Thursday, May 31, 2007
Yesterday morning I woke up early and set out to find some breakfast. While I ate a (really thick and sort of sour) yogurt with honey and walnuts I realized how much more of the island I could see if I just sucked it up and rented a scooter and ignored my fears about insurance, liability, and a bunch of other legal/financial stuff that I have a hard time forgetting about. I guess it's a side effect of doing insurance defense work and actually reading contracts. I ended up renting a 4-wheeler for 24 hours since I've driven them plenty of times, and the guy said they were safer (and more expensive, of course:).
One thing I didn't think about is how cold I'd be zipping around on the 4-wheeler. Thankfully I had a long-sleeve shirt with me, but I was too lazy to go back to my villa and change out my skirt for jeans. First I went to Perissa, which has black sand (not rocks--actual sand). It was neat to see the complete opposite of the beaches I'm used to, but unfortunately it was too windy and cold for me to lay out. Then I drove for a while to check out the red beach in Akotori. The views of the red beach were gorgeous, but it was still too chilly to lay out and I didn't really want to make the steep and rocky climb in my flip flops. So I set out for Kamari, which is the most resort like area of Santorini. I loved Kamari. There are tons of restaurants and shops on the beach, and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch of pizza with some of the best homemade crust I've ever eaten. The laid out on the black (back to pebbles though) beach for a while, and when I got up I noticed the side effect of laying on pebbles--it makes you look like you're covered in cellulite. While I was in Kamari, I made my first purchases of the entire trip that didn't constitute food, accommodations, or postcards (except for my camera). The jewelery here is very pretty, and I love picking up birthday gifts in neat places.
After the beach I realized I probably smelled (at least I'm fitting in, right?), but as I drove, I realized I was on the road to Oia, which is famous for its sunset. So I forged ahead, but unfortunately I didn't realize how steep the drive to Oia was. The cliffs were steep; the curves had no guardrails; I had to share the road at times with huge tour buses; and I was really afraid (and freezing). It was so windy I thought I might just be blown off! Once I got to Oia I wondered around for a bit, had the best (and cheapest at about $2.25) gyro I've ever had, and decided to skip the sunset and head back while it was still daylight. At least on the way back I was on the interior and not the edge of the cliff.
Since I forgot to bring an extra pack of Trinessa, I checked out the pharmacy here and was amazed by the cheap prices and helpful pharmacists. I got a pack of Yasmin for about $9 (compared to over $30 in the U.S.). I bought some Zyrtec for less than 1/6 the price in the United States and got some cream for my skin that we can't get in the United States. While gas may be super expensive here, medication is not and I am taking full advantage.
Other random thoughts:
I'm not sure I'd ever grow accustomed to putting my toilet paper in a trashcan.
Being in Greece makes me feel almost hairless in comparison:)
There are some very good looking men here, but I sort of get the impression they know it.
The men can be very persistent.
Everyone here seems to be incredibly tourist-geared. Shopkeepers and restaurant owners will stop you as you walk by and ask if you need directions, etc.
Tomorrow I have about a 4 or 5 hour boat ride to Piraeus, the port in Athens. Although the rides are a bit of a drag and time suck, they're a good time to read, journal, and sit still (as if I have a choice). Have a super day!
p.s. I am grateful for the ease with which I was able to get the medication I forgot.