I travelled to one of the most beautiful places in the world alone. All I knew about Santorini Greece was the honey taste of baklava from a kindergarten cooking lesson, my utter love of Greek salad, and the royal sea blue domes from my Pinterest board. Still, it was enough for me to venture alone on my first solo international trip. Upon arrival, the airport has a small-town feel. As you drive up the cliffs to the town of Fira, Santorini’s capital, it’s hills bring you to modest hotel gates. The Chromata, where I stayed, much like most of the hotels there, isn’t truly seen, until you walk through the entry and look downwards, at the city cascading into the cliffs. I was surrounded by painted white buildings with picture perfect blue roofs, atop of a jaw dropping infinity pool.
Although Santorini is a popular destination, there are so many parts of it that still look untouched. I hiked seven miles along the path from Fira to Oia, practically the only one on the trail. I was heading to visit Kirini, the Chromata’s sister hotel known for its spa. It’s a free ten-minute drive, but I wanted to take in the landscape. There’s only one path to get there, bathed in wild flowers resembling a yellow brick road.
Oia had slightly more color, windmills and Amouddi Bay, which was my first stop in town. I heard Amouddi Bay was a must-see area, and apparently others thought so too because Oia had more tourists than Fira. I was asked if I wanted to take a taxi to the bay, and by taxi they meant donkey. I opted out of the taxi, continuing my hike to the bottom, but I did take a picture with the donkey. The path’s cliffside walls had now changed to a volcanic red hue, dipping into the end of the turquoise sea. At the mouth of the bay, there’s a small restaurant on the pier’s edge Dimitri’s Ammoudi Taverna. The fish are caught right in front of you, and thrown onto the slip next door.
Even though I came by myself, I didn’t dine alone. A friendly stray cat wanted some of my grilled lobster. I couldn’t blame him. It was delicious, besides, I think he noticed I needed a friend, and so did the owner, Joy. She made me feel right at home telling me stories about the island and how her and her husband Dimitri started the restaurant years ago. She came to the island on vacation, and well, she never left. There is something romantic about the sunsets on that bay, that make want to stay forever.
From there I headed to the spa, which had white caved pools, steam rooms and massage rooms that were perfect. I finished the night looking over royal blue domes, white buildings eating baklava and Greek salad. It tasted better there, it just did.
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