I don’t think it gets much better than Santorini.
Our flight from Marseilles was delayed. Initially we were to arrive soon after eleven, later we received an email to say maybe midnight and then we were held on the tarmac for fifty minutes. Finally, we arrived just before 2am!! We had organised for a taxi to meet us. He was not a happy chappy. He garnered another fare which was fine with us just as long as we got to our apartment.
As a treat our taxi driver thought he would demonstrate that this early morning traverse of the island should be like a rollercoaster ride. We hurtled, banged, bumped and skewed around corners, over humps and careered along the ridge of the island. I was very grateful it was dark.
Our apartment at Oia, apply named Captain John, was one of four studio apartments on the edge of the caldera with spectacular views. Our neighbours were Jo and her daughter Chloe from Sydney who were on a whirlwind tour of the icons of Europe. Not a bad place to start!!!
We had just one more night and were to leave early the following morning, so we made the most of it exploring and indulging in some delicious food and of course making a couple of memorable purchases. Really? I know. I should have packed less but the fabrics are just so beautiful. I’ll deal with it later.
It was excruciatingly hot in the middle of the day so we pumped up the air-con and slept. We were here to enjoy the sunset so we made sure the alarm was on and then to find the best spot. Oh! It’s here! We walked up the stairs and joined the other sunset-spotters.
Katerina, our host, had suggested ‘Santorini Mou’, a restaurant two hundred metres up the road – away from the madding crowd- where we could indulge in genuine Greek cuisine (I mean, it’s all genuine…how real is a tomato?) and a little music – featuring two men – one on a Cretan lyra and the other on a mandolin. Once we had settled at our table the host asked our nationality and brought over the Australian flag. Beside us were a young couple. Idiot asked, “Oh hi. You speak English?” to which the woman replied, “The flag give it away, right?” It was an English flag!!! I was having a bad day. Ren and Andy were from Wales and on their honeymoon. We had thoroughly delightful night.
Early the next morning the shuttle picked us up to take us to the port. We had decided on a shuttle as the alternative was to lug our bags a couple of hundred metres down the road, catch a bus to Thira, change and take another bus to the port. Oh and no buses leave before eight in the morning and our ferry was for 8:30. No choice really.
Of course, this is Greece. Fortunately, the season has only just begun so things are running reasonably smoothly so far. Even so there was a one-hour delay on the first ferry of the day. No worries. We were all corralled into the waiting room and the air con and all the fans were on and still struggled to keep Lucifer at bay.
Finally the ferry arrived, the crowd surged forward and scrambled to take a seat. We have allocated seats I told John. I had bought Club Class. We were shown to the area and told we could sit anywhere. I was not convinced. At one stage we were shown to another area which was obviously not what I had paid for.
No this was not good enough. I found our seats. The people occupying them were going to argue with me. Someone had their seats. I was hot, bothered and feeling my age. I made a scene. Sometimes you have to make a scene. Heaven may be waiting for the meek, but here on earth, sometimes you just have to practice being mean. “I paid for these seats. I want to sit here. You need to negotiate your situation. I am sitting here.” They must have sensed my rising ire, they definitely should have heard it. They moved. The woman in the seat behind cringed. I had frightened her. In later conversations she told me that she was more than prepared to move for me. I laughed. We introduced ourselves to Chris and Ben from Chicago and nattered on for the entire hour and a half, solving all the problems of the world -economic, political and social. Time flew.