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  • Writer's picturerachrachchang

MAY 2023 - Santorini, Greece 🇬🇷 (2/3)

DAY 5 // 24 May, Thursday | As we missed the earlier bus to Fira, we waited under the shelter right outside the airport for the 1.10 pm bus! Aiyo then people started smoking next to us…


I wanted to get rid of the honey cake, it has been in my bag rolling around since day 1 so I ate it while waiting for the bus to arrive.


We came out slightly before the bus arrival time, and it was late! We only boarded the bus at 1.25 pm

Okay so we saw this guy at the bus station, he is a solo traveler with only a backpack which is amazing because I have a 16 kg luggage of things with me. We were thinking if he is a Singaporean or nah, he speaks with an accent with angmohs (I also la)


I also wore my cap diligently now, as I got sunburn on my scalp ):


Right before we boarded the bus, we saw a guy wearing all black, to be specific he was wearing a black turtleneck top. He looked similar to one of my secondary school friends, so I took notice. Looks like Zhi Rong??

He has no cash to take the bus, he wants to go to X but the driver told him that he needs to go to Fira first, before heading there. Poor dude has to miss this bus and wait for the next one after he gets his cash.


I think Santorini buses are super cash-dependent, you must have cash to take their buses, and Fira bus station was also very chaotic in my opinion.


It was a 10-minute ride to Fira, and then we have to walk 10 minutes to our Hotel! Sounds quite okay right? Until we have to carry our luggage upslope, up flights of stairs, and also on cobblestone floors. IT WAS NOT FUN AT ALL


10 minutes felt like 30 minutes… Everyone was just watching us struggle hahaha


Later the Hotel Manager told us it will be better to come with lighter suitcases, due to the roads here, and also suggested that may have been better if we took the main road instead of up the cobblestones walkway through the Fira shopping area.


This walk to our Hotel was one of the most painful exercises we had done in a long time…

(ARMS DAY?)


King Thiras Hotel, Fira

I was wearing a long sleeve top and was sweating like mad, I went for a quick rinse and got changed, and we did some unpacking too before leaving the Hotel.


ROOM 27


I wasn’t very excited about the room, because I saw some dead flies or in general it wasn’t super clean la. Maybe I too spoilt from Singapore’s cleanliness and not liking being closer to nature 😂

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The location of our Hotel is amazing!!!!!


After making our way down the path of pain from earlier, we found a restaurant to stop by for late lunch (it was 3 ish pm). I didn’t note down the name of the shop, but it is probably a tourist trap and here we are, trapped.

( ) gone hacking


We were sitting next to a group of Hong Kong tourists and that made me wanna visit HK so badly la~


I ordered a Nescafe Frape (not my kind of drink tho) and Apple got Fanta Lemon. We don’t see Fanta Lemon in Singapore, so exciting!

We got a baklava and a pizza for sharing.


After lunch, we decided to walk from Fira to a nearby village, Firostefani! We will just have a chill exploration and dinner.

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😍😍😍😍


We saw some lady taking pictures here, so why not haha


I also took facing the other side, overlooking the chio houses:


Behind-the-scenes photos of us taking pictures of the view:


We saw this message on one of the walls:

RELIVE THE NOW!


Credits to Apple's different photo-taking apps + dedication:


Sorry not sorry for photo spam:





More pictures of white and blue:


It was still early for dinner, so we went back to our Hotel (which wasn't far) for a toilet break, I need to go hahaha


This is the view from our balcony~


Then we're on our journey again toward Firostefani, and saw this cute doggo:

Is it preggo ah?


We have been looking out for Agios Theodori Church, the most popular blue dome church located in Firostefani. It seems like we have passed it earlier, so now we made our way there again to find it.


This is the front side of the church, and Apple is reading the instructions on how to get to the back, to see the blue dome view.


We walked for about 5 minutes and got up to see:

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I wasn't vibing with Santorini haha due to not having clean drinkable water from their taps, this means that we have to buy our own water and imagine all the plastic bottles from this island... The thing about potable water is also, every restaurant charges us for drinking water...


