Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oia, Santorini: Greece Pics III

While I'm recovering from a late night at the Taking Flight launch, here are some more Greece pictures to keep you busy!

Phil and I flew from Athens to Santorini, a popular, touristy island, southwest of Athens in the Aegean Sea.

Like much of Greece, we didn't really know what to expect. We knew Santorini had nice beaches, was mountainous and pretty. People online had recommended staying in Oia, supposedly the prettiest town on the island. We hadn't planned much, just figured we'd spend a few days relaxing, eating seafood, and touring the small island.

We took a taxi from the airport to Oia, and as it swung around all these mountain passes, with the sea sparkling below, my smile grew bigger and bigger.

Not much to say about Oia, just some absolutely lovely pictures. It might be the most beautiful place I've ever been.

The view from above one of Oia's numerous churches:

Not only were the buildings picturesque, they contained hundreds of lovely shops. This one was my favorite (for obvious reasons!):

The owner has to be not only a complete book snob (the books were in a variety of languages, French, English, Greek, and so much great literature, Dostoevsky, Walt Whitman, Philip Roth, Stephenie Meyer!) but also an artist. The books were arranged so beautifully. My favorite was a Spanish edition of Hemingway displayed beside a worn bottle of gin. Wooden slabs of wood at various angles had been made into shelves and bookends.

At first Phil and I joked about buying property in Oia. Then we noticed dozens of old, ruined buildings along the hillside. Perfect! Course, even if the property was cheap (which I'm sure it's not!), it's ancient, and you'd have to pay builders a lot of money to transport materials and crawl around the hills. Still, it's an investment property, right? Here's me checking out one possibility:

Traditionally the people in Oia lived in caves. Some of them are now very expensive hotels. Here's a glimpse of some of the caves overlooking the view:

The first full day we were there, our hotel owner insisted we walk down the hillside to Amoudi Bay for freshly caught seafood for lunch:

Don't you love how the water changes color depending on your angle, the sun, the rocks, and the depth? Beautiful!

The view from our table (it was a windy day--notice the flag--so we ate a bit further in):

Donkeys carried tourists down (and more importantly, up!) the hillside to Armeni Bay.

We bumped into the donkeys one evening, and were absolutely delighted to see they had a wannabe following on their trail. The perfect picture book, one of the other tourists said to me, and I have to agree. Who wants to write it?

This is me feeling all my problems whisking off my shoulders:

Hopefully this gives you a bit of a holiday yourself in the middle of the week! I've got many many more Santorini pictures to share next week.


  1. Ah, lovely. I've been to Oia and it's just stunning :)

  2. Oh, Anne, these are wonderful! I feel like I'm on holiday with you! You're right about the thalassa, the sea--it's the most breathtaking color--colors, really-- I've ever seen.

  3. GF: Almost disappointing putting up the pictures, they just don't compare to the real thing! Glad you've had the chance to discover it yourself!

    Kelly: Thanks!

    Andrea: Me, too, Andrea, posting these really has been like reliving my holiday! So glad to share them with you! Yes, I really could stare at that sea all day.

  4. So gorgeous. Love the pic with the bells facing the sea. I want to be there! :)

  5. The water is so blue! Reminds me of Hawaii, where you wonder if the water really can be that color but yes it is. So glad you got some time away.

  6. Karen: Perhaps it's a little mean posting these?! ;) Yeah, the bell picture turned out gorgeous. I feel in love with all those little, picturesque Greek churches.

    Alicia: Yes, it's hard to believe it's not photo-shopped until you see water like that for real. That peaceful, easy-going picture at the end only lasted for about another four days, but it was great while it lasted! =)

  7. How lovely!!! I have always wanted to visit. Did it smell good? As crazy as that seems, I love island smells. Or at least some of them. Some smell like. . . fish. (Or as my husband says, "Money.")

  8. Bridgette: That's funny. Usually I'm obsessed with how places smell, but I have to say I didn't notice a scent with Oia. Maybe money! =) It did definitely smell like fish down by the piers, though. I hope you have the chance to go sometime and find out for yourself!

  9. is this the place from the sisterhood of the traveling pants!? it brings back so many memories! :)

  10. I'm not sure, Anonymous! I kept wondering the same thing while I was there, because there IS a caldera in Traveling Pants, but I thought it was on a non-touristy island... But maybe it is. I don't remember if it's named in the books or not.


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