We’re officially all booked! Greek islands here we come for some fun in the sun! August 11th we’ll be hopping on an Air Canada jet (after a short commuter flight up to Montreal) to take us down to Athens for a couple days before spending the balance of our trip on the island of Santorini. We’re also very excited to have more travelers accompanying us this time, as Kailah’s parents and my Mother and Aunt will be joining us. For these four, it will be their first time over the big pond and we’re excited to be able to share it with them.
Our flight leaves Montreal in the late afternoon on Friday the 11th and arrives in Athens a little before lunch time on Saturday. We don’t have any concrete plans for the balance of the day, except to explore the touristy areas of central Athens and seek out some authentic Greek food and wine. I’ll be making a few restaurant reservations given the busy time of year (and the fact that we need six person tables), but I like to keep the arrival day open, since we may be a little tired from the journey over.
Sunday is our second and final day in Athens. We’re going to try and beat the mobs of tourists by hitting the Acropolis museum and other ancient sites early. This high season is not something we are used to and will not be friendly for sightseeing, so we are going to do our best to avoid long lines. Once we’ve had our fill of the beautiful history of this part of the world, we’ll use the balance of the day to explore (and spoil ourselves in more local cuisine).
We have 7:30 AM ferry tickets to Santorini on Monday. We are embarking on another early morning, so that we can get to our base island at a reasonable time. The trip will take around 7 hours, as the boat weaves its way down and around the Greek islands to our destination. However, this is not your average “ferry” as we might think of in most locations. With its restaurants, bars, cabins and lounges, it reminds me more of a cruise ship. We chose this mode of transportation as it will allow us to relax in the open air (you are restricted to being inside on the faster ferries and they still take 4.5+ hours) and is reasonably priced. We considered flying, but didn’t want to miss out on the views and given the time of year, flights were more than double the cost. In addition to two economy tickets on the ferry, I booked a 4 person cabin, in case anyone has too much wine the night before in Athens and will be in need of a nap :).
In Santorini, we’re going to slow down and relax. We’re staying at a hotel right on the edge of the caldera. A caldera is a volcano, which has collapsed due to an empty magma chamber caving in during an eruption. In our case, the rim of the collapsed volcano is what we know today as the island of Santorini. Our stay will give us magnificent private views of the Aegean Sea, so we can sip our frappes in the morning and wines in the evening with a breathtaking backdrop. At this point, I think everyone can sense the level of motivation we are shooting for :). But given our goals of extreme relaxation, we also intend to partake in a few touristy events to include an ATV tour of the island, a wine tour and a trip to the beach.
Finally, once it’s time to leave our perch in the sun, we’re going to depart early on Saturday and stopover on the island of Naxos for lunch and some shopping. We're using this opportunity to stretch our legs, but also see an additional island while we're in Greece. Needless to say, this stop will stamp the end of our journey, as we reluctantly head for the airport and a plane pointed back to the states.