Thursday, September 4, 2008 10:27:44 PM
First stop in Greece: Sidirokastro
A small, non-touristict village right after the Greek border at Promachonas, where we always stop in order to get a glimpse of Greek life (the true one, and not the one shown in tourist resorts). People don't know English, and in general it's quite tough to order some food under these conditions, but the experience is very nice and authentic. This time was impossible, as all Sidirokastro inhabitants were at .. church. It was Sunday morning Anyway, we managed to eat some appetizers, and off we went towards Serres, and then to Thessaloniki.
First days spent at: City of East Olympos / Platamonas.
Right in the middle of the road from Thessaloniki and Larissa, there is an incredible sight: mountain on the right, houses built on the mountain in perfect balance with the nature, then a nice big castle on the left and the Aegean Sea. These guys have it all: landmark, mountain (Olympus!!), beach, tourist resorts (Panteleimon and Platamonas), etc.
Found a great hotel right on the beach (40euro / 4 persons), with incredible view over the Aegean with a nice, cozy room.
Spent there from Sunday to Tuesday noon, mostly sleeping on the balcony, bathing in the sea and doing what tourists do: spend money on ... not much
Then starts the adventure: reaching Santorini
Left the nice City of East Olympos behind, passed Larissa, Volos, reached Athens at around 7PM and moved directly to Pireas harbor. First thing: looked for a boat trip to Santorini (our desired destination) and got extremely lucky : there was a boat leaving at 10PM. a SLOW boat. VERY slow, we'd say.
Fine! Got some food right there and parked the car in Piraeus underground parking (god damn machine costs 200 euro to transport to Santorini and then back)
The lady at the desk said "I recommend econonmy tickets" (25 eur/person), and we did. What she didn't mention is that we would have to sleep OUTSIDE and ON the boat whole 12 hours of this ride to Santorini. Lucky it wasn't too cold, but we
Anyway, as the morning came, we forgot about sleeping and took tonz of pictures while passing Paros, Naxos and Ios islands. Got some spirits back
10AM - entering the Thira / Santorini island.
There are not many words to explain this, but try to imagine why Greeks call this their most beautiful island (out of about 200). Used to be a big island. Volcano turned it into 3 islands with a HUGE whole/crater (now full of sea water) and then gave something back after 150 years (another eruption made a small island in the middle. Cities are located 400 - 500 m above sea level, on the crater's edges and are made only with white houses. If you can't imagine... check out the pictures (Priceless)