Thursday, 17 September 2015

The last day of my 30's - Santorini, Greece (1st May 2015)

On Thursday 30th April, when Scott got home from work, he, Harry and I said good bye to the older kids and headed to Scott's Mum and Dad's house. Leah Smith was coming over after she'd finished work to keep an eye on Lucy, Jack and Tom over the weekend. Scott's Mum and Dad were having Harry for the weekend.
We stayed at Meg and Dave's for a while, and got Harry settled, then Scott and I headed to the Travelodge near Gatwick airport. I was feeling pretty miserable by the time we got there - my back hurt and I was exhausted and freezing. When we got to our room, we wanted two beds, but it just had one, so I lay on the floor, while Scott went and organised another room for us.

The next morning, we got up bright and early after a decent night's sleep, and drove to Gatwick through a lovely sunrise.

Scott and I were just travelling with hand luggage. We had a cooked breakfast at the airport, and bought stuff for lunch, plus toiletries we weren't able to bring with us. Everything went smoothly for the 4 hour flight.
Our approach to Santorini.

The airport in Santorini was really small, and we all just walked off the plane and stood around while a little bus came and took us over to the terminal building. We queued for quite a while to get through passport control, but this was the view! This was the plane we came on.

In the foyer of the airport, a load of people from rental car companies were waiting for our flight, including our guy from Avis. We got our little white rental car with no problem, and were soon driving across the island.

We just had a little map of the whole island, but it's not a massive island (18k x 12k at its widest), so we just headed North to Ammoudi, where our rental house was.

Driving through the main town of Fira.

Before we got to Ammoudi, the steep road just kind of ran out at the sea. We left the car and cases, and walked through the village to find our house.

There are no roads in Ammoudi other than the one we drove down, and it's just a cluster of restaurants and little houses perched on the edge of the sea, with the town of Oia high on the cliffs above.

We asked for directions to our house 'Villa Kamara' from some old fishermen sitting around, and it was up a stoney lane filled with donkeys!

Our house was through a light blue painted gate. We had to phone the owner once we were there, and he'd bring the keys, so we just hung around outside for a while. I wasn't sure how much of the house was ours, and I didn't really know what I had expected, but I was happy to be there, in such gorgeous weather, with not a lot to do!

The steps up to the roof where there was a hot tub and sun loungers.

While Scott waited for the owner to arrive, I went for a walk further up the stoney path towards Oia.
Our house was the last one in the village. I could see Scott on the roof, from the path.

When the owner - John - came, he was lovely, and I was totally excited to realise that the whole place was ours! (I thought it might have been a flat at the end of the building.) It was heavenly!!
The view through our front doors!

Quite a nice view from the bathroom!

Our house had the traditional Greek rounded roof. I just loved everything! Scott and John went back to our car to fetch our cases, and I sat on the roof, and could see them walking through the village.

As soon as we had our stuff and John had gone (he was incredibly helpful!), we got changed and hit the roof!

Checking out the hot tub!


After a while we headed up the path to Oia. It was quite a steep walk!

The reason I had wanted to go to Santorini in the first place was because I'd seen two pictures of it on Facebook ages ago. (I literally knew nothing else about it!) One of the pictures was like the one I took below.
Once in Oia, we found an outlook place on the ruins of a medieval fortress that dates back to the 1200's when Venetians governed Santorini. It juts out into the sea and has a fantastic 360 degree view. I was so happy to find the place where I could take a similar picture!

I love this picture which shows Oia, and Ammoudi down at the bottom.

Sitting at the outlook, taking in the atmosphere... wonderful.

We then went for a wander round Oia.

There are no roads in the main part of Oia - it is all just beautifully white-washed winding paths everywhere! The place is crazy! It has an atmosphere all of its own - in the same way that Mont Saint Michel, or Venice does.

We then hit the roof again! Revels, smoothie and Ruby Wax's book 'Sane New World' on Mindfulness... plus this view, perfect weather and absolutely no agenda!

Scott soon settled into a new past time of boat watching!

Santorini is famous for being one of the best places in the world to view sunset from. We debated going up to Oia to watch it, but knew it would be pretty crowded, so decided to stay and watch from the hot tub! A couple of tour boats came to the harbour, and honked when the sun set.

You can see more volcanic islands in the distance.

Could not be more perfect! What a way to spend the last day of my thirties!

For tea I couldn't be bothered to go out for a meal, so Scott nobly went back up the hill to Oia and procured some burger and pizza for us!

Ammoudi at night.

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