Sunday, 20 September 2015

3rd - 4th May - Santorini, Greece

On the 3rd May, Scott and I rather reluctantly decided we should probably go and explore the island a bit!
We headed to the South of the island, stopping off by the road side on the way to enjoy the view.

Our hire car - a Toyota Aygo, which cost us £20 a day.

We also stopped off near Fira.

We continued to drive down the West coast of the island, and headed down a very bendy road to Athinios Port. There wasn't really a lot to see at the port, so we drove part the way up again and sat on a wall enjoying watching the hydrofoils and boats come in and out.

We then headed to Red Beach on the South coast. One of the typical Greek churches on the way.

The car park for going to Red Beach.

We had to walk along a trail for a short way, then we came to this view of Red Beach.

Part of the cliff was collapsing as we walked past! The sand was more chocolate coloured than red.

We bought sandwiches and had drinks made at a caravan stall near the car park, and climbed down to a pebbly beach where we sat for a while.

Driving away from the beach, I saw this cool little house made out of a boat and tree trunk stump!
We considered going to White Beach and some ancient ruins, but decided we'd prefer to just sit on our roof and watch boats again, so headed home!

Saw quite a few post boxes like these!

Back in my happy place! And Greek yogurt in Greece!

In the evening we walked back up to Oia (being passed by the donkeys, who we can hear in our house, as they take people up the hill!) and got some dinner.

As Scott and I stood watching the view from half-way up the path, we solved the mystery of where the donkeys go at night!

Another beautiful evening, looking down from Oia.

The moonlight on the sea was beautiful.

We found a lovely place to eat again, overlooking the sea, and I had gorgeous vegetable soup, lots of bread and spaghetti.

We then headed back for a last evening in our hot tub.

Our lovely little house at night!

...and a visiting cat. End of another perfect day... this really was such a perfect holiday!!
(The patio gets covered in hundreds of woodlice throughout the night, and I would sit out in one of the chairs eating my cheese and ham toastie each morning, wrapped in a big fleece blanket, with my feet up on the wavy wall, while the woodlice all completely disappear again!)

We also got sent this picture from home - the kids and Leah had made themselves a nice Sunday roast!

On Monday 4th May, we packed up, and drove back to the airport. We stopped in Fira on the way, to fill up with petrol. We spent the grand total of 7 Euros on petrol for the whole holiday!
We got to the airport early, so drove to the nearby beach to kill some time. It was really hot! The beach was a bit dirty and neglected looking. We talked about the Greek economy and how countries work in general, then headed back to the airport.
The early afternoon flight home was fine, and we picked up Harry from Meg and Dave's then drove home to the kids. They had all had a good time. Leah hadn't been there for all of it, so I think they felt quite independent and happy.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

My 40th Birthday (2nd May)

On my birthday, we had breakfast at our house (the kitchen had been stocked with bread, ham, cheese, juice and fruit), then went for a walk around the coast. The main path through the village runs through a couple of restaurants. Fishermen bring in fresh fish and octopuses etc, and they're cooked on open stoves in the restaurants.

From this angle, our white hot tub canopy is really conspicuous!

We walked round the headland, and could see the other side of Oia up on the cliffs.

We settled down on the volcanic rocks, and just stayed there for a while enjoying the view.

We then wandered back to Ammoudi, and picked a restaurant to have lunch at. The waiters all just hang out and chat with passers by, and we let ourselves get talking to one, who did his job well, because we had lunch there.

Our seat next to the water (and octopuses)

Scott had chicken and chips, and I went for Octopus and battered courgette! One of the other waiters came up and started chatting - he had seen my camera and wanted to get advice on which camera he should buy.
After the meal we were given a free dessert because I'd said to the first waiter we'd been talking to that it was my birthday.

When we got back to our house there was a lovely bunch of wild flowers tucked in the door handle!
We found out later that John the owner had brought them round for my birthday, and that his little daughters had picked them for me!

We soon got back to our roof top spot! It was so wonderful knowing I could do exactly what I wanted, when I wanted, with no pressure to do anything at all!! It also meant I could totally rest my back.

In the evening we wandered back up to Oia, and explored in the opposite direction from yesterday.

We wandered up and down one of the main streets before choosing where to eat. We had wonderful sea views (you can't see it here), though it was a bit nippy! We both had pasta, which I totally enjoyed.

We then headed to the look out place where people were gathering to view the sunset. There was more cloud around than the night before, and we decided not to worry about staying till the sun set properly, so we continued to wander.

What a lovely way to celebrate becoming 40!

Back in England, there was a Stake Youth Hike, which I was disappointed to miss. I had lots of birthday wishes on Facebook, but my favourite was this video taken by Emma Corre on the hike, of all the youth singing me happy birthday!

video

Tom had gone to his school friend Rowan's house for a birthday party - he had sorted out a lift there for himself.