(I miss Crete 😢)


We bought water at a mini market before heading for our dinner! We went to To Briki for dinner, the restaurant has many awards, should be not bad~


Apple got a Kahlua Expresso Martini and I got their house wine (?? sorry memory loss):


We ordered a salad and meatballs.


The waiter delivered us the wrong dish and we didn't know, it was then taken away from us HAHAHA. Maybe we should have just eaten it hah


MOOD~


On our way back to our Hotel, it was super cold, and remember we were wearing shorts 😂 we made a quick walk back to our Hotel + continued taking pictures!

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DAY 6 // 25 May, Friday | Today is SHINee’s 15th year anniversary, and also my Covid 1 year anniversary… Somehow this day is never good, why tho.


Dressed in my yoga/surfing pants, we’re going on a 10km hike from Fira to Oia! Google says it will take 2.5 to 3 hours, and this hike will provide us with some of the most magnificent views of the volcano and the caldera!


We left our Hotel room at 9.30 am! From the information on Bookings.com, our Hotel in Santorini does not provide free/included breakfast, it is chargeable at 12€ per person.


When we were leaving, the Hotel Manager (cute uncle) called out to us for breakfast and told us the breakfast is included! We didn’t expect this and thought it is okay, we can eat from tomorrow onwards, so we left to grab breakfast along the walk from Fira to the nearby village.


We wanted to go to Mama Thiras which we saw from yesterday’s walk, but then the shop only opened at 11.30 am. As we walked up the stairs, we were rudely greeted by one of the staff who was mopping the stairs, he repeatedly told us “next time read the signs”. We were not the first to walk past here leh, I saw a couple go up these stairs right before us…


Then later, we found a restaurant at 10 ish am, with a great view for breakfast, but this place seems to be a Hotel café?? The food was not cheap.


It was not the best place, since there will always be tourists walking past us, and not much privacy imo.


We ordered a latte each to start the day! Also need to mention here, that there is no electric kettle in our room, so I can’t eat the cup noodles, instant soup, or drink instant coffee I brought from Singapore.


有一点点不开心


Back to our breakfast, Apple ordered a crepe, it was good and I got some special Santorini omelet. Not sure why suddenly I got feels for Omelet, but this cost 21€, FML

It has a lot of Feta Cheese and tomatoes over potatoes, I was very full but made sure to finish my food because that cost a bomb…

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At 11.20 am, we started our hike!

(occasionally I forget to take note of the time, so had to falsify the records haha)


The start of the hike was quite a breeze because there was a normal walking path, flat grounds, flooring, etc.


We also passed by and were able to see Skaros Rock which is a large promontory of rock that juts out from the island just below the village, Imerovigli.

Apparently, people also hike there but I didn’t want as it is so hot plus looks dangerous without any support up the stone stairs to the top of the rock.


Believe these belong to Imerovigli:


Then we exited the village flooring places, hmm will it get rockier and more difficult to hike?

Apple: (putting a foot on something) The v standard pose

Me: the dog peeing pose


We kept going, the path is quite okay but the heat was unbearable.


We also got to a place with some churches, and bells. We stopped over to drink water and then took pictures here.


Then it was a slope up!

*heavy breathing*


We saw this pile of stones stacked, not sure why but I just like it hah


The curved island, yes we’re hiking there…


We’re closer to the end?


We went down this treacherous downslope path of rocks and gravel, and I told Apple I think this is the worse, just curse someone you hate with hiking this 100 times will be enough. I don’t even want to hike this path again hahaha. She told me 100 times is doable in 2 years, do it every weekend DED 😂


Once we passed, we saw this shop out of nowhere, with many people getting drinks, and taking a smoke break before furthering their hike.


It was 1.30 pm, and I got a Greek classic cola!


We saw a group of tourists, asking the stall owner to help them call a cab to make it to Oia! We were thinking since we’re already here, why not just complete the rest of the hike (for stunning views)


We continued our hike at 1.47 pm and at this point, I just kept walking and not stopping at all. It was so exhausting and I think I might not be able to walk on if I took a pause. I felt like my soul, was not in my body…


There wasn’t really any path, we were just walking by the roadside. There was only 1 couple on this path with us. Wondered where the rest of the people went.


I didn’t take more pictures of us on the hike, and we made it to Oia close to 2.30 pm.

