Holiday Tales Part 7 First Day in Oia

As I browsed through pictures, I realized that I had forgotten all about posting the last leg of our holiday.

After the our experience in the Ghost Town, we were braced for all eventualities. We had met an Indian family in Fira, who mentioned that Oia(where we were headed to), was very quiet in comparison to Fira. That was enough to get us worried. Then again, we decided that we are sure to find something to do there. We also decided to return our rental car before heading for Oia. We had to return the car in Fira, and we did not want to come back  to Fira, just for that. Our plan was to walk around Oia village and just relax, enjoy the sunset.. basically, do nothing.

After a heavy breakfast at a beach hotel, we got ready and checked out of our ghost hotel. This was one time when there was staff at the reception when we needed them. Guess they did not want us taking off with the keys!

We wanted to go to a beach, drop off the car, and then set off for Oia. We had slight change of schedule based on what our tour guide on the volcano trip told us. He recommended going to the other tip of Santorini, which had the light house. Given that we were close by, we decided to drive there first, and then head off to the beach.

The view on our way to the lighthouse. The islands in the middle are the volcanic islands, and the white bit on the other side is Oia – our final destination for the rest of the holiday. Santorini is crescent shaped.

Some ruins enroute..

And finally the lighthouse. There were other tourists like us, snapping away :)

Next stop, Monolithos beach. It was recommended to be a shallow beach, suitable for children. Most of the beaches in Santorini are quite deep, so quite scary for young children.  It was a nice beach, almost empty, as the season was almost over. No pictures, because we were too busy having fun :) Just one picture that shows us where we were – on the other side of the mountain that was visible from our hotel.

Beach sorted, lunch sorted, we set off to Oia. Full of trepidation and worry. What if it were just like Perivolos? What if we landed up in another ghost town?

The drive to Oia was gorgeous, but we decided to just let our eyes and our minds capture the pictures, for a change. We had planned to call the hotel in advance, but we managed to forget in the middle of everything else.

Finally we reached Oia village. It was just like the pictures – gorgeous, cute and so very different. We had heard about some hotels being difficult to reach, with little steps and everything – but we were lucky, our hotel was easy to spot, and easy to reach from where the taxi left us.

The reception was locked, once again! But this time, there was a bell to be rung. Up bounded a warm, cheerful man, who was the manager, and he took us to our accommodation. Unlike our previous hotel manager/caretaker(or whatever he might have been), he was wonderful, and made us feel welcome.

That’s where we stayed – the windmill that is in the distance. I ought to mention here, that husband was super excited about living in the Windmill. He was the one who booked it. Normally, I do booking and stuff, but while we were doing the research, husband got fascinated by the idea of living in a windmill, and decided to book it. He couldn’t wait to get there.

It used to be a working windmill(used for grinding flour) some years ago. The wind speed near the windmill validates that. We could hear the roaring wind the whole time.It was a totally different experience. One that we wouldn’t forget in a hurry.

It is converted into a 2 bedroom apartment. The Kitchenette. My heart sank when I saw those steps. Look at the size of them! And no railings! Husband loved the character features of the windmill – I did too, to be honest, it was just that I was a little worried about Daughter taking a tumble from those steps.

Look at the bedrooms!

And those tiny windows!

The view from our window..

And the view from our bed..

After settling in, we went off to explore the streets of Oia. Oia is famous for it’s gorgeous sunsets, and loads of tourists from the rest of the island come over, just to see the sunset. See the crowd of people at Oia Castle, waiting for the sunset? Unfortunately, we did not get to see a proper sunset that day – it was too cloudy.

The streets of Oia had a charm of their own..

Quaint shops selling all sorts of stuff.. From souvenirs to paintings to beads to pumice stones.

Oia at night time…

There was something about the place, that was magical. We walked around aimlessly, and yet did not get bored. After a delicious dinner, and finally exhausted, we retraced our steps back to our windmill house..

I had planned to complete the travelogue with this post, but that would make it unbearably long.. So the rest in the next :)

Holiday Tales – Part 4 The Streets of Athens

Our trips always used to be meticulously planned – by me. Husband couldn’t care less. We visited cities like Paris and Rome before Poohi was born, and it was a different type of schedule.

Armed with a map, and guide books, we would get on the local transportation, walk through little alleys, following our instincts, and sometimes other tourists, or sometimes just the road. We would reach cute localities, or little alley ways where we would actually get lost. But it used to be so much fun! Both of us were in agreement that we could not go with guided tours, because we love doing our own thing.

It had been a while since we last did a European city. The last was Switzerland, when daughter had just turned two, and it was not exactly city sightseeing, and she was happy to be in her buggy, so we were free to go wherever we wanted to, to some extent, at least.

I was in two minds if Athens was a good idea or not. I did not want her getting bored with all the archeological stuff, but as I mentioned here, she loved it! The other part that I was worried about how much she would enjoy the aimless walking through the city, that both of us loved so much.

Well, all I can say is, she sure is a daughter of ours :) She had just as much fun as we had on the streets of Athens. Even on the first day, on that torturous trek to the hotel, she was in her element. She was cheerful, delighted by all the cats and kittens that she saw on the road, pointing out whatever caught her eye. That just meant that we had the kind of holiday that we all love!

We ended up in a place called Plaka, where the souvenir shops enthralled me. I love these shops, there is something about souvenir shops that I love :)

That’s me making a beeline to those gorgeous pots!

Look how pretty they are? They have events from Greek mythology painted on them. I could not afford to buy them, so brought back pictures instead :)

Daughter, proving that she has indeed, inherited my genes :)

Daughter did get a little tired. So we got on one of these.

Tourist transportation of a different kind..

One of the domed churches of Athens

All roads lead to the Acropolis. See the Acropolis shining up on the hill ahead?

More ruins, much to daughter’s delight :) We came back here in the daylight to see it properly.

Isn’t this cute?

The streets of Athens is full of cats..

of all kinds :)

Trees flanking roads, full of oranges!

Aren’t these the cutest? We stumbled across a market place, which had the cutest of things! Most were handmade and so very creative.

Remember those balconies full of greenery that I was so enthused about?

And as I said earlier, all roads lead to the Acropolis.. There it is , all lit up at night..

Two days of Athens, and we were looking forward to Santorini. We were all excited, and waiting to get to the island. Little did we know that a ghost town awaited us…..
to be continued…