Hey Bus Driver, Slow Down A Little Bit!

Stuffed Calamari
Night time turn down service is accompanied by a tasty sweet. When we arrived, we had candied figs in our fridge. Yummy!

We all woke up and headed to breakfast around 9:00ish. Sleep was amazing. I was awoken by the mourning doves on the roof. A shotgun would have been handy. The atmosphere here is divine. The air is scented with flowers, the complimentary mineral water and fragrant amenities (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body milk) are all natural with essential oils are in our rooms along with robes and slippers. Our room overlooks the sea, and we have two chairs on our balcony.

Today is a pool day. We have been going non-stop with Italy an almost distant memory and the cruise. We decided to find our place in the sun, eat lunch at the hotel and just chill.

Jennifer’s friend Engel, who we met on the cruise, wanted to hook up for dinner. Jen asked me to get the details from him on Facebook. The plans were to meet him and his friends for dinner in Oia (pronounced ee-ya) at around 8:30 pm. They were watching the sunset and we would meet afterwards.

Plans made, we laid by the pool, caught some rays and swam to cool off. Lunch was pool-side with a lovely Santorini red. Jo-Ann had a Greek salad again. They are so good, but the rest of us decided on a club sandwich.

After lunch it was back to the pool, clean up and get ready for dinner. We met in the lobby around 7:00 pm and ordered a taxi. The girls were looking lovely in their dresses, hair and make up. We were craving seafood tonight. It’s hard to get a taxi at this time of evening as everyone is heading to watch the sunset. The sunsets are spectacular here.

We finally got a taxi and began our trip to Oia for 20 euros from Fira. The trip starts out fairly pleasant and then we hit the narrow, winding road up the mountain. OMG!!! I clung to the door handle with a death grip. Buses came around the hairpin curves with a bullying action and you had to yield to them. The taxi driver was texting, answering his cellphone and talking to us at the same time. Definitely not from Canada! It was very nerve-wracking for this lady at least. I was in the front seat and my birds-eye view of the land below was beautiful, but how can you enjoy it when you are trying to remember if your will is up to date!

We walked around for a while but were unable to find Engel. We were going to stop for a drink but decided we needed to eat and couldn’t settle on a place so we went back to the square and waited for a while. The group decision was to head back to Fira. The sunset was done, and none of the restaurants appealed to us. Now, you would think we would take a cab, right? We couldn’t locate a cab, as everyone who goes to Oia to see the sunset, takes a cab back to Fira. Timing wasn’t working for us tonight. The decision was to take the public transit for 1.60 euro. Hey, it’s only 20 minutes. I was so dehydrated from the taxi ride to Oia, my mouth was so dry and I needed water. A girl can’t live on wine alone! We needed small change anyways, so Yordie headed to a taverna across the road and bought a 1.5 litre bottle of water and got us some paper cups. Just as she paid the server, the bus came and we ran for it. The back door of the coach bus opened and there was enough room for the 3 of us to get in. There is a man that goes up and down the aisle collecting money. It takes him a while to get to you as it is standing room only, no air conditioning.

The bus begins the DESCENT down the mountain. Remember we are in our dresses, and hanging on for dear life! You can see the bus move to the left and to the right and you pray our weight isn’t going to tip us over causing us to careen down the mountain-side. There is no exaggeration here. I don’t know how they drive up and down this road. It is narrow, the bus driver opens his window and yells at the other drivers to back up. There were two ladies sitting who we’re translating for us. Jo-Ann was loving the adventure and although we were all laughing, it was a nervous laugh from me. At one point, Yordie said, “and we got all dressed up for this?!” causing the translating ladies to bust a gut laughing.

Now, the group of us had this crazy idea to rent a car tomorrow and explore the rest of the island. Jo-Ann, our adventurer has volunteered to drive. Yordie and I were wondering if this was so wise considering the roads we had witnessed tonight. Dogs and tourists running out in front of you, careening public buses, ATV’s and motorbikes, vehicles passing on hills and everyone is on a cell phone. Madness! We would talk about it more later once we are off the bus. I’m going to need a drink for sure. Body to body, hanging on to the luggage rack, hotter than Hades we finally make it back to Fira. We are dropped at the bus terminal, 10 minute walk from our hotel. We hugged each other once off the bus and drank half the bottle of water.

It was time to eat, and it was late. We found the Ouzerie, a recommend from Transat and were seated within 15 minutes. Our waiter George was very welcoming and gracious. After sanitizing ourselves to eat food, we settled in with drinks. I ordered the cheese saganaki and asked the waiter to ensure we were all at the table when they brought it. I wanted it to be a special moment for the girls with all it’s ouzo-flaming glory! The server had an odd look on his face which I chalked up to translation issues. He nodded and left. A few minutes passed and the tzatziki arrived with pita bread and the server dropped the cheese saganaki on the table. It WASN’T flaming. My face must have been priceless. I asked the server where were the flames and she politely said, “Oh, you must be the from the U.S.” We corrected her that we were Canadian, but then she said waving her arm around her head, “You must be from over there, they only do that over there, This is authentic Greek cheese saganaki,” We all laughed.

Next came the mains. Yordie ordered the grilled prawns, I ordered the spicy meatballs, and Jo-Ann ordered the stuffed calamari. Now you know it has to be good if a Newfoundlander comments. Jo-Ann said it was the best she had ever had. Take a look at the plates. By the way, I’ve been craving some spicy food, and I mean heat. The only sauce that provides heat here is Tabasco. When they say spicy meatballs, they really mean meat with oregano. It was delicious, just not what I was craving.

We finished our meal off with some baklava and ouzo. We toasted with our waiter taking pictures and laughing that we were only drinking the ouzo for medicinal purposes.

Overall, it was a lovely evening. Yordie decided that she did not want to do the car rental, Jen emailed us to say she wasn’t feeling well and would be taking a pass. That left me…well I’m up for another thrill. The car is coming at 9:00 am and another adventure begins.

Note, most of my pictures are on my camera and will need to be added afterwards.

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