(+/- walking to their town centre)


I stopped by some market to grab water, and we were both feeling so hot standing under the hot sun with absolutely no shade...


Oia

We started squatting under a larger tree here, and went through the list of restaurants we wanted to visit! Apple choose 'Karma' because of its name haha


Late lunch at Karma Greek Restaurant

(Broke my fourth and last 200€ note here)


We got a seat indoors because it was too hot outside, with natural sunlight... Apple ordered a Spiced Chai Latte while I got a Mint Lemonade.


We ordered a three-dip combination with add-on homemade bread with sundried tomatoes. The dips include:

  1. Smoky eggplant

  2. Tirokafteri (spicy feta cheese dip)

  3. Tzatziki with walnuts

We also got homemade fresh pasta!


We took turns using their WC, and I like how the toilets are designed. Sorry only got this toilet picture as a reference heh


When we paid, the receipt came with this card!

Love this!

Karma is an action not a result, treat everything with love

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After having our late lunch, we went to look around the streets and all the shops and forgot our agenda for the day HAHAHA


We suppose to visit Amoudi Bay which is just below where we're at, Oia! We even shortlisted restaurants to dine at Amoudi Bay during our itinerary planning, and now completely forgotten.


So we began our journey down many flights of stairs to reach the Bay. It was hot as hell, and the steps were slippery, it was quite an eventful walk down.

We met some donkeys midway, they're so huge, initially, I thought they were horses hah. They are so cute, but people should stop using donkeys for rides )):


The donkeys were linked together by a long rope. At some point, we got sandwiched between the stone wall (with risk of falling rocks) and donkeys, and the first donkey did a u-turn, walked our way, and our bodies were brushed and pushed by the donkeys...


(My organs almost changed places)

I'm not sure if we even made it midway to the Bay, but we gave up as it was very exhausting and it was quite dangerous down steep slippery steps. On our way back, I chatted with a Singaporean couple and they were saying the Bay wasn't worth all the sweat HAHAHA


(heng, we no go, bc I v tired liao)


Random peacefulness:


Also random fluffiness:


I guess it is everybody's game plan to catch the sunset in Oia and this whole town is filled with people, locals, and tourists... What I mean by it is everybody's game plan:


We were kinda late to the game, so it was difficult to find a good spot and the restaurants offering peaceful and great view of the sunset, are way too expensive, so we ended up hobo-ing against low walls (butt rest, yes).


But then this group of girls came over with alcoholic drinks and CIGARETTES, ruined our peace -.-


They were so inconsiderate that they were even blocking the path on the stairs...


It was only early 7 pm and we had to endure until 8.20 pm, so we decided maybe we could find another place to watch the sunset.

After some wandering, we found a good place at a carpark (right next to some fancy beach-setting restaurant) to camp:


There was some bug on my nose, it was only when I started checking my photos then I realised it lol, hope tomorrow I don't grow a bug on my face hah



Once we caught the sunset, we rushed to the bus station in Oia, as we expected many tourists rushing for the bus back to Fira! We got on at 8.41 pm, and the surroundings were really dark. It was also today, I had the worst cell reception.


When we got back to Fira, we went to a nearby supermarket to grab our refill of mineral water and I bought Greek Delight to try. I think Greek Delight so so only


We also got dinner at one of the shops on our way back to the Hotel.


Dinner at Vikolas, it was 10 ish pm!

Left: Mousaka (Lasagna, but Greek style layered with eggplants instead of pasta sheets)

Right: Pork Souvlaki (skewers)


Apple wanted to try their national drink, Ouzo, and I got their house white wine.

Apple didn't like Ouzo, because it tasted like Bonjela, and I HAVE TO SAY I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED BONJELA ~


(Team Greece!)


I think yesterday we were too tired, and did not realise there are yellow flowers outside our Hotel, and also today the moon shined brightly and the sky was full of stars!

It is an uphill walk to our Hotel, yes.


 

DAY 7 // 26 May, Saturday | We’re having breakfast provided by our hotel today, woohoo~ (save money haha)


❤️

I love their apricot jam!!!


Today, our itinerary is quite chill, starts later and we didn’t plan out all the deeds. We took the bus at 11ish am heading to Perissa, and to get off at Pýrgos!


