Dateline: Santorini, Day 2 – A Long Ferry Ride

Santorini, Greece
3 July 2009

The thing one notices the most about Santorini is all the tourists. The streets are flooded with helmet-clad foreigners on quad-ATVs or scooters. Santorini, more so than Paros or Samos in my opinion, is also a pretty big party island. The kids are out late into the night and wake up groggy, late the following morning. This is probably why Santorini wasn’t my favorite island and is also probably why I wasn’t too sad to be leaving (although our hostel was the best one since Istanbul).

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, Aegean, Greece

In the morning, I checked around for a ride down to the ferry terminal (Youth Hostel Anna is on the back side of the island, about 30 minutes from the ferry terminal by car). Our hostels’ bus was all full up (€3/person), but I checked with the guy we rented the ATV from and he said someone would be able to pick us up from his location at 2:45 for €1…although he actually said €10.

We still had an entire morning and early afternoon left to explore, so we got down to it, driving way out to the far north side of the island all the way to Oia, almost 45 minutes by ATV.

The drive was a winding scenic route on the western rim of the island high above the Aeagean Sea below.

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Thira, Aegean, Greece


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, Aegean, Greece

We made it to Oia and had just enough time to do some exploring before we needed to start heading back. We purchased some souvoniers, and then were racing back to our hostel so we could catch our ride to the ferry.

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Thira, Aegean, Greece


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, Aegean, Greece


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, Aegean, Greece


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Emborion, Aegean, Greece

We got back with just enough time for Charlie to take a shower and for me to make some last minute checks of things on the Interwebz – I wanted to grab some stuff so I could be productive offline. Our ferry ride would be long almost 8 hours, landing in us Athens around midnight. And we didn’t have any confirmed place to sleep yet; our plan was to basically wing it with a list of hostels…again.

Charlie’s shower took a bit longer than usual1, but we made it to the ATV place in time – although not in time to get groceries. We jumped in the van only to discover that it was really €10, not one. I still stand by the fact the guy said one Euro. But with a boat to catch, he could have said €30 and we would have paid it.

We picked up an American and Brazilian couple before heading to the dock. We got dropped off at the dock with plenty of time to spare, so I ran to get over-priced groceries at the mini-mart while Charlie went to get some Kebab’s to eat for lunch…no surprise there.

The ferry ride was more or less uneventful, which makes for dull and boring ferry rides. Because we weren’t first in line to get on the ferry, we were relegated to the actual deck for the first part of the ride. I suppose this was a good thing as I got to see the insides of Santorini as we headed out.

Side note: Why does this say “Winch Only?”

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Thira, Aegean, Greece

Not our boat

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, Aegean, Greece

Lava rocks

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, Aegean, Greece

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, Aegean, Greece

After stopping off at a few islands, we were eventually able to find ourselves a nice seat inside, which was a welcome relief from the elements. Per usual, I spent the rest of my time hunkered down on the computer, trying to get as many photos processed. And playing Solitaire.


  1. killing some more kittens, are we? 

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.