Monday, July 28, 2008

Hostages in Oia

Day 3 in Santorini was our time to depart the Katikies Hotel and head on to the Canaves. We loved the first hotel so much by now that we waited until the very last minute to leave, reading by the pool until early evening.

When time came to finally depart, the hotel staff asked us about our "onward travel plans" and if they could assist: taxi, boat, plane, whatever. We explained that we would probably be fine under our own power since we were going just to the Canaves up the road. "Oh! In that case let us call them and have them send their bellboys to collect you and your luggage!"

There followed a terse telephone call in Greek, and then two bellboys from the first hotel turning up in the lobby and taking us and our bags to the street. By the time we got there, already there were two smartly dressed figures dressed about ten yards away... waiting. Wendy and I were pointed in their direction, and encouraged to walk with our bags the few steps towards them. Just like a hostage exchange, with orders barked in a foreign language we were passed from the custody of camp Katikies to camp Canaves.

The Canaves folk were very hospitable captors, though. We got a lovely mini-suite setup with (actually rather perilous) a stepladder from the main room to the bedroom above. Again a little balcony, this time looking onto the sea but also the town of Oia clinging to the cliffs. Wendy took this photo of me that evening:

Isaac in Oia

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Greecey Breakfast

We woke up on day 2 of the honeymoon to a wonderful breakfast served on the balcony outside our room. Overlooking the Santorini caldera, and essentially a large mediterranean lagoon, it was a gloriously luxurious start to the day.


After breakfast begun what soon became the pattern of the vacation: reading by the pool, a little swim, a little walk, lunch, a longer walk, another swim, more reading, nap, a quick swim, shower, dinner, quick walk, bed. In that order.

Oh, and then wake up and have a delicious Greecey breakfast looking at the sea.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's a long way to Santorini

It's a long way to Santorini. No, really. According to Google Earth, it's 6,930 miles as the crow flies from San Francisco (SFO) to Thira (JTR). That's one seriously dedicated crow! Somewhat surprisingly, stopping off in London (LHR) and Athens (ATH) takes you a mere 69 miles out of your way, for a total of 6,999 miles (clearly the Greeks and the Romans knew how to position their cities for optimal air travel from the West Coast). But enough said; it took us a while to get there.

On arrival, though, awesomeness. Sunday morning at 7.40am we arrived at the Katikies Hotel in Oia at the north tip of the island. We expected a roll of the eyes and a gruesome wait---after 15 hours of traveling---for a 4pm check-in or whatever. Not so! Sparkling wine, breakfast by the pool, a tour of the hotel, and imminent room-readiness were what in fact greeted us. We couldn't have been happier.

It's quite the place. Santorini rises out of the sea atop 700-foot cliffs, and the towns cling to the edges of the island spilling down said cliffs like a viscous liquid. The Katikies is very much a "spilling down the cliff" hotel, with 95 steps from our room (a little way down the cliff) to the lobby (higher up the cliff) and another 15 steps up to the streets of Oia. Makes for a great infinity pool, though, and some nice photos.

Day 1 we rather just hung around and took it all in. Honeymoon style.