The trip started out pretty crappy. People were rude to us, no one understood us, we couldn't understand any signage and to top it all off it was something like 34 degrees (Celcius) that day. We were staying at a place called Pagration Hostel - cheap cheap. We shared a dorm with about 3 other females.. one of them was a whale who snored and made Free Willy sounds all through the night. I'm not kidding. Guess that's what you get for trying to be pennywise.
|Waiting for our room at Pagration Hostel - while enjoying South African biltong :-)|
Next morning we had to rush to catch a four-hour ferry to Mykonos - WOOHOO. We just about made it to the ferry by the skin of our teeth. Was a close call and we were stressed and worried that we wouldn't make it...and it didn't help that not many people were eager to help us. So we got off to a pretty rocky start to the trip. The ferry is AWESOME. It's like one really big ship and onboard it's like a hotel. I generally don't like going on boats and wobbly waves but the ferry's so big and the water's so calm, you don't even feel the motion.
|The Blue Star Ferry docking at Mykonos|
|Inside the Blue Star ferry|
In Mykonos we went for Paradise Beach Resort, a budget camping and simple accommodation option on the beach. When I say simple, I mean simple. In our bungalow there were two beds (when we sat up and faced each other, our knees could touch. The toilets and showers were communal so we had to walk back and forth in little towels. If you’re not planning to chill in your room all day, it’s a great option. The resort is quite far from Mykonos Town but they've got a bus that goes between the town and resort all day. Breakfast (included) was toast, a boiled egg, preserves (basically just one flavour of jam) and tea/coffee/juice. You could pay extra and get more stuff ... we didn't (hehehe).
Check out Mykonos Town:
|This is how narrow the roads are in Mykonos Town|
|Lovely postcards - hahaha|
|Petros the pelican - the island's mascot|
Paros is amazing. It's less crowded than Mykonos (we didn't go in peak season though) and it's really pretty - plus.. we could rent a quad bike to get around in. The place we stayed at was Santa Maria Surfing Beach hotel (similar setup to the one in Mykonos - but way nicer looking.. especially the bathroooms and toilets. Ironic, though, that it's called surfing beach but we never came across one surfable beach on our trip.
OH MY WORD - how could I forget to mention... in Greece, you can't flush the loo roll down the toilet. It will clog the pipes. So whether you're doing a number one or two, you have to wipe then chuck the paper in a dirt bin next to the toilet. How uncool is that! Takes a while to get used to it. After clogging quite a few toilets, we finally figured out what the signs above it meant.
Paros in pictures:
|Paros... perfect beaches|
|Exploring on four wheels|
We stayed on Naxos Island for one night. Not the most eventful island - seems like all the oldies go there. Pretty place though...and so far our nicest accommodation - Windmill Naxos - a two-bed en suite room - sort of like our own apartment. There's like one or two tourist attractions and the rest of it's beach and eating. It's the biggest island in the Cyclades - maybe we just didn't see lots, that's why it wasn't eventful. We only spent a day there.
|Eating yet another gyros thingy. It's a schwarma with chicken/veg or meat filling|
Word of advice... if you're gonna stay here - pay a bit more and get a nice room.
|The highspeed ferry docking at Ios Island|
|Lazy afternoons at Far Out Beach Club|
|Far Out Village (next to the beach club) at night.|
|Where you'll spend most of the day at Far Out|
|If you look really closely, you'll see the sea right behind the pool|
And then - the grand finale!!! Santorini Island. I love love love it!!! It's got everything from the beaches to shopping, cool food places, historical sites and the best day trips! We did a day trip to Nea Kameni (a volcano). They take you on a cool wooden boat thing to the volcano where you have to hike all the way to the top. It's HOT HOT HOT. When you get to the top they pretty much show you where the lava coud squirt out of at any time. If you feel the ground, it's very hot as well (and not just from the sun). After exploring that, you go to a natural hot water spring in the sea. Freakin' amazing. You literally jump off the boat into the cold ocean (near to the shore) and swim a few metres and you'll feel the water get warmer. That was definitely my favourite part of Santorini. Simply coz I DON'T jump into oceans - so that was a major achievement for me!! Candice was pretty chuffed with herself as well.
Then they take you to another little island called Therasia, where we had lunch and then headed back to Santorini. We did lotsa shopping in Thira (where you'll get really cool sunset shots of Santorini's houses and churches). Our accommodation in Santorini was double-booked so we ended up staying at the owners' other accommodation. Very decent en suite double room off the main road. The place we were supposed to stay at (Katarina and John Hostel) had a VERY dodgy bathroom for us to use before we had to catch our ferry(coz we had already checked out). We had to take a shower in a dark bathroom/toilet (luckily two other travellers were also there with a torch). To make matters worse - there was a cockroach exploring the bathroom... eeeeeeeeek!!!!!!
|The Nea Kameni hike|
|The warm water spring drop off|
|Lunch at Labros, Therasia Island|
|This is Santorini|
|A restaurant doorway - Thira|
|The view from Thira|
|Me me me Santorineeeeeee|
Inter-island transfers via ferries came to R1500 with the shortest ferry at R85 and the longest (Santorini to Athens) at R390 for an eight-hour trip. When booking long ferry rides, choose the more comfortable, assigned seats instead. It costs more, but it’s better than arriving at the ferry only to find out the seats are all taken and you have to camp out on the deck overnight - like we did - hahahha. you live, you learn.
|Our little bed we had to make for the 8-hour overnight ferry back to Athens|
|And this is what TIRED looks like!|
|Some other important building I forgot the name of|
|Temple of Zeus at Olympia|
Was an awesome trip - loads of fun, lots of sun....and tons of shopping crammed into the day day we had to leave :-)
Pity we weren't able to add Turkey to the trip...oh well, guess I'll have to make a plan to get there another time :-)