Today is a travel day but before we head to Santorini, we have a morning on the island of Crete. We arrived at the Port of Heraklion at 7:00 am. By this time my travel partners are getting brave and are venturing out on their own. Jen slept in this morning. The ship was able to dock at the port and no boat tender is required. Just walk off the ship. Yordie and Jo-Ann disembarked after breakfast and headed into the town to walk around. I did the same, however, I took the hop on and off bus tour for 15 euro. That was a waste of money. It would have been better if we could have had more time to explore the coastline and see the history. Heraklion is very busy and doesn’t really have a lot to see.
We set sail for Santorini around noon and by 3:00 pm most of the passengers were up on deck taking pictures as we arrived. It really is spectacular to see from the sea. The white houses, hotels and cathedrals with rounded (vaulted) roofs and colours
edging window frames. Blue domed cathedrals. All of these perched high above the water, hanging on the edge of a red cliff. When I think of Greece, this is the picture I think of.
We had to take a tender into the new port. Our luggage would follow. The seas were still churning and the window was gusting. The boat was bobbing up and down when we docked. Men grabbed your arms to help you off. Jo-Ann and I were on one tender, and Yordie and Jen followed in the last one. Luggage was on the docks, but ours had not arrived yet.
A boat came after the last tender with luggage everywhere on the deck and piled up willie-nillie. Next came the tossing of the luggage from one hand to the other and then on to dry land. It was like a feeding frenzy as passengers closed in on their luggage, knocking people to the side. We finally grabbed ours and headed to the bus. Our Transat rep in Santorini was very nice, and I’m not sure how many languages she spoke, but she was definitely answering everyone’s questions.
Luggage on board, friends on board, we begin our ascent to the hotel. That’s right ascent. The first turn wasn’t too bad but as our diesel chariot charged up the hill, people below got smaller and smaller. The view of the Caldera was beautiful. We are now looking at the Aegean Sea. The blue is more of a cerulean blue for those artists reading this. A postcard picture with every turn. Of course, my eyes were closed most of the way up! LMAO. We were the last stop and we were met with golf cart and porters to take our luggage to our home for the next 3 nights – the
Arresana Hotel and Spaaaaaaaa. We were met in the lobby by an aroma of orange blossoms, bergamot and lavender. My shoulders were coming down with every breath. The handsome male attendant Stefanai came to us holding a silver platter with hot, lemon scented cloths to wash off the grime of our day. Next was Nikita who offered us chilled mineral water with cucumber. Are you digging this yet? I know I was. Reading the available spa treatment such as massages with bee honey and Mediterranean salt scrubs are making me drool.
We were given a tour of the amenities, and the pool was definitely a highlight. With its waterfall, arched bridge and cabanas with white cotton, gauzy curtains for escaping from the sun. Taken to our room we rejoiced at the size, and view. We had a balcony with a view of palm trees swaying and the water. Coming from a berth on a ship this was definitely luxurious.
A quick freshen up and it was time to get some food. We lined up outside of a seafood restaurant for a while and again these hungry women got impatient and headed to the main square. We found a restaurant that had souvlaki and we ordered lamb souvlaki and our health conscious Jo-Ann ordered another Greek Salad. If feta cheese is a commodity, then Jo-Ann has helped the Greece economy. It is so good.
Our waiter, Stavros was flirty and handsome even with the lump on the back of his neck. Heck, who is going to look at his back? (inside voice, Donna!) Dinner was fab. We paid our tab and headed to the local market to pick up some Santorini wine for our room and Pringles (the snack choice of the international-travellers).
We wandered the alleyways, and found our way back to the hotel for a blissful night’s sleep.