Bathing suit? Check.
Excited to cross a place off on my “to visit” list? Definitely!
Those were my thoughts as I happily stepped off the ship gangway into the awaiting tender boat.
Captivated by the scenery, it wasn’t until we were shore side that it struck me: We had to get to the top!
I watched donkey after donkey being saddled with human cargo- their loads, more often than not, very heavy. Some seemed happy to climb the steep stone steps, whilst others needed a bit more prodding. I felt sorry for the poor Asses, so I took the cable car.
Being afraid of heights, I climbed into the pod, shut my eyes (missing a magnificent view, I’m sure) and prayed that I wouldn’t fall to my death. Turns out there was no need for dramatics as the ride was safe and over in an instant.
It looked exactly as it did in photos. Brilliant white, calming blue and narrow cobbled stone streets: a picture perfect Santorini. What I didn’t expect was the atmosphere. The streets were buzzing. Laughter erupted into alleyways from bars and restaurants playing traditional and modern music. The smell of freshly cooked seafood hung in the air. It was a happy place.
We were going to rent a scooter and look for a beach on the other side of the island but our plans were dashed when we realised that my companion forgot his driver’s license on the ship. No license? No scooter.
The disappointment didn’t last long though. “Don’t worry”, said the rental place guy. “The beach is only 15 minutes away”.
But he lied.
We traversed hill after hill, walked long, winding roads and dodged speeding cars. The pleasant scenes I had only just witnessed flickered out of my mind- and in its place a vision my ship (my home) sailing away as we watched from the shore. We were about to give up and turn back, but just like the movies, we heard the unmistakeable rumbling of waves.
Blistered feet, sunburnt arms, and almost two hours later, we were at the beach- too tired and sun-drenched to swim. We found a bar in the shade, ordered ice cold drinks, and prepared ourselves for the journey back…
Returning, we actually had the time to look around and see the beauty we probably would have missed whizzing by on a scooter. So, thanks rental guy!
Would I hike through Santorini again? Definitely! But not in flip flops.
For more information on visiting Santorini click here
What are your most memorable travel moments?