Wednesday, June 14, 2017

We're Back - Greece was Amazing!

We have been back home since midnight on Sunday but have spent the last two and a half days trying to get rid of our jet-lag, buying groceries, doing laundry, picking up Buddy and getting the business started up again.  Our trip home was 24 hours of flying and connecting and fortunately we managed to get home with all flights relatively on-time.

Greece was fantastic.  British Airways had definitely upped their game as our flights to London were just 3 days after the fiasco with their computer systems shutting down every British Airways flight around the world.  The staff were extremely friendly and other than some very questionable airline food it was comfy and service was good.  I took snacks and skipped a couple of their meals, always a good idea with any airline frankly.


We landed in London mid-afternoon but by the time we cleared customs we didn't even get to our hotel until 4pm, no time to do any sightseeing.  The only thing we really wanted to do was go to a British pub and have a pint and a meal.

The pub was only a 10 minute walk from our hotel and we found this along the way, apparently the only one left in London.  It is called a roundhouse or lockup and was used to house drunks and petty criminals until they could be transported to jail.  More info can be found here.   We found the pub and although they were open and serving liquor the kitchen was under renovation so no food was available.  Darn, as there were no other pubs without walking another mile or so and we did not feel like doing that after our long flight.  We ended up having a drink, watching some cricket and then going back to our hotel. 

Tired but we managed to get to the pub!

I had read there was a nice Portuguese restaurant directly across from the hotel and so we had supper there - it hit the spot and we tried to get some rest for the rest of the flights to Greece the next day.  We had to be at Heathrow for 4am.  This is what the airport looks like at that time - nearly deserted.  This was 3 days before the last round of terror attacks in London, things had definitely changed on our return 12 days later.  
London Heathrow Airport at 4AM

Two more flights and we made it to Santorini after changing planes in Athens.  Yes, it takes 4 flights to get to Santorini from our house but it is worth it.  We got to Santorini around 6pm Friday, June 2nd.  The views were absolutely incredible from our little Greek family-owned guest house.  Tired from traveling, we only ventured to the nearest mini-mart for some liquor and next door for a couple of take out souvlakis and greek salad.  We ate supper on the balcony and watched the sun go down.  
Panoramic shot of the view off our balcony (hubby took this with iphone)
Santorini is such a beautiful island.  It is also a tourist trap but I knew that when I booked it as many cruiseships dock daily and transport thousands into Fira and Oia, the two main towns.  It does have some of the very best views in the world and is a place that I think everyone should have the chance to see at least once in their life.  We stayed about 10 minutes away from Fira at Firostefani which is quite a bit quieter and out of the fray.  Just a side note - anyone who is not physically fit or 100% able-bodied should consider not visiting Santorini, it is entirely made of steps in the main towns and you just would not be able to enjoy yourself (not all of Greece is like this). At 55 and 47 we both felt it and were glad we made this trip at this point in our lives as later it would have not been nearly as enjoyable.  The cabs/transfer services cannot even come up to most of the hotels.  They usually drop you 100-200 steps from where you are staying and you carry your own luggage down the steps.  We were ever so thankful we packed light and did carry-on only this trip (something we would repeat several times on this holiday).

Our reward was dinner and drinks on our balcony.  I managed to buy some house wine at the minimart for 7 Euros that came in this 1.5 litre jug.  You take your chances when you buy wine blindly like this but I scored.  The Santo winery is one of the best on Santorini and two days later we actually ended up touring it on our day tour.  The wine was very tasty.  Just fyi Santorini is one of the most expensive places in all of Greece.  This I knew in advance and was prepared.  Later in the trip I bought another one of these house wines purchased in a plastic bottle and paid 2.5 Euro for the same size and quality on the island of Naxos which is lesser-known and definitely less traveled.


The cliff-side walking path to Fira
The next day was a day for us just to relax, explore and have no agenda.  It was also hubby's 55th birthday.  We enjoyed a very large entirely bread-based breakfast (included) on that same balcony each of the 3 mornings we were there.  In my quest to avoid bread it was determined impossible on the very first morning.  Oh well, it was tasty with pancakes and cakes and bread sticks with sesame seeds.  There also was very tasty Greek yogurt with honey which was soon to become a favorite thing on our trip.
Cruise ships down below


It appears that Blogger will not let me upload any more photos today so the rest of our stay on Santorini will be featured in my next post.

We were absolutely shocked and disgusted to hear of the London attacks just two nights after we were there and so saddened for all of Britain. There are no words...

