After spending a few days in Athens, we decided we’d hit the seas and head to an island for a day. We took a ferry to the Greek island of Santorini (not JUST because it’s where the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Greece scenes were filmed…) but because we were itching to see beaches studded with blue-domed white buildings.
We debated whether or not we should spend money on a hotel at all or if we should just sleep on the beach, but with a fair warning from Ryan’s dad, we decided to book a hotel. Luckily it was really cheap, and when we arrived at the port, the hotel owners were there to drive us up the cliff side to the hotel. Since it wasn’t tourist season, the island felt kind of deserted at times, but that made our bus rides more bareable. Our first order of business was to make our way out to the Black Beach, where the entire shore is made up of dark rocks instead of sand.
We took a few pictures and then sat to enjoy the sight for a while, then we headed back up the hill to catch the bus back to the main town of Fira, where our hotel was. We’d hoped to fit in a few more sight seeing things that afternoon, but the bus schedules were not easy to figure out and we somehow missed the first bus back. Greek time in general is not strict, as you can imagine, so we waited for over an hour on the next bus.
We finally caught the bus back just in time to not be able to go anywhere else on the island that night, so we decided to get up really early in the morning to try and make it out to Oia, a northern area of the island.
After yet another bus mishap, we hitch hiked into the city center with a man who didn’t speak English and then took a cheap taxi to the northern end of the island. This was the piece of the island we were ecstatic to see because it was the exact area of the island where the scenes in the movie were shot. White houses were embedded into the water-facing cliff side of the island, one blue dome a few yards away from the next. The water was more blue than we’d ever seen before.
Oia is definitely one of the most beautiful places we’ve been over the last three months, and even though it was Amanda who originally wanted to see this island most, it was Rachel who was utterly excited in Oia. She’d been waiting to see donkeys that you can ride up the mountain, but we hadn’t seen a single one so far and it was almost time to head back to Athens. But in Oia, as we walked the winding stone roads, we heard the jingling of chains and the clomping of hooves, and we all looked at each other as if to ask, “Can it be!?” Rachel’s face lit up, and she took off running down the stairs, but she didn’t make it all the way down before she slipped and fell, her legs sprawled out on either side of her. She was fine, and Amanda and I had a good laugh, but I’ll never forget the time Rachel (the least clumsy one of us all) was so excited about seeing donkeys that she slipped down the stairs running after them. We didn’t get to ride the donkeys because we had to catch our ferry back to the mainland, but at least we got to see them up close and personal.
By some miracle I caught this moment before she got up.
Notice Rachel’s head in the next pictures.