On Thursday morning, we got up early and walked in the dark to the port where we boarded a Blue Star Ferries boat and took an 8 hour boat ride from Athens, Greece to Santorini, Greece.
The boat ride was absolutely beautiful. As we sailed through the Greek Island looking out at the pristine blue waters and enjoying each other's company. I love boats. and cruises. Although this was a ferry it honestly reminded me being on a cruise and made me beyond excited to be not only on going to Santorini but sailing on the Aegean Sea!
When we docked in Santorini, one of the men we who we were renting our Air BNB from picked us up in his van and took us across the Island to our hotel. We checked into our hotel and then discussed the possibility of renting a car. After much deliberation we decided to rent the car and we drove from our hotel to Oia, Santorini to watch the sunset (yes it's that picturesque place you always see in postcards).
After the sunset, we went over to our friends Air BNB that were also staying in Santorini and hung out with them until our group became very hungry. We headed out around Oia and explored until we stumbled upon a delicious restaurant where we ate dinner. Once dinner was over (it lasted around 2 and a half hours and involved laughter, Sujey paying in pennies #college, and breaking water glasses), we headed back to our Air BNB as we planned to get up super early in the morning.
On Friday morning, our hotel delivered us an amazing continental breakfast before we set out to go ATVing across the Island. We drove from our hotel to Fira (which is the capitol of Santorini) and split ways. Half of our group went on a boat tour of a volcano and went diving into hot springs (HOW COOL?!) and the other half (my half) went ATVing on the Island...kind of.
We rented ATVs for the main renter in Fira and had may our way to Oia in about forty five minutes. It was beautiful but also a little windy so it was hard so go super fast.
Once we got to Oia we decided to go down to a peninsula and as we were heading further and further out on the peninsula (and further and further away from civilization) my & Sujey's (we were sharing) broke down and the battery completely died. Crap. Sam & Olivia drove all the way back to Fira to get the ATV man to come fix it while Sujey and I explored Oia as we waited. When Sam and Olivia did not come back by our meeting time and hour later, Sujey and I went back in to the town to explore more. Over all, we waited approx. two and a half hours before we gave up and took a taxi to Fira. When we arrived in Fira, we saw Sam and Olivia waiting at the rental shop. They were shocked to see us. What had happened was when they arrived to Fira the rental man was not there so they had to wait for him for over an hour and once he arrived he took a while to go out an fix it. He apparently had just left when Sujey and I had arrived. We had left the ATV out in Oia for the rental man to fix. When he came back thirty minutes later he claimed nothing was wrong with the ATV and was extremely annoyed with us. Ironically, Sam and I (but mainly Sam) have experience with ATVs and fixing them, but the battery had completely died. After the whole "ATV adventure" we went to lunch and waited for the volcano crew to come back. Honestly even though the ATV broke down I really enjoyed my entire experience ATVing. It was absolutely beautiful and the perfect adrenaline rush I needed. Sure, it wasn't exactly what I had expect but it was an adventure in which I got to spend time with Sujey and forever know it as "that one time we got stranded on a peninsula in Santorini".
Later, we met up with the volcano crew and explore Fira and then went back to Oia to go shopping, see the little city, and watch the sunset again, even though it was a pretty cloudy on the second night. After it was dark, we headed back to our car and began driving home. We were all hungry and decided to stop at a random restaurant on the side of the road. The restaurant was very Greek. It was home-y feeling and the owner personally served us. AND the food was delicious! He shook all of our hands on the way out and wished us an amazing trip.
On Saturday morning, we woke up to our amazing breakfast and went to explore the Black & Red beaches in Santorini. First we drove out to the Red Beach. We couldn't go down to the actual beach but were able to look at it from above. Afterwards, we went to the Black Beach.
When we returned to the house we still had a bunch of time to kill before the boat ride back to Athens at 4pm. So, we decided to hike up to a church near our hotel. It took about 30 minutes up the hill, 5 minutes exploring a cave, 30 minutes of experiencing God's glory as we stood on a church overlooking part of Santorini, and 10 minutes back down the hill.
Once lunch time rolled around, we got dressed went to Fira to get Gyros. They are a famous Greek sandwich wrapped in Pita bread and hold deliciousness. YUM RIGHT?! Then I sent some postcards to my friends (can't wait for y'all to get them!) and we said goodbye to main town Santorini. When we got back to our hotel we packed up super quickly and the van came and picked us up to drop us off at the port.
The boat ride back was beautiful and got to watch the sun set from the cruise.
Greece was an incredible long weekend and possibly everything I could have imagined it to be. I hope that one day I am lucky enough to return to Greece and experience more of it's history and beauty!