Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I arrived in Santorini via high speed catamaran a few hours ago, and I must say that so far it is living up to my very very high expectations. Just the drive up from the port was breath-taking. This is probably the most beautiful place I've ever visited, and I've only seen about 1% of the island. I can't wait to explore tomorrow. This photo is my first and only photo so far of Santorini. As you can see, it's very windy along the caldera.

I am staying at a family-run villa for $33/night. The room has an ocean view and balcony, two twin beds, a bathroom, A/C, and there's a pool here; you can't beat the price for that! Kosmos, the son, picked me up from the port; gave me detailed instructions; and his mother and sister gave me a ride into town earlier. His mother will also do my laundry for about $6. The villa is about 400 meters from town too, so the location is nice.

Fortunately I woke up to sunny skies this morning and enjoyed a few hours on Paradise Beach in Mykonos before my boat arrived. No nudity or topless women though!! I've not been to a beach or pool yet where more than 5% of the women were topless. I know you all have been wondering....tomorrow I'm visiting Perissa Beach (a.k.a. the black beach). I'll also visit the red beach and maybe the white beach too, so I'll keep you posted on my sightings:) And yes, this is a rough life.

Before coming to Greece, I had eaten a few Greek foods and not enjoyed them at all. The feta cheese here is soooo much better. And baklava is totally different and a thousand times better. The meat, which I thought was disgusting at the Greek restaurant in Macon, is delicious. Everything is so fresh, and it makes such a difference. Tonight I had a Greek salad and saganaki (a hard cheese fried)...and of course, a crepe with Nutella and white chocolate.

Lucky for me, I'm here until Friday. On Friday I take a boat to Athens, spend the night, and catch a 9:00 a.m. flight to Madrid. From Madrid I will take a train or bus to Cordoba (is it worth a stop? Any thoughts?) or Seville. Hope everyone had a lovely three day weekend!

p.s. I'm grateful for Tim Keller. I have so much more free time now to listen to his sermons and soak them in. Every time I listen to one I learn a ton and how to articulate what I believe too.


Michelle said...

You are my idol! This is exactly what I want to do! I'm taking off for Spain in September, I'll be working and living there for a year, and I hope to save up enough money to be able to travel the way you are right now. Any advice?

Have a safe trip! Can't wait to hear about it!

ella said...

There are only so many comments I can leave about how jealous I am of your trip. So nothing to say here.

Praying for your continued safety...

brandy said...

Oh man! I'm so excited right now and it's not even me on the trip! I have a friend who's going to Santorini in June and sent her the link to your post, which just made her more excited, which just made ME more excited (and yet, I'm not going anywhere...). Anyway, she was curious about the name of your villa? Or if there is one that you could recommend? Let me know!

Double-A said...

I'm happy that you're happy!

Ok, not really. I'm still just rotten jealous. :)

Anonymous said...

santorini is my favorite place on earth. i can't wait to go back there next year.

Accidentally Me said...

5% would be good enough for me to strip...:-)

brookem said...

envy! you lucky girl. im so glad you're having such a fabulous time!

Ally said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ally said...

AM: Thank you for making me laugh!

Brandy: My villa is called Villa Romantic (yes, sort of ironic given my solo travels:). Although I like it, I'm not sure I'd recommend it, especially if someone isn't budget traveling. It's a little further than town than I would prefer given that I'm a female traveling alone (maybe half a mile down a road w/o sidewalks and several curves), and the walk home in the dark was a bit scary. Plus I discovered the shower water pressure is barely going to rinse my hair. I would just recommend searching on the internet with a site with customer reviews and looking for a place in FIRA. Unfortunately places aren't quite honest--like my place said it was closer to town than it is. Tell your friend to rent a 4-wheeler (20 euros); I did today and have explored almost every single place I wanted to see. It's been a blast.

Michelle: Where in Spain will you be? You're going to LOVE it! Definitely buy a book like Let's Go, Europe on a Shoestring, or Lonely Planet. I've found that Let's Go suggests more cheap places to stay than Lonely Planet seems to do. I use www.hostelworld.com to book in advance when necessary--holiday weekends, the high season, etc. sort of necessitate reservations a few days in advance, although sometimes hostelworld shows that a hostel is full and it is actually holding rooms for walk-ins.

Another good way to save some money is bring a ton of Luna bars or something like that (peanut butter, which is tough to find here and expensive) that can be a meal substitute--plus they have some protein. The diet in Europe seems so carb-rich (and low in fiber--at least with the way I'm eating:) that I'm constantly hungry.

e.b. said...

Gah. That is the sound of me joking on my jealousy. It looks absolutely marvelous. Enjoy.

Kimberly said...

I never got to go to Cordoba, but I liked Sevilla. I wish I could go with you to Madrid. I used to live very close to El Parque del Retiro when I was there for a semester.

If you get a chance, go to the Reina Sofia museum, you can see Guernica there and it is incredible. I think anywhere you go in Madrid will be awesome.

ruby said...

I am so glad you blog so regularly about your trip, it lets me live vicariously through you. Its sounds amazing! I hope it keeps getting better and better!

brandy said...

Thanks Ally! I will pass the information along!

Nicole Tibbs said...

Hey sweet girl! I am happy to have a moment to sit here and catch up on your worldly travels! I am so very sorry about your loss of the camera. I am glad you got another! I can relate---my watch was stolen the last time I was in the Keys. It stinks and makes you feel so violated! Your trip sounds beautiful and makes me want to see everything, too. It looks like you are getting to see some truly gorgeous sights. I hope you are having fun! I can't wait to talk to you more soon! Love ya, Nicole

Snake Diggity said...

I'm still in Athens, we missed each other by less than 48 hours. Weak. Santorini was nice...the black sand beach was kind of a disappointment to be honest...more like a gravel playground. I stayed at Enigma...probably the best view on the island.

Hope you have fun. Santorini IMO was a total honeymoon place. Mykonons was the party place. I wished I had a girlfriend the whole time I was in Santorini. Regardless of being a sad lonely American, the island was beautiful and a solid experience.

icadle said...

I'm stuck in a classroom studying for this crazy test. Very jealous.

Leslie said...

Allison, I too share your love of Nutella. My friend Tiffany and I ate it during our European adventure.
Your mention of this divine, chocolate and hazelnut concoction made me smile and brought back a wave of wonderful memories!
Are you by any chance stopping in Corfu?

Ally said...

Leslie: Glad to bring back good memories! No Corfu this time; I figured three islands would have to do unless I wanted to be moving every day or two. I guess that leaves me something to look forward to:)

Ivy: It is crazy....but at least it's only two months of hell.

Snake: I'll be in Athens tomorrow night if you're still around. My favorite beach has been Kamari. As for this being a honeymoon spot, I had thought it would be a great place to propose...but I guess that would be totally obvious.

Kimberly: Thank you! I actually will probably only spend a day or so in Madrid since I've been there before--I got to see the gay pride parade, the museums, etc. I didn't realize you lived there an entire semester! That's awesome.

Lpeg said...

So I just checked out your backlogs, and I found your travel section. Santorini... I am green with envy!! That is next on my places to go, and I hope I get to go there soon!

I've gotta go read up on the rest of your travel :)

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