Okay, my post yesterday was a bit sickeningly sentimental, wasn't it? It's okay, you can tell me. Working two days in Birmingham and staying in a Premier Inn after having spent 10 days tripping around the most beautiful islands in Greece will do that to a girl! I'll try and be a bit less OTT today!
Fira was the closest 'town' to our little hotel so we spent the vast majority of our evenings tripping around there. Honestly, the first evening I arrived, I was like a kid in a candy shop. It's a photographer's dream (I'm not claiming I'm a photographer, as I'm an iPhone 6 point-and-click kind of person, but still) - everywhere you look is another stunning view.
From the shaded, winding lanes to the open view across the harbour and the sea, to the cliffside with its cable cars, dotted with white houses - everything is the most beautiful sea of white and blue, stretching out into the sky.
I'm not doing so well on not being sickly, am I?
We sampled quite a few restaurants during our stay. Niki's, on the clifftops, is well worth a visit - I had lamb and it was delicious. However, my favourite was probably Rastoni.
I mean - just look at this view! We sat and watched the sunset with our drinks - I had a glass of wine and Ian had...
A strawberry milkshake. Height of sophistication, as ever!
On the Thursday, we took a boat trip to the volcano. Santorini was once part of a much bigger island which was blown apart by a huge volcanic eruption (the 'Santorini eruption') in the mid-second millennium BCE. One of the largest eruptions in the history of the Earth, which devastated the entire civilisation and caused a drop in temperature over the entire world, I was a little nervous to go and stand on the active volcano site - but we were promised it was safe!
Getting down to the harbour involves walking down about one zillion steps in the heat. Some people chose to ride the cable car down - others chose donkeys!
I couldn't bring myself to ride on one of these little guys, so I just hobbled down slowly. We got the cable car back up though (thank god).
At the bottom we boarded what looked to me like a giant pirate ship!
It was only about a 15-20 minute hop across to the volcano - not even long enough for Ian and I to get seasick. Once there, we hiked (well - hobbled, in my case) up to the three volcano sites - two inactive calderas and finally the active one.
The main difference was that the active one smelt strongly of sulphur!
Afterwards, we went round to the side of the island where there are some hot springs. Ian had a cold and wasn't sure he wanted to go, but I was feeling adventurous, so I leapt in, and that made him decide to come too!
We swam out from the cold sea into the warm, sunny hot springs. The sulphur immediately ruined my swimming costume, but I didn't care. It was so much fun basking there! (Although when you put your feet down it was a LOT like swimming in slime). I couldn't recommend it more - we took the cheapest trip, for just 20 euros, and it was probably one of my favourite days of the holiday.
But just in general, put Fira on your list of travel destinations. I loved it even more than Oia - I wish I was there now...okay, time to go before all the dreamy talk starts again!
Oia - and a very nice wedding - tomorrow!