Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Santorini, Greece - Cliff Climbing and Ruins

Here it is - the last of my three part series telling about my week in Santorini, Greece!  You can follow the links to read Part 1 and Part 2, if you haven't already.

Due to my deathlike injuries (sunburn!), there was no way I was leaving the hotel the next day. It hurt to wear pants. It hurt to walk. It hurt to sit still. I truly never want to experience this again!

For that reason, my travel-buddy Stes decided it was a great day to do something that I'd known from the start of our trip she was going to be on her own for.


While I recovered, she hiked from Fira to Oia which is about 11km (6.5 miles), and then returned by bus. (Keep in mind, none of this is flat ground!)

Meanwhile, I stayed in bed, ate cold pasta from the night before and read.

I eventually ventured down to the hotel courtyard for dinner around 7pm. I stayed down there for a few hours, enjoying a few cocktails and talking to some other people on vacation before she arrived worn out and happy.

She told me that on the bus ride back to Fira, she met a fellow adventurer who had a few similar Greece bucket list items as Stes did.

This was great news, because I'm just not the same thrill seeker she is - I prefer my vacation time to be more comfortable than terrifying!

Since long before we came, Stes had her eye on Amoudi Bay. a cliff jumping spot at the edge of Oia.

Not only am I not an adrenaline fan.... I simply can't swim, so I was definitely out and she sadly was starting to not want to go it alone. But now we had plans for the next day and she had a companion for the cliff jumping!

That next day was probably my favorite on the island. It was also bittersweet, as it was our last full day in Greece. I woke up with my burnt leg very stiff after a night of sleep, but it slowly loosened up.

Regardless of the discomfort, I was absolutely determined to make the most of our time left.

Our first stop for the day was Akrotiri - the ancient ruins of a city devastated by a volcano in 1627BC, which is still an active dig site. It was amazing to see.

Archaeology is incredibly interesting to me, and it was helpful listening to a guided tour we caught up with, so we weren’t just staring dumbfounded at a pile of rocks.

It's eye opening to really be able to make out full rooms, and objects and an honest civilization from a time so far in the past.

I was also really pleased with the set up of the museum which includes walkways around the ruins. It's covered from the elements, and not too hot in there. Also, it's mostly handicapped accessible, believe it or not. (Unusual in a region that seems to be nothing but stairs and steep hills!)

While there are some areas at the Akrotiri dig that have stairs, it's mostly for a closer view and not entirely necessary to get around. I was very surprised to find that it never felt like walking up or down hill as it's all verrrry slow inclined ramp walkways.

After Akrotiri, we drove back to Oia so Stes could connect with her cliff jumping friend.

I stayed in the main area of town and enjoyed a cocktail and the biggest slice of baklava I've ever seen, while they enjoyed 250 steps down to Amoudi Bay, a freezing swim to the large rock in which they had to pull themselves onto, and hurling themselves into freezing water from a platform...before walking back up 250 stairs.

I am assured that was a fun thing to do!

Once the festivities were done, we made a quick stop at the only brewery on the island (Donkey Brewhouse) to bring back more goodies for the husbands.

And then we made the easy decision to spend our last night at our favorite place - The Magic Bus! Christos and Nikos welcomed us back with open arms and set us up on a super comfy couch inside.

We hadn't previously spent as much time inside their building as we had outside, but the vibe was incredible. This is totally the kind of place that becomes a regular hangout.

We both ordered drinks and food that we'd already come to love. As usual, Christos was very heavy handed with my booze, with a wink.

After sitting a while and reminiscing about our time on the island, we recognized very distinct American accents to a couch near us. It really did become a fun game finding the Americans that week!

We struck up conversation and ended up talking for hours with a couple of women backpackers from Idaho. It really was an amazing last night!

On our final day, we never left the hotel. The rental car was picked up at 10 am and checkout was 11. Our flight wasn't until 3, so we just hung out at the hotel pool for a few hours and had a last meal.

Once we got to the airport, the line was 100 people long, all outside the door. We finally got word that our flight was delayed until 5. After another hour of not moving, that changed to 7pm.

We finally made it inside, but there was only about 50 seats. It looked like a refugee camp in there! People were sitting or laying on every inch of the floor with bags strewn in between. Our flight finally left around 7, and at last we made it home to Stuttgart safe and sound.

I hope so badly to make it back someday. It was beyond magical one of the best adventures I've ever had.*

*Besides, of course, seeing those I missed, there was one thing I was so happy to come home to --- THE ABILITY TO FLUSH TOILET PAPER. I was not cut out to remember to throw it away, as most Greek plumbing requires. I hope I didn't hurt their plumbing too badly when I forgot!


  1. A marvelous vacation and I'd love to visit the ancient dig and eat baklava.

  2. I love following all types of travel. I am delighted to meet you at the AIM Link Up. I look forward to going back and reading Parts 1 and 2!

  3. I majored in Ancient History in college and have always wanted to visit Greece. I've enjoyed reading your account of your trip to Santorini. The archaeological site at Akrotiri looks amazing. That would totally be my speed --I'm with you, cliff jumping, not so much!

  4. Jackie, I love the history and archaeology, too. For me your trip was arm-chair traveling at its best!

  5. I'm so glad you recovered from your awful sunburn Jackie. It looked so sore. Those Akrotiri ruins are amazing. Wow, I would love to see them. I'd probably walk around for hours just imagining how people lived and making up stories in my head. Hope you get to go back one day soon

  6. A great adventure! Hope you have a great weekend and thanks so much for sharing your post with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

  7. This post makes me want to visit Greece. Thanks for sharing such wonderful post and lovely photos. Happy Fiesta Friday!

  8. Well, I'd say that your trip was successful, sunburn and all! I know that was miserable. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  9. What a sad place to have to say goodbye too. I have always wanted to visit.

  10. Your pictures and post are beautiful. I'm adding Greece to my Bucket List. Thanks for sharing on Sunday's Best.

  11. Jackie I too hate all that intensive sun. I am so glad you had a wonderful time in Santorini It really is a gem in a sea of spectacular islands.

  12. A wonderful part of the world! Thanks for sharing it.

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