Thursday, May 5, 2011

How to: Santorini (Part One)

I spent the better part of last week enjoying all that the Greek Island of Santorini has to offer, and let me tell you it has much to offer. The manfriend and I headed to Santorini after the conclusion of his basketball season in Greece, to celebrate our first year living overseas. I'm so happy we chose to visit Santorini because it definitely was an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.  I decided to share with you a How To of Santorini, showing you the in's and out's of our vacation and what made it unforgettable. 

Santorini, Greece


Travel

We choose to take the Hellenic Seaways High Speed 5 ferry that left from the city of Piraeus, which is right outside of Athens. It would only take five hours instead of the usual eight hour trip from a regular ferry. We purchased economy class tickets, which costs around $300 Euros total for two roundtrip tickets, that's roughly $450 US dollars. Our seats were very spacious, so we could really relax on our journey to Santorini, but I wish that happened! The sea was a little rough and the manfriend neglected to tell me that when it's windy the boat really, really gets rocky. Well Meggie didn't take to kindly to the rough waters and got sea sick for the very first time, horribly disgusting but I was happy to know there were about ten other women in my section of the ferry going through the same ordeal. (Yucky!) I was feeling like garbage but that all changed when we made our approach into the port of Santorini. I couldn't believe what I was looking at, the island was basically a huge mountain with houses, shops and hotels build into the side of it, in the middle of the harbor  or as the Greeks call it, the Caldera, was the infamous Santorni volcano and the water was so blue that I was in awe. 

Hellenic Seaways High Speed 5

Once we docked a gentlemen from the Kamares Apartments, where we'd be staying, was there to pick us up. We got into the truck and I looked up the mountain thinking, how on earth are we going to get up there? I literally felt like I was on a rollercoaster, zigging and zagging up this mountain, and I couldn't believe how easily our driver maneuvered up this beast, I guess he's done it so many times. While he drove he pointed out all the places we should visit while staying on the island. 


Hotel

We pulled up to our hotel/apartment (the Kamares Apartments) located in Fira, which is the main town in Santorini. Our hotel was breathtaking, we were right on the side of the mountain. All the stone hotel apartments were painted in  classic Santorini white, with blue shutters. The lovely hotel manager Lena warmly welcomed us and showed us to our suite. We were informed that our apartment was just built and we'd be the first people staying in there. 


Our suite was made completely of stone, from the built in bed to the couch, kitchen sink and counters. You would think because everything was made of stone that it would be cold and drab but that wasn't the case, this apartment was so quaint, charming and classically Greek. The view from our complex was amazing, directly outside our bedroom window was a picture perfect view of the Santorini volcano. Once we got settled and I cleaned up from my "Hell"enic experience on the ferry, we were ready to explore. 

The view from our bedroom

Happy to be on vacation.

Time to Explore


By the time we settled in from our long morning of travel, we were famished. We walked into the center of town, to check it out and find a place to have lunch. I am going to be upfront with you when I say, the food of Santorini was to die for, every place we ate at was better then the next. I really thought I was in foodie heaven. I know I've said that in numerous posts, but Santorini is definitely up there with the Big Dogs when it comes to food, hands down best food in Greece and you'll learn why shortly. 


There were so many restaurants to choose from and being that we were both so hungry it was hard to decide, so we had someone decide for us. There was a gentlemen standing outside a traditional Greek Taverna that told us he had two seats upstairs waiting for us, the offer sounded great and we accepted. We landed ourselves at Classico and I'm so happy we did. I was so hungry at this point that everything on the menu screamed, "EAT ME!" We decided that while in Santorini let's stick to traditional Greek cuisine, since there is a good chance we may never be back in Greece. With that decision made we odered a Greek salad, saganaki (yummy), a meat plate for two and a round of Mythos beer which is the local beer of Greece. Our food was amazing, especially the saganaki (which is a lightly coated fried cheese drizzled with lemon), service incredible and view unbelievable. I was one happy foodie to say the least. 


Ready to enjoy some brews.

Saganaki!

Our meat plate for two.


After our delicious lunch we headed to the local grocer to pick up some goodies to bring back to our suite, so we could relax and enjoy the Santorini sun and the sunset that was to follow, which I heard would be like nothing I'd ever see before.  We purchased some bottled water since the water is undrinkable here, Mythos beer, Coronas (If there is sun, then there has to be Coronas.), some nuts, chocolate, Baileys and the manfriend picked up his traditional vacation cigar which I'm not the biggest fan of but hey he's on vacation too. 


