As promised from EuroCruise Day 2, ToT is sharing one of the most beautiful sceneries and sunsets in the world...
Say 'Hello' to Santorini.
After a day of sailing at sea, we woke up to brunch at the Celebrity Equinox's Silhouette Dining Room. Check out the Brunch spread with different carving stations & breakfast items.
I settled for a very concentrated meal of my favorites, desperately trying to hold on to whatever self-control I had left. I just HAD to have their Eggs Benedict, which is basically the inspiration for Trip or Treats.
And, to pacify my sweet tooth, I took a freshly baked Pain Au Chocolat. Very Julie and Julia-ish.
After filling our tummies, my sisters & I headed up to the top deck to view Santorini from the best view of the boat. The archipelago of volcanic islands, also known as 'Thera', is technically what remains from a volcanic explosion in 1450 BC. It's also part of the Cyclades, a chain of islands that surround the Delos. Delos, now uninhabited, is one of the most pivotal archaeological sites in Greece, supposed to be the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.
Enough of the view, we want to go to Santorini!
The Equinox anchors off of Skala, 890 feet below the town of Fira. A tender (boat) is required to get onto land and atop Santorini.
From the boat, the view is mostly rock formations and a smattering of buildings, but that's the view from the bottom.
Upon reaching Skala, I just had to look around and realized, Santorini might just be better the second time around, but it still feels just as good as the first time. The fishing village still kept its quaint nature while maintaining its status as a major tourist destination.
I spotted this very interesting character at a nearby pub, and loved his "look". Mr. S wasn't in the picture yet, so... I considered. Any takers?
There are plenty of modes of transportation to get to Fira from the bottom. One is climbing more than 600 steps, so that would be a NO! Another was to take the Santorini Donkey Taxis. Now this sounds very interesting, and for the travel monger maybe even a bit inviting. But I strongly suggest against this way since donkeys, by nature, are stubborn and are not the most efficient climbers. Yes, they can carry you, but they also don't care if they decide to take a dump in the middle of the trip, kneel down to rest, or just plain take you where they want to go. They also STINK, like all donkeys. So if you're trying to keep your composure and your freshness, I say take a photo-op and move on.
Best way is to take a few flights of stairs and head to the Cable Car Station, which takes you direct to the center of Fira.
Upon reaching the top, we were greeted by Arthur, our very animated, informative, and well-versed half-Greek half-Aussie tour guide.
Though we were off to go to a few places before Fira, I couldn't help but stop at some of the stores in the small streets, which are only accessible by walking since no cars can fit. They have some of the most interesting items and tourist would love to eat up and buy.
Must-get on the list are Matis, or the Evil Eye. Known as a charm to ward of bad luck and jealous onlookers, the evil eye is a staple in any Greek homes' entrance to ensure good luck and good vibes all around. I like this one included in a bar of Olive Oil Soap.
I'm not a big fan of useless knick knacks, but how can you not love these tiny statuettes of the blue & white domed Greek buildings!?
Which accurately resemble the little bell tower that surround Santorini. This is the Agiou Mina, an 18th century church which has become the symbol of Santorini because of the down and the white bell towers. This would be facing the Caldera.
Pronounced EE-AH, Oia is a small fishing community about 7 miles north of Fira and is famous for its spectacular sunsets and beautiful architecture. Since my family isn't always complete for photo-ops, we took advantage of our forced togetherness and the fantastic view to strike a pose for the books.
Oia has a lot of artists who milk their creativity and use the scenery as inspiration. This gallery had some pretty awesome paintings of the scenery. Prices were steep so we decided to move on.
Oia is very easy to walk through, but does have some very big stones and can sometimes trip, so comfy shoes are required, and a penchant for some mighty cardio.
I was beginning to get parched and was ecstatic to find my favorito European drink available, in Greek nonetheless.
I was walking on my own a bit and caught my parentals and sister in a nearby jewelry shop. One of many jewelry shops my mother would come to love on this trip.
I just thought this bookstore was so quaint and picturesque, I would probably buy any book there even if I couldn't translate it.
Speaking of picturesque, how can you not buy a painting after being fed amazing views of the colorful buildings in the cliffs of Santorini.
This little mutt is too cute and too lucky to be walking around Santorini. Can I be a mutt too?
Across the shoppe, towards the tip of Oia, we found Arthur chilling by a Taverna having a cold beer, it sounded too inviting to pass up.
And no questions asked, I wanted a picture with THIS view behind me.
Bro & ToT getting papparazzo'd
Dad joining us for a beer, while I had some Greek red vino.
This has got to be the most expensive slice of Feta Cheese I've ever purchased, but with a view like this, I'd buy it again and again.
As we headed back to the center, we passed by the Orthodox Cathedral, dedicated to Ipapanti (the Coming or Presentation of Christ in the Temple), known to locals as Our Lady Belonia.
While walking to the bus, ToT's Bro checking out a Greek Cookbook, and realizing that Greek people like to tell stories instead of write instructions.
Must buy are cute Santorini kitchen towels which have the eponymous Olives symbol. More on Santorini in Part 2!
Sneak peak: this Pink Palace is our tourguide, Arthur's, pad. He's Loaded!!!
To Be Continued...