We have arrived in Greece!! We started our day in Santorini with a delicious Greek coffee from the lady at the hotel. The people here are extremely friendly and always looking to help. She provided us a long explanation of everything there is to see here so we decided to rent a quad bike to take us around the island.
It cost around 25 Euros for the day to rent one bike, the renting process is very laid back. It is by far the best mode of transportation here in the island as you don’t have to wait for buses to take you around. The first stop was the Monastery Prophet Elias. This monastery is built on the highest peak of Santorini, at 565 meters above the sea. It is one of the oldest of Santorini as it was built in 1712!
The views from up there are absolutely stunning and you could see the whole Santorini island.
We drove down while taking many photo stops until we reached the town of Pyrgos, a typical Fortress Settlement of the Cyclades.
We ate in an authentic Greek restaurant. We have noticed the prices here are not ridiculously expensive (especially the wine) and you can eat and drink for about 25 euros in a good restaurant (not fast food). We ordered some Greek salad, roasted lamb and some sautéed mushrooms which were all delicious. We appreciated all the food even more because we were able to eat in public during the day, something we hadn’t done in over week.
After lunch we walked around the very charming town. There is a church on top that looks exactly like all the other Greek churches. Greece is the only country in the world where an Eastern Orthodox Church (Greek Orthodox) is clearly recognized as a state religion.
The status of the Orthodox church as the “prevailing religion” is largely based on the role the church played for the preservation of the Greek nation through the years of the Ottoman Empire but also for the role the church played in the Greek War of Independence. As a result, many attribute to the modern Greek nation an ethno-religious identity.
The view was nice from up there.
On the way down we walked around the narrow streets full of local houses that are painted white and blue, and reached the main road where there were a bunch of various souvenir shops with very Greek looking souvenirs. Walking around this place truly felt magical.
We drove another 5 minutes down the hill where we were welcomed by the most beautiful winery we have ever been to. Santos Wine overlooks the whole Santorini bay and offers a nice selection of wine samplers. For 20 Euros you get 6 samples (huge ones), cheese, olives, and crackers. Sarah is the most happy I have ever seen her, even compared to her wedding. She was absolutely loving Greece and it will be hard for her to travel somewhere else from now on. Now Sarah chiming in, I believe I was appreciating and extra extra happy in Greece (especially this first day) was because of the contrast to where we had been before. Some things I appreciated that normally I take for granted included being able to dress as I want, eat and drink when I want, hold my husbands hand in public, and not having to worry if will get sick from what I eat.
We continued our Island journey to the red sand beach. It really didn’t have red sand, just the cliff behind the beach was red. We didn’t really spend any time here because we wanted to get to the sunset at the lighthouse.
We drove another 30 minutes to the southern most part of the island!
The lighthouse was beautiful, but we wanted to see the sunset and some other buildings and nature with it. This was going to be only a nice sunset on the ocean.
We decided she wanted to eat and drink in public again so we drove back a little bit until we found a nice cliff restaurant with amazing views where we could have some wine while we watched the sunset. We order a few appetizers that happened to be American portions; we counted the olives and they gave us 46 of them for 3 euro. Who eats 46 olives in one seating? Seriously!!
The sunset was spectacular!
On the way back we stopped for a few pictures as the light was fading. Seriously, this place is absolutely beautiful!
We drove back to Perissa, where the hotel is located. The street next to the hotel is full of nice Greek restaurants with basically the same menu and decoration. We chose one and ordered a chicken souvlaki which is basically a chicken skewer.
It was delicious and they gave us Ouzo (anise liquor) for free at the end of the meal as a digestive. But as you can see here, Sarah had enough to drink today and did not drink hers!! booooo!
Bonus Trivia of The Day: The olive branch is a symbol of peace or victory. Historically, olive branches were worn by brides and virgins as a custom of Ancient Greece. There are three national flags that have a representation of the olive branch. Can you guess which ones?
Bonus Pic Of The Day: Olives!! who doesn’t love olives!! did you know that the olive fruit is classified botanically as a drupe, similar to a peach or plum. Also, all olives start out green and then turn black or a dark purple as they ripen.