We got to the island at two in the morning and spent our first half hour in paradise siting in a small car waiting and wondering where our driver taking us to the hotel had vanished to. Luckily, we were accompanied by a nice Australian couple headed to the same hotel. Together we watched all the cars and people disappear. The ferry departed on it's journey to Athens, and we were left alone, in Santorini at two in the morning.
Finally, mom found our driver at his second job...a car rental shop, and we were soon on our way.
The next morning, we saw the view out our hotel room and realized that Santorini is merely a giant sparsely populated volcanic rock in the middle of the Aegean. We began to wonder if the beautiful Santorini seen in the postcards was a big scam.
The town we are staying in is quiet and has a black sand beach lined with sunbeds and swanky lounges as far as the eye can see. Not too bad for relaxing, but still not the sea cliffs and white houses we had imagined.
We spent the first day swimming and exploring our town. The majority of people are tourists (which is funny, because there aren't that many people here!)
Day two we rented motor scooters and rode all over the island! Finally, all of our hopes and dreams of Santorini had come true.
We rode along the beach, up hills, around cliffs and were stunned at the breathtaking views of the sea and the Greek style houses. We ended our day in Oia, a small city built on cliffs (that looks just like the postcards and what you see in movies) and watched an amazing sunset with about 300 other tourists lining the streets, restaurants and ledges to get a glimpse. Once the sun went down, everyone clapped and it was a mad rush to get out of town.
Mom and I have become quite the socialites on the island. We spent part of the morning sharing stories and talking about traveling with a Swedish couple we met. They invited us to dinner that night, but we already had plans to meet the Aussies for drinks.
At lunch, we met two Americans working in a restaurant for the summer. It turns out they were studying abroad in Athens and just graduated, then decided to spend the summer working on Santorini before traveling for a few months. We shared travel plans and it turns out they will be in Asia the same time as me. They said they were looking for a fourth person to join them and asked if I was interested. Mom said that I could travel with them under one condition, as long as I didn't go to any topless beaches. It took me about two seconds to accept the deal. Hellooo Asia!
Finally, they invited us to a concert with them that night, but we were committed to the Aussies. So many people, so little time!
Our night with the Aussies, Belle and Rich was great! They have been traveling since April all over Western Europe and are headed to Africa from here for another two months. Apparently, in Australia it is really common for young adults to take off an travel for several months. A lot of companies actually give travelers the time off (as is Belle and Rich's case). Wow I really think America needs to take a page from their book!
Our evening was great and we are excited about our new travel friends and everyone else we will meet along the way!