Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Greece: Oia on Santorini

We flew from Mykonos back to Santorini. We were on a German airline named Condor. The most outstanding thing about Condor is their safety video that is filled with American stereotypes. It was a fun watch! We were lucky enough to arrive about 40 minutes early. But, since we had a prearranged ride, our car was not there to get us until a few minutes after our scheduled arrival.
This portion of the trip we were staying in the town of Oia which on the northern tip of the island. Our car ride was about 30 minutes from the airport. As luck would have it we arrived at the hotel just as sunset was ending. Nuts! We were able to catch just a bit of it, but we were not able to get to the cameras in time.

We stayed at Ikies Tradtional House and had a fantastic time. The staff was so good at helping us out with every need and the room was spacious. Our accommodations here were more traditional Greek style vs. the luxury-resort look of the Mykonos Grand. In a previous post we pointed out that Ikies was not in the exact location Tripadvisor had led us to believe it was - we were the second-to-last building farthest from town.

From a jaw-dropping view standpoint the hotel's location can not be beat. So what if you have to walk 20 minutes to eat or drink or shop........
We quickly settled in and started our trek to town and to dinner. The town of Oia is long and narrow. There's one main walkway the pedestrians use and just a couple of streets for cars. We had to fight the crowds and buses leaving town (now that sunset was over) and push our way upstream through the crowded pedestrian walkway to get to our destination.

Our hotel manager suggested we try Skala. It had a nice terrace looking out to the water and we lucked in to a table at the edge. Holly ordered a pasta dish and Dave another octopus dish: this time pan-sautéed in wine sauce. Tasted fine at the time.........

After dinner we walked the streets some more and found a nice rooftop bar, Pelekanos (Pelican), that would be a perfect place for a future sunset dinner. As an added bonus their homemade house red wine was actually good and reasonably priced!
The next day we ventured back into town to take in the sights in the daytime. We wouldn't do too much since we had a scheduled sunset cruise with a 2pm departure time from the hotel. But before we were to do all that we had a great breakfast that was delivered to our room. Since we were staying on the lowest level by the pool most of our town view was obscured by bushes, but our view to the sea was perfect.

As we started our walk towards town it was apparent Dave wasn't at 100%. Too much coffee (since we finally had actual press pot brewed coffee vs. a concentrate)? Did last night's octopus come back to bite him? If it was food poisoning, this was the hot/fever phase starting. We managed a quicker-than-desired tour of town in favor of letting things settle before our boat trip. We headed back to the room, but still managed to get some decent photos around town.

We're saving the boat trip story for another post, but here's a summary to help the timeline move along: we rode almost an hour to the dock after picking people up along the way, a freak storm hit the island, boat ride cancelled, re-booked for another day.

Dave was holding up ok during the whole 2.5 hours in the car during the boat fiasco. We arrived back at our hotel to find the pool railing (blue fence in the breakfast photo) snapped and went into the pool and that the wind blew open our room door and broke the lock. We ordered a couple of beers, hung out in the room while the man fixed it, and caught several episodes of American Pickers, Pawn Stars, and Storage Wars Texas (only English TV available). We prepped for dinner even though Dave was feeling a bit dicey. As we left the room the rain came back and we decided to bag it! The long walk to town would not be fun. Room service and a movie rounded out the evening.

The next morning Dave showed some other symptoms typical of food poisoning. Since our day was unscheduled we decided to hang at the hotel and save his energy for dinner and souvenir shopping. While this sounds like a bummer, we actually enjoyed sitting at the hotel. A few floors up from our room was the shared terrace for the hotel. We sat up there all day and enjoyed the sun and cooling breeze. When a manager found out Dave was sick she went and made him mint tea - her grandma's remedy for stomach illness. We were very happy on that terrace and even chose to spend time there later in the trip when Dave was feeling better vs. going into town.

The trip to town was a success. No incidents or accidents. Dinner at Pelekanos was great - even Dave's specially prepared bland chicken and rice - and the sunset was awesome.

Typical crowding in Oia's walkway

That night was our last trip into town. The next day, Saturday, was our make-up cruise day and Sunday was our departure day. We had the time to go into town, just not enough will. The view from our hotel combined with the perfect blend of sun and breeze kept us captive.

* Dave's doctor said it likely wasn't food poisoning given how long the symptoms lasted. More likely scenario is cross-contamination with Santorini's undrinkable water or other virus.

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