This bus is slightly different from the one we took yesterday, it has charging ports for us to use, so not bad!


But look at the back of the bus seats HAHAHA REKT


Pýrgos

(credits: Apple)


Pyrgos was the ancient capital of Santorini! This village is much smaller compared to Fira, and Oia, but has a lot of unique things, ever their gift shops sell more unique/handmade things as compared to the other two villages.

I like this place more~


I like these unique pieces, but got no place to display them so rather not get any. There was also a tunnel-looking place near the church, and there was a guy singing Greek folk songs (I believe). It was incredibly cooling in here too!


There were many cats, especially around the souvenir shops! Every time they start moving out of nowhere, that’s when I noticed them hah


We followed the signs from the bus stop to get to Pyrgos Kallistis Castle but made many stops to look at the things sold in the shops hehe


There were stone paths along the edge of the castle, leading us up to views of Santorini and the Greek islands in the distance.

(but we don't know which island is what, should have paid more attention during geography classes)


The wind was insane!

Proof^


Purple flowers just growing out here


Then after walking random paths while returning, it was time to visit the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Holy Orthodox Church!



Apparently, I have very good hearing, so we started semi-listening to Korean tourists outside the church area talking haha

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Me standing outside a random door in Pýrgos!


❤️✨

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Brusco Wine Coffee Deli


Interiors


We ordered their small Meze (too full from earlier) and Banoffee! Apple got iced Latte and I had an iced chocolate!

Small Meze: Salami, gruyere cheese, cucumber, tomato paste, olive paste, and breadsticks


The total didn't cost more than 30€, which is considered one of the cheapest meals we had in Santorini so far!


(TEAM Pýrgos)


The cats near us:


We were looking up plans for later, where should we go next, and decided to go along the bus route (Fira to Perissa) and stop by Megalochori, followed by Perissa!


Today is Village hopping day!!!!!



At 3.20 pm, we boarded the bus and it was the same bus conductor (??), the one collecting the money, I’m sure he remembers us as there were few Asians on this bus route hah


It was difficult to pronounce this, so we had to ask the bus dude when to get off, and the price of the ticket (if cheaper) since is it one or two stops??

(oh this is their bus stop hahaha)


Megalochori

This village is so beautiful and also extremely peaceful~


We went into a shop that sold items made of Cork, and I bought two items as gifts, and contemplated getting this chio Cork bag at 34€. I felt that I don’t need a new bag? But it is so unique and I really wanted it


(Later I went back to buy it hah, the owner gave me a discount, it’s 30€ YASSSSS)


We stumbled upon some cave that is open/free admission and went in!

It was so cooling in here, but also pitch black. We could barely make out the paths to take, much less what was inside for viewing.


We saw a man helping to take pictures for a family, the background was the pitch-dark path of the cave, and I felt a little crept out seeing the use of flash for the photographs.


So we left for the brighter:


We bought ice cream from Mr. Scoop right in their town center, there is also a garden area for people to chill at. We had our ice cream here

I got Banoffee flavor while Apple got Lemon Sorbet.


Megalochori things


It wasn’t the usual experience we get visiting villages, we saw very friendly stray dogs and also saw Lemon trees!


THIS IS ❤️

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Apple squatting at the bus stop, counting the cash required for our bus fare to Perissa HAHAHA

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We boarded the bus to Perissa at 5.35 pm (did not falsify records this time), and it was the same uncle hahaha


(I can hear him say “to Perissa” in my head now)


There are many stops at Perissa and we were lost as to where to get off, and then decided to get off at the bus stop in Perissa Central. It was 6.05 pm.


We walked in the direction of where the bus is heading, towards the beach!


Perissa

I like how this place is surrounded by mountains and also the sea. Apple and I were thinking how is this even possible geographically.


Also, it was rather hazy around here, and we wondered if it is because they are clouds???


We went to recce the bus stop ahead, and saw this right behind the bus stop:

NICE HOR


There wasn’t much to do around here unless we go to the beach or chill at their beach restaurant, so we thought might as well go grab an early dinner.


I think on this trip, dinner at 7 pm is considered early ba haha


Dinner at Sirocco