Dateline: Santorini, Day 1 – Another 24 Hours

Santorini, Greece
2 July 2009

We had an entire morning to explore the others parts of Paros before we had to leave for Santorini. We headed to the north part of the island, into what looked like a fishing village.

We walked around for a bit before we booked it back to our hotel to checkout and catch our ferry.

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Naousa, Aegean, Greece


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Naousa, Aegean, Greece


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Paros, Aegean, Greece

The plan for getting to the ferry and returning the bike was thus, load up all of our stuff (two large backpacks, two day packs, one camera bag, one bag of food) and both of us onto one 50cc scooter and make our way to the ferry. I would drop Charlie and all the stuff off at the ferry terminal, go return the bike, and then walk back to the ferry on foot. As executed, the plan went really well, and looking something like this:

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Paros, Aegean, Greece


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Paros, Aegean, Greece


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Paros, Aegean, Greece

One of the interesting things about riding on the ferry is that while you’re given a ticket for a particular class, no one seems to actually enforce it. This was probably a good thing because knowing where we could sit was no easy task. Our tickets said “Deck,” just like they did for the trip to Paros when we actually sat on the deck, outside, for the entire trip. I was pretty miserable and was determined not to have a repeat, damn the consequences. I found some seats inside in an area marked “Economy” and decided to stake our claim. No one cared or questioned our being there, and so it was: an air conditioned seat for the ride to Santorini. Hooray!

Santorini is much like Paros, except it’s built on a the reminants of a volcano. However, the middle part has sunk back into the ocean, creating a crescent shaped island with a small mountain island in the middle.

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Thira, Aegean, Greece

And just like Paros, we were inundated with people at the dock with signs for hostels, hotels, and camping sites. This time though, we were a bit more prepared, having done more through research. After consulting with several people, we settled on Youth Hostel Anna, a hostel recommended in the Lonely Plant guidebook. Bonus points were awarding by being placed in a room with all girls1.

A couple of girls from Vancouver, BC, who were staying in our dorm recommended a place to grab lunch and rent a quad-ATV. I went over to check out the wheels while Charlie grabbed something to eat.

Then it was off to explore the island of Santorini. We made our way toward the northern part of the island, going to the archeology museum and exploring the various tourist spots.

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Thira, Aegean, Greece


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Thira, Aegean, Greece


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Thira, Aegean, Greece


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Thira, Aegean, Greece


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Thira, Aegean, Greece

And yes, those are donkey and mules you see. There’s an entire line of them, ready to take you up and down the mountain for a fee so you don’t have to stand in the looooong line for the gondola.

On Charlie’s insistence, we stuck around for the sunset, which also afforded me a change to teach him all I know about two source lighting (in this case, the sun and the flash).

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Thira, Aegean, Greece


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Thira, Aegean, Greece


Setting Sun
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Thira, Aegean, Greece


Earth to Space
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Thira, Aegean, Greece

Then it was a night ride back to the hostel in the cool ocean breeze. For dinner, we had moussaka, a sort of lasagne-type dish with eggplant instead of meat. It’s actually rather good.


  1. No, nothing scandalous happened, thanks for asking. 

Dateline: Cappadocia Region, Day 2 – The Better Tour

Cappadocia, Turkey
27 June 2009

Sleeping felt great. Waking up, not so much. But we had to get an early start on the day as we day yet another all day tour before we had to run to catch another overnight bus, joy! Shazia had left for Istanbul last night, so we made friends with Cecilie and Finn.

We’ve actually been “stalking” them since Istanbul where we both stayed at the Mavi Guesthouse. They booked a tour with Ali’s help as well, and we (unbeknownst to either party at the time) booked essentially the same tour all the way to Samos. The only difference was Cecilcia and Finn had an extra day in Cappadocia before their tour.

We started with some more rocks just outside of town, but today’s tour eventually took us down to Kaymaklı to see the Kaymaklı Underground City.

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Uchisar, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Derinkuyu, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Derinkuyu, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Derinkuyu, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Derinkuyu, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Derinkuyu, Nevsehir, Turkey


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Derinkuyu, Nevsehir, Turkey

Being almost 50 meters down was a nice change of pace from the beating Turkish sun, although the cool relief did not last long.

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Derinkuyu, Nevsehir, Turkey

We did a short (about 4 kilometers, or so) hike through Ihlara Valley and then stopped for a quick lunch over the river before finishing out our day. It wasn’t nearly as good at yesterdays buffet, but it filled the belly enough.

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, Aksaray, Turkey


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, Aksaray, Turkey


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, Aksaray, Turkey


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, Aksaray, Turkey

Funny picture of the day: What a bunch of tourist look like photographing a mountain in the middle of nowhere.

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, Aksaray, Turkey


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, Aksaray, Turkey


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, Aksaray, Turkey

We finally headed over to Selime Monastery to finish up the day.

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, Aksaray, Turkey


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, Aksaray, Turkey


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, Aksaray, Turkey


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, Aksaray, Turkey


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, Aksaray, Turkey


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, Aksaray, Turkey

Getting back before our bus left had its moments of excitement. The bus was supposed to leave at 19:00 and our tour was supposed to get back by 18:30. However, we had a late start in the morning because they didn’t have enough seats and had to get a second bus for the tour. It was pushing 18:50 by time we got back to the hostel. Fortuneatly our bags were packed and ready to go. However, I needed to check my email to see if Ali had sent me any last minute information. Meanwhile, Charlie went to go take a shower after we decided that he was no longer allowed to ride next to me without taking one.

Ali actually ended up calling the Shoestring Cave and leaving a message. So I called him back. It was lucky I got a hold of him as there was a change of plans. It basically boils down to this: We were going to stay in Selcuk, which is about 25 minutes from Kusadasi, which is where we catch the ferry to Samos. The ferry leaves at 08:00 in the morning. Ali thought that he could get us a ride, but he couldn’t. So he’s going to have us stay at a place in Kusadasi instead so we can just walk to the ferry!

I wrote down all the contact information for our new hostel and was off running to the bus station with Charlie 45 seconds behind me. As it turned out, this bus didn’t leave on time and we had an extra several minutes to spare.

We took the short ten minute ride to Nevsehir, where it started raining buckets. As we arrived, the streets started looking like Venician canals. This was unfortunate for the sheer fact that none of us, save Cecilie, had any sort of rain gear. Finn used his backpack as a shield, I threw on my fleece zip-up, and Charlie just sucked it up.

Once we got on the bus, it was okay though. The AC was on, Charlie had take two showers, and we on our way to the cooler coast.