area to have a crowd. Since we usually just wander and don’t really plan where to go, we decided to check it out. Not only was it perfect, but it was the exact area to be in to see the blue domed houses!
Walking around this area – oh my goodness! You could get lost walking the roads and paths, but it wasn’t a bad thing. There was so much to see! You could turn any which way and see something different. There were “No Trespassing” signs everywhere there was a private property; which we made sure to respect fully. We walked down this pathway – one with no signs – where an older lady I guess decided she didn’t like seeing people there. It was literally a typical old lady you see in movies; long gown down to her ankles, head piece covering her head so she doesn’t get burnt – yelling at us in Greek with a broom waving in her hands. We knew very well we were allowed here, but left quick enough as we could tell this lady was very unhappy!!
I absolutely loved walking there streets. I just wanted to sit on the ledge of a building, and stare off into the water.
After waiting to be in Santorini for years, I did not want to leave. I wanted to stay and keep walking and experience everything possible. Of course, being a cruise and only having limited time, we had to go back… At this point, we had been walking around for just over an hour and a half (not enough time in my books…).
We waited in line for about ten minutes before a bus came, and all of a sudden, everyone who was behind us made a beeline in front, pushing anyone (including kids…) out of the way to get on the bus first. This entire experience was terrible. Even when my husband said to someone as he was getting on the bus “my wife and son are there, they need to come with me and our kids”, they still didn’t let us go until he literally grabbed my hand that he could reach and pulled me through the couple rows of people. Terrible!!!
Finally after about twenty/twenty-five minutes, we arrived. The walk through town was very nice, and shops everywhere. I could have easily kept walking through this town also. Again, you could easily get lost exploring the small streets for what to see and do. Found one beautiful “toga” type of dress I had been looking for in one of the shops, so that was an excellent buy.
Most people to get down to the tenders take the cable car. Well the line for this cable car, we walked by people for over five minutes just to get to the end of the line. Not going to happen – we didn’t have enough time for this. To get the kids down faster, my husband took one of the donkey rides with them, and I walked with my hubby’s mom. Let me tell you, the kid who held a grudge against me earlier, was definitely happy! I probably wouldn’t have done the donkey ride any other day, but with the bus situation, we were now cutting it closer than we wanted. We still had over an hour, but who knows if there would be a lot in line for a tender… I wasn’t chancing it.
All in all, Santorini was a great day! But honestly, having just a few hours to explore, just isn’t enough. I would have liked to be able to sit in a shop and drink a coffee and just take it all in; but that just wasn’t the case. Maybe someday I will make it back so I can enjoy it properly and not have to rush through. But to tell you the truth, with what we did see and do, I will never say I am unhappy about it. Santorini would always be worth the trip I assume! 🙂