This is a blog about our holiday to Europe in 2014. We started off our travels in Venice, where we began a cruise of the Adriatic and Aegean seas, ending in Rome. We then travelled from Rome to the Netherlands by rail, stopping in various places along the way. We are: Me - Gill, my husband - Grant, my daughter - Paula; my father - Neil and his partner - Astrid. We are South Africans, from the lovely province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Our friends Lisa and Trevor joined us from the UK for the cruise portion of our holiday.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Santorini Greece

Santorini was a port where we tendered - meaning our ship could not dock right at the pier, so smaller boats picked us up from our ship and brought us to the pier.  Although we had had a similar experience on our previous cruise, in Villefranche, I was still pretty anxious about this as I was concerned about meeting our tour guide on time.  (Give me even the slightest excuse to worry and I will!) As it turned out, we anchored in Santorini at about 7am and we went to get our tender tickets at 07:45, by 08:20 we were climbing into the cable car to get to Fira - so it all went a lot quicker than we had anticipated and there was no cause for concern at all. 

View of the Equinox from the dock at Santorini

We phoned our guide for the day, Patricia of OceanWave Tours (she was absolutely fabulous), and she arranged to meet us earlier, so we could beat the crowds at the various sites.  

It was a short walk to Patricia's vehicle and then we were off.  

Our first stop was at a place with amazing views over the bay and the blue dome that is so well known from photos of Santorini.

Dad and Astrid with the Equinox in the background

Then we headed off to the village of Oia. 

 It's really beautiful in Oia.  We strolled around, dipping into the various shops and taking in the sights.  Lovely.

Patricia then drove us to a quiet beach that has black volcanic sand. 

It was too funny, there was a man in the water who was clearly swimming naked - I'm guessing he thought he would have the place to himself - and as we were leaving an entire family was arriving.... Shame, that didn't work out too well for him then!

We then took a drive to the other end of the island, stopping for more amazing views on the way.  

Our mission on this side of the island was Anna's Food Stall.  This place was just awesome! Anna is so generous and accommodating and the quality of foodstuffs she produces has to be seen (or should that be tasted?!) to be believed. 

She laid out trays of samples for us.... wines, cheese, dips, pastes, pickled vine leaves, olives and sundried tomatoes.  Deeeeelicious!

Then it was off to lunch.  We went to "The Dolphins Fish Tavern"  where we had a lovely meal in the most picturesque setting.  We decided that we would order a few different dishes and share them.  So we started off with plates of cuttlefish, saganaki and the local speciality - tomato balls.  Then for mains we ordered mixed fresh fish, calamari and salad.  The food was really, really good.

Our tables for lunch

Then it was time for the drive back to Fira, where we ambled around for a while before joining the (extremely long and unpleasant) queue for the cable car back down to the port.

Santorini was just too, too beautiful and we had the most lovely day.  This day was voted second favourite day of the holiday (behind Corfu) by the family.  Patricia was an absolutely fantastic guide and I have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone visiting Santorini.

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