Hello, Goodbye Santorini

August 13, 2007


Sweat tricked down my brow as I exited another ferry into the heat, even though it was 4:00 A.M.. Still
we were overjoyed to be back “home” in Santorini as we had wonderful memories of our month here and missed our little RV home. Hotels are fun, but it is nicer not to have to pack and unpack every time we move. We are glad that we get to mix some RV time and some hotel time, not to mention all the ferry cabins and other modes, that spice up our journey.

We knew it was going to be different when we got back, because it had been very quiet and uncrowded when we were there and now it was high season, but we were unprepared for how very different it would be. First, there was the oppressive heat, as it had always been pleasant in the shade or evening with ever present breezes, but apparently an unusual heat wave was impacting here like much of southern Europe.

I left Spain to escape its hot summers, so who knew I would not escape anything with our dilly dally-ing ways? Many a time I have longed for our nice cool Santa Cruz summers where there is lots of sunshine without excessive heat. I am not one who likes heat at all, still I have managed better than I ever would have expected.

We were shocked when we saw our campsite as I don’t think we would have recognized it if our motorhome was not there. We had been invaded by an army of French high school students and there messy stuff strewn all about as they were just sleeping on cement day and night. The campground, washrooms, and pool were over flowing now and the silence and privacy was long gone.

There were several of these large groups of kids and when they got in the lovely pool, where we had had so much fun in the past, they would fill it up entirely with only inches to spare between each loud and boisterous, dunking kid. Instead of our nice leisurely breakfast that we treated ourselves to from time to time at the restaurant nearby, there was a massive line up and no time for personal relationships with the bartender or waitress who were always working hard now.

Some kid or camper had unplugged our electricity so that they could recharge their cell phone and left it undone, so we lost everything in our refrigerator and it stunk to high heaven. Most of it was irreplaceable things like a special pancake mix and maple syrup from home for breakfasts that one can not get in Europe.

Yep, time to go! We had not planned on staying as we knew it would be different, but after seeing it we were glad that we had already planned our quick departure. It was good to see the people we knew and we met a very interesting and sweet young man from China (who was a double masters degree student in Paris) who was working there now and camped close to us.

Everything has its season and some things are learned the hard way, so we learned some lessons for next time we leave the RV, still we felt this had been the best way to go. I would not camp later than June again, as Santorini loses much of its appeal when the summer crowds and heat takes over.
Compare photos!

That said, luckily we had a perfect, blissful  exit dinner with that no-place-else-on-earth spectacular view, which reminded us again how much we love Santorini. The weather had cooled down and we decided to stop at the Mexican restaurant on the way to the port.

I know Mexican food sounds weird in Santorini and we do love Greek food, but frankly at this point we were hankering for some really good Mexican food as it is one of the staples of life when you live in California. We had not been even able to find some tortillas or avocados easily lately which is something that helps us go without Mexican restaurants. I did not really expect much from Zorba’s Mexican restaurant, but thought it could not be too bad and worth the risk.

It was fantastic and I wish we had gone earlier and more often as this level of Mexican food is just not found in Europe. The only bad thing is it was quite expensive compared to home where Mexican food is super cheap. I suppose they have to import everything.

The owners are an American woman from Colorado and her Greek husband who also lived in Denver area for a while and they know their Mexican food and it was scrumptious. They were charming people and we were early, so it was not crowded and we got time to talk with them and enjoy the spectacular view, that I had not been aware was there. What a perfect place for a send off dinner and our mouths still water at the thought!

We had stopped at Mozart’s favorite toy store on the way out and she got a little Playmobile thing that she had been lusting over for ages. So she played with that and sipped her juice as we enjoyed our last gorgeous volcano caldera sunset and I sipped my last glass of Santorini wine (until we open the bottle we bought at the winery). We savored every bite of the melt-in-your-mouth great food, the magical sunset and the soothing sea breezes.

We still had to go down the world’s scariest road, so DaVinci did not dare take even a sip, as I was already nervous enough about that, tho also glad it would be our last time down it as it was my least favorite thing in Santorini. Luckily it was not too bad, as again we timed it well and went down early for our ferry, between the rush of traffic when they come and go.

There was a little party going on at the church near where you turn to go down that road and it made me smile with another fond remembrance of this island. We lined up with the trucks and vehicles going on the ferry to Patras and watched the sun continue to fall and all the action of the port as the ferries arrived and departed day and night. Finally it was our turn and we said good bye to our sweet Santorini!













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