We got back to our hotel and it was time to unwind and relax. With some beers in hand, our iPad playing my favorite, Adele, we heading out onto our terrace to enjoy what was left of the day. Well enjoy it we did, there is nothing better then enjoying life with someone else, having great conversation while letting your mind and body relax. It's been a long, hectic, sometimes crazy year for the manfriend and I, this was our gift to each other.


More brews at our hotel.

Taking in the sites.


We enjoyed more beers then I'd care to admit, as I am a lady but they were delicious. The sun felt so amazing and it was the perfect beginning of the summer season for us. As the beers diminished so did the sun, we were getting ready to witness our first Santorini sunset and I was so excited. We had the perfect view of one of the most amazingly beautiful things I've ever witnessed. The slow decent of this huge orange sphere, let off colors not even my Nikon D3000 could capture on camera. It reminded me of that last scene in the movie, Forrest Gump, when Forrest is telling Jenny about what he saw along his travels. I felt I was looking at this masterpiece no words could accurately describe or give justice to. This sunset was chilling and beautiful at the same time, something that I want everyone to witness in their lifetime. 









I had to include the Forrest Gump scene I was telling you about. 


After the sunset we got ready for a nice dinner in town, we stopped at Ellis, which was a few meters from our hotel for a dinner I will never forget it. This cozy Greek Taverna was a-maze-ing! The service impeccable and I can't even begin to talk about the food. We ordered a Greek salad of course and Feta wrapped in puff pastry for starters. Let me just tell you that the Feta dish was unreal, anytime I taste something this delicious I close my eyes, savor the moment and tell myself never, ever forget what this tastes like. 


For our entree we ordered Ellis catch of the day, which was a local fish that was said to be outstanding so we decided to give it a try. Well to my surprise our waiter brought out a huge fish, head and all to our table. Then I witnessed for the first time in my life the artistry of filleting. This was one of the coolest things (to me at least), to watch our waiter carefully skin and extract all the bones of the fish. After he was finished the manfriend and I applauded his amazing talent and we were ready to chow down. This fish wasn't like fish, it was more like steak. It was so meaty and buttery, it was unreal. Kyle was in all his glory as he scarfed down this amazing dish, I couldn't help but laugh at him. 


It's smiling at me.

Our amazing fish.


After our main course our waiter informed us that we were now in for a real surprise. It was a surprise all right and if Kyle wasn't there I might of ran off with this man after what he placed in front of my eyes. It was a Greek pastry on the house for the manfriend and I to share, I didn't want to share it though, I truly wanted it all to myself. The bottom of the pastry was a graham cracker crust, followed by a rich chocolate filling and topped of with a tiramisu like custard. I immediately went into the euphoric state that is a food coma and I never wanted to come out. I could tell that it was freshly made, I imagined some old Greek grandmother in the back kitchen whipping up this masterpiece wanting me to know what the best dessert in the world tastes like. It was unreal and as I fought Kyle for the last bite I was seriously sad it was ending, I came down from my food high and thought I may never experience something like this again, or would I? 


Back at the hotel there was very spotty internet connection, oh to be disconnected from the world is a scary thought, especially to a blogger but I prepared myself and the manfriend would just have to deal. I had tons of episodes of my favorite show, Bethenny Ever After downloaded onto our Mac, so I am happy to say at the conclusion of day one of our Santorini adventure that I converted Kyle into a Bethenny, Jason, Bryn and Cookie follower. Sorry Kyle, the cat is out the bag. (By the way he can't wait to see what happens on next week's season finale.) 


I hope you enjoyed part one of How To: Santorini, check back tomorrow for part two which includes, black and red beaches, Greek Easter and much more. 


Love Jeans and Tee's 

3 comments:

Stephanie said...

Thanks for your lovely comment! I loved Greece when I went but unfortunately I missed Santorini. After reading this, I will def make it a priority if/when I come back to Greece! Great tips and recommendations!

Eternally yours,
Stephanie

Kimberly {YeP, they are all mine} said...

Ahhhhhh!!!!! I am dying to go to Greece!! It looks amazing :-)

Meggie said...

I loved Greece and after I went to Santorini, I loved it even more. I think it should be on everyone's list of places to visit.

Thanks for reading Loves!

Best,
Meggie

 
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