Last week, Martin and I went on a week´s vacation to the islands of Santorini and Mykonos in Greece where we knocked on heaven´s many blue doors and managed to get an entry. October was the right month to go there as the temperatures never exceeded 25 degrees during the day and were pleasant despite dropping a few degrees in the evenings. It was a great opportunity for me to peek into the Grecian way of living, and man was I impressed. This was one whole week of relishing the oft-touted healthy Mediterranean food, exploring the islands and relaxing, Grecian style.
Sleepless in Santorini
Santorini was our first stop after a three hour flight. We arrived late into the night and after going up and down a maze of stairs, managed to reach the reception. After the customary check-ins, we were ushered into our room, from where we knew we would have the view of the sea and the hills on daybreak. For now, we had to wait for some light. The next morning, we woke up by around 6am and ran out of the room to see what we waited for. And it was exhilarating.
We had a limited time in Santorini, but thanks to a reliable ATV we borrowed, we managed to scale the two ends of the crescent shaped island, from the hotel right in the center to the Faros Lighthouse, to Oia and back to the hotel, all in a day. Santorini is dipped and dried in white, literally. It is rare that one would find a house painted in another color. The doors are almost always blue, and the mood, let´s say golden yellow. The people are very relaxed and have their pace and style of working on things. So if your ATV lender tells you he will be there in a minute, take it as ten. It sure did feel like home to me. Thankfully, we weren´t pressed for time so there was no complaint from my Swiss counterpart.
Off to Mykonos by Ferry
Much as we wanted to stay back in Santorini, we were also looking forward to our trip to Mykonos. We took a two-hour ferry and looked forward to our next few days there. The island of Mykonos is more or less the same size as Santorini, and is culturally no different. But being closer to the beach and in a much nicer hotel made a huge difference. Like Santorini, there is a blue and white obsession here, and a distinctly laid-back attitude toward life which I already fell in love with. We shuttled between the beach and the pool area, and sun-bathed till we grilled ourselves. After all, we knew that we would soon be returning to Switzerland where temperatures are beginning to plummet by the minute. Of course, we rented an ATV here too, and explored the length and breadth of the island for an entire day and spent the rest laying under the warm sun reading and sipping cocktails.
If you ever go to these islands, don´t forget to do these two things!
Rent an ATV.
If you want to get around the island and see as much as you can, rent an ATV. There are of course, the standard bikes and even cars, but nothing matches up to an ATV. First of all, they are not what you ride on your typical day to office. Second, it´s double the fun on four wheels. And it cost us just 35 dollars for a Quad for 24 hours!
Eat at the local diners
It was by sheer luck that we chanced upon a little family restaurant by the sea. The mother cooked, and the son served. And we relished every bit of it. This is where our obsession with the Greek Salad began. Lots of fresh tomatoes, olives, capers and homemade feta cheese to top it – how much better can that get really?! This family did set for us a very high standard in Greek cuisine, that I used their food as the benchmark for every meal I ate after, much to Martin´s annoyance!
Frame and shoot what you see!
With the camera of course! The landscape, the sea, the houses and the doors are just stunning. There is plenty to capture if you move around and with Martin playing the chauffeur, I had a great opportunity to take pictures. Here are a few from our Greece getaway.