28 July 2013


Santorini & Paros, the two islands we visited, are part of the Cyclades group of islands. In the map above, Santorini is at the very bottom and Paros is smack in the middle. Ok, now that we're all on the same page... Paros.

A three-hour ferry ride from Santorini brought us to Paros. It's less touristy than Santorini which means it's cheaper. That was a welcomed change! It was beautiful, but in a different way than the cliff-towns of Santorini. Paros had mountains but a lot more beaches. The beaches were fantastic! Everyone advised that the best way to see the island was by scooter. Obviously, we were too scared and didn't want to ride two to a scooter so we rented a dune buggy that looked like a go-kart / golf-cart hybrid.

It didn't go more than 35 miles an hour, but we rode around the entire island in about 6 hours. We got lost a few times and made a few stops along the way in the ports and beach clubs. The best stop was Santa Maria on the northern part of the island. I could have spent another five days or forever sitting on that beach.

This port, Pisso Livadi, was on the southeastern part of the island. It was a beautiful spot but I think Natalie and I were arguing about something while we were there, so I didn't enjoy it as much. Word to the wise: the shorter an argument can be, the better. Luckily ours didn't last longer than a few minutes and she was the best travel buddy I could ask for!

On our last day, Natalie and I went to the "Butterfly Valley". I wasn't expecting thousands of monarchs or anything but the butterflies were more like moths. It was still really cool, but a little underwhelming. 

We had dinner on the beach on our last night in Paros. It was such a special dinner! The next day was the roughest of our trip. We took a ferry back to Athens, waited in the airport for several hours and flew to Milan. We arrived a few minutes after midnight and wanted to catch an early train, so we slept in the Milan airport and took a 5:30 train to Milan Centrale.

24 July 2013


Hello beauts. The trip is over. Natalie and I finished an amazing twelve-day trip with practically zero mistakes. Other than that train incident in Cinque Terre. I wish I would've written more while we were traveling, but wi-fi was spotty and I wanted to enjoy every moment instead of staring at my iPad.

Arriving in Santorini after almost 20 bours of traveling was amazing. We booked our hotel, Dina's Place, through Hostelworld and were thrilled with it. The staff was so helpful and the location couldn't have been better for the price of about 30Euros each per night! The ferry docked in the port of Athinios and we stayed in Fira Town, the biggest town in Santorini where cruise ships docks. It was just as beautiful as one could imagine; an entire city built on a cliff. My jaw dropped every time we saw the view.

The public transportation on Santorini consists of charter buses for 1.60 a trip. Our hotel was about a minute walk from the bus station, so we took advantage of that on our trips to Perivolos and Oia.

Perivolos: Here's the thing about black sand beaches: The sand gets really hot. Like, wear your Chaco's while you're tanning because they'll get too hot hot. It was a pretty cool place though. We got off the bus with black beaches filled with lounge chairs and umbrellas to our left. The right side of the street featured restaurant after bar after restaurant with overly-zealous hosts requesting our attendance. We settled on a place called Rivas. It offered a pool behind the bar along with great beach chairs. It was a great afternoon! On the way back to Fira, the bus stopped in Perissa. It looked like a really awesome beachside town as well, but we wanted to get back to catch the sunset in Oia.

Oia: it's known for one of the most famous sunsets in the world. While Fira is the more touristy of the two large towns, Oia wins on sophistication with the fancy hotels and restaurants because who wants to be in crowded streets with cruisers? Anyway, Oia was amazing. It looks just like the pictures, except its hard for the brain to comprehend that it really is that beautiful. Natalie and I bought some amazing souvenirs including a handwoven rug for myself and crystal necklaces from a clairvoyant woman. It was awesome. Over an hour before the sun was suppose to set, we went to a restaurant to get a good view called Sunsets. The food was mediocre but the scenery made up for it. About 20 minutes before the sun hit the water, dozens of people gathered in the small streets to watch. You would've thought it was a concert or something. At least 30 people came up to the restaurant and asked for a table to no avail. Glad we got there early. With necklaces and rugs in tow, we headed back to Rita's Place to continue reading Scar Tissue. The next day, we were off to Paros!

02 July 2013

The Hardest Part is Getting There.

The packing, the checking, double checking, security, delayed flights. connecting flights, crying babies, hungry belly, smelly passengers...

But then, after a relatively sleepless night in a suburban Athens apartment, my sister and I find ourselves on a Blue Star Ferry out of the Piraeus port headed towards Santorini. 

All the weeks of planning and stressing are over and ya know what?

It was all definitely, absolutely, positively, without a doubt... worth it.