It was still a windy day but 30 degrees Celcius. Just perfect. Jo-Ann and I met car rental representative in the lobby to get the paperwork completed. We had a Nissan Micra with air conditioning, but likely wouldn’t be needing it with the breeze today. The front desk gave us a map and recommended the beaches that would be protected from the wind. The car rental man left the car in front of the lobby and Jo-Ann’s driving skills were immediately tested. She expertly backed down the road, and bullied a pick up truck so she could park the car next to the hotel. Yeah Jo-Ann!
We had our vehicle safely parked and it was time for breakfast. We met up with Yordie and asked her one more time if she wanted to join us. She was still a no. She was thinking of a tour on her own, but that pool was definitely an attraction to her. She was still thinking we were crazy to drive. We tried to assure here but you could tell she was worried. We said we would be back by around 4:00 pm. Besides the car rental company could come and get us if the vehicle broke down and we were insured. We had a charged phone, and it’s an island.
Jo-Ann hopped into the drivers seat as our pilot, and as an orienteering champion of 1975 (perhaps rusty skills), I would be her co-pilot. We made it to the main road with no issues and then proceeded to drive along the coastline high above the sea. It was beautiful. We stayed well within the speed limit and let the locals pass us whenever necessary. We drove towards Megachalori and on to Akotiri in order to get to the Red Beach. In all, it took 20 minutes. It actually took us longer to hike to the beach after we parked and it was a little warm. We passed traditional Greek villages, cafés, tavernas and churches. It was a stress-free drive, and Jo-Ann handled it just fine.
The Red Beach was pretty but you needed to hike over rocks and down hills to access the beach. Had we not had flip-flops on, we likely would have attempted it, but instead took pictures from above. The blue of the Aegean Sea was turquoise today against the red sand of the beach below and a large outcropping of red volcanic rock. It was picturesque. There were chaise loungers available, but no facilities. The water was so clear and beautiful but we would need a place to eat, drink and of course washroom facilities eventually. It would have been lovely for a picnic.
We had other beaches to explore and so we made the trek back to our car past the churches, sad memorials on the road and side-stepping ATV’s (4 wheeled motorbikes). I think every tourist in the area had rented one.
Off we went in search of the Black Beach. Signage is very good on the roads. Jo-Ann commented that you adjust to the signage very quickly. Patience and a level head is required. Eyes everywhere. Within 20 minutes we were arriving at the town of Perissa. We stopped in for a tour of the local Carrefour (grocery store). It is always cool to see what other stores look like. This one was more like a Metro store vs. the Walmart-sized Carrefour I had visited in Spain. I still marvel at all the cookies, chocolate and potato chips. The closest flavour of Pringles BBQ we have found is Pringles.
We made it to the Black Beach in no time. Driving along the road parallel to the beach are many bars and cafés. Across the road are sun beds you can rent for 5 euros. We found a beach bar with food, drink, facilities and suns beds. First it was a drink, then the bathroom, then the sun bed.
We found a sun bed under a palapa at the waterfront with no visual barriers. The sand is exactly what the name says, black. It is black and coarse, but not enough to hurt your feet. It was lovely.
Next to us was a lovely couple from Switzerland. He was Italian and she was Swiss. The broken English was enough to communicate. They had a wireless speaker and it was softly blowing out some eclectic imternational tunes; sometimes French jazz, then a Brazilian samba, and then U2 (Ordinary Day). The music soothed our minds as the waves lapped on to the beach.
When hunger pangs finally hit off we went to the beach bar for an appetizer platter and a drink. Back to the beach for a final burn and turn and it was time to head back. We didn’t want Yordie to be worried about us.
The drive back from the beach was uneventful and we landed safely back at the hotel by 4:05 pm with the car in safe condition. Yordie was happy to see us back. Big deep breath sis!
Yordie had slept for most of the afternoon at the pool with Jen. They had shared a lunch pool side. Once we a
Were all together, we got ourselves cleaned up and headed to see the sunset before we headed out for dinner and a show. We shared some appetizers and drinks first in room 44 and set off to see the final sunset from Santorini.
Yordie made arrangements with our Transat rep for us to get reservations at the theatre to participate in a Greek wedding. Thanks Yordie! We met in room 44 for appetizers and drinks after we took pictures of the Santorini sunset. We walked to the White Door Theatro. Our reservations were there. We were shuttled down the stairs into a large room with smaller rooms with no doors visible. We were meeting the Papdopoulos family, we were the guests at the daughters wedding. It was cute as the story unfolded before us. The comedic relief was Constantino the drunkard half-son.
After we met the family we paraded into a beautiful courtyard with twinkly lights clapping and singing to our guest tables. We had central seating and could see most of the stage below thanks to Constantina from Transat for getting us great seats. Our tables had blue and white checked table cloths. On top were baskets containing Greek specialties; little jars of tzatziki and tomato paste, bread, plates of olives, dolomedes (stuffed vine leaves with lamb and rice) and a fava bean dip. Of course there was Greek salad, and a pitcher of Santorinian white wine.
The Greek dancing and singing began with a demonstration of chair dancing, and beautiful folk dress. We toasted, Yamas to the bride and groom and once dinner was completed we participated in the dancing. We wove in and out of the participants and at one point I was given what seemed to be belly-dancing lessons. Lots of fun, laughing and clapping. Over our heads was a lattice trellis with grapevines woven through them and the fresh sea air was able to find its way in. It was a lovely evening.
After we finished our red, sweet wine, and celebrated the actors with claps and cheers and they celebrated us with bows, we headed back to our hotel via the pathway. Many stores are open until 1:00 am but this is getting close to the end of the tourist season, so vendors are starting to thin out. It was a lovely walk home.
We headed to our rooms slowly wishing we could stay longer as Santorini is beautiful and our hotel/spa is amazing. Tomorrow is a travel day to Mykonos by hi-speed ferry. Tonight though, I will dream of the beautiful sunsets of Santorini and the beautiful island we have just visited. Spectacular!
If you are looking for a fun, inexpensive evening (45 euros), I recommend the White Door Theatro for the Greek Wedding in Fira, Santorini. Similar to To y and Tina’s Wedding but you get to smash a couple of plates, Opa! Suggest you eat beforehand as they provide appetizer portions. Enjoy! It is not suitable for those with mobility issues due to the stairs.q