It is great to travel but it is also wonderful to be back home in our safe peaceful little town on the ocean with our sweet little dog and our cozy house.  Oh yeah, and the loads of weeds I have to get to this weekend :)

30 comments:

  1. So glad you had fun! I love the photos and look forward to seeing many more of them!

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  2. AMAZING VIEWS!!! I have thought of Greece, but know nothing about it. I am going to keep your advice in my back pocket for when we decide to do a trip!

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    1. Definitely a fabulous place to go, no regrets!

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  3. Still haven't been to Greece and every time someone shares photos from their visit, I'm enthralled all over again. Wow! And I love that pic of the two of you.

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    1. Thanks but hubby did not want me to post that picture...after 24 hours of no sleep we looked like crap lol. You would love Greece, of that I am sure.

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  4. I look forward to more details and pictures-whats here is pretty terrific.

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  5. ...we only ventured to the nearest mini-mart for some liquor.

    At least you had your priorities straight! Looks wonderful. Looking forward to the next installment.

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    1. Finding water/liquor/snacks for our room is always the absolute first thing we do at any new destination. We were lucky as a minimart was only up 50 steps and about 10 feet to the right, Souvlaki place directly across.

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  6. I've greatly enjoyed the account of your tour. Greece and the greek islands are indeed amazing places.

    As for the photos, I particularly liked that of the happy couple, the one with the bottle of Santorini wine - in contrast to the round, old, desolate British pub, and the view of the nearly deserted Heathrow airport.

    Loking forward to the rest of your photos!

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  7. Welcome back! Your photos are gorgeous.
    What timing for the pub kitchen to be closed for refurbishment the day you stayed there, that usually happens to us!
    I love the sugar cube houses on Santorini, it is picture postcard perfect. Lindos in Rhodes sounds very similar, luggage wise, vehicles aren't allowed in the town although you do have the option to hire a donkey to carry your bags up the hill!
    Can't wait for part two! xxx

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    1. I am sure there are many towns in Greece just like that where no cars can go, we found a few others on Naxos where you park and walk in. I am trying to get more posts done before you depart on your trip!

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    2. Much appreciated! I'm blaming you for my rekindled love of all things Greek! xxx

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  8. Oh beautiful Santorini beautiful Greece it is just the most magical place. We will be off to Samos for a month in September and hopefully Santorini next year. We have to fly via Athens to take the small prop plane over to Samos which takes about 45 mins and shows the most spectacular views over the Aegean and islands like Ikaria and Patmos just stunning. You certainly did your research re Santorini good advice re exploring it while fit and able I agree too about coming home I love to travel but so nice to be back in your own home. Travel takes effort and energy and can be exhausting but so worth it. Where are you off to next?

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    1. A month, I wish! We took a prop job back from Naxos to Athens. We are off to Italy in May 2018 with two of my adult stepsons (other 2 kids will be invited on future trips as this is the not right time in their lives to go)

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  9. After two weeks on Crete I was ready to sell up and move there permanently. Mind you, I could live anywhere sunny and warm...

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  10. Sometimes, Blogger won't let us do the things we want to post. Never been to Greece. Waiting for the pictures in the next post.

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    1. I recommend it, one of the greatest countries in the world.

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  11. Lovely photos. Your accommodation looks perfect as does the wine. We averaged 5 - 7 euros per bottle and 4 -5 euros per glass. On last night out, we splurged and the cheapest wine was 32 euros. We enjoyed every drop. Looking forward to reading more about our trip.

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    1. Bottled wines on Santorini were much more expensive but not in Naxos or Athens, I just think it is the touristy prices. I am looking forward to Italy next year, glad to hear wine is somewhat reasonable

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  12. Welcome back. If i'm going to the Greek islands sounds like I better start a workout plan.

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    1. Yes, it definitely helped that I had gotten active before the trip

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  13. Welcome back! It sounds amazing, and I will definitely put Greece on our list of early travel destinations. Love the photos!

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    1. Not all of Greece requires good knees but you need to be physically fit for most of it. Can't see the Acropolis without climbing up the mountain on the path with a bunch of steps either

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  14. Now THAT'S a vacation :) You've sold me on Greece - don't know when but someday. There is something magical about the light, I don't know how to explain it but it's wonderful. Glad it all worked out for you - hard to believe that Heathrow Airport is ever so quiet!

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    1. You would love Greece,so many places to go and walk there.

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  15. What a wonderful time you had! You are the only way I will ever see Greece and I am enjoying seeing it through your eyes! You plan trips ahead and I think that is fantastic! I may go to Finland someday. I have a friend who owns her own island and she stays on it all summer. They have a home in Helsinki too. She comes to the USA every fall. Someday I hope to visit her island.

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