Notes from Santorini

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Here I am, back in the office, hard at work behind my desk, producing another literary masterpiece. It’s a tough life, but I’m prepared to do the hard yards and stick with it. Accolades are not necessary but warmly appreciated.

I also have some good news for you. We now have approx 2307 photos saved onto the iPad! Imagine the fun ‘slide’ nights we’ll be able to have when we return! I just can’t wait. Make sure you keep your diaries free for the next few months.

Santorini has been all we hoped for and more. The beauty and majesty of this island is stunning. It is take your breath away stuff. Cheryl keeps pinching me to make sure she’s not in a dream. She believes that if I yelp, then it must be true. As always, I am glad to be of assistance.

The arrival was somewhat anxious though. We disembarked to be greeted by my personal agent holding up the now familiar ‘Mr Wilson’ sign – I just love it! Our Agent’s name is Efe and pronounced just like the famous Greek Australian we all know, Effie! What’s more, Efe knows of the Aussie Effie and loves her.

Our original plan was to stay at Dana Villas, looked magnificent on the web. They were booked out. Then found Belvedere Suites which looked equally sumptuous. It ticked all the boxes – pool, Caldera View, facing West (for the sunsets) and every room has a balcony.

Having made the booking, I was checking Trip Advisor and found some complaints from former guests who said that NOT every room has a balcony! Aarrgghh! So, emailed them to ensure my wishes would be granted. Did they answer! Nein!

So, I arrived somewhat concerned and anxious. What did Efe greet us with? Belvedere Suites had doubled booked and we’d been moved to another establishment! Aaarrgghh again. She assured me that the new one was just as good, in fact right next door and we would be very happy. Yeah, right.

So, the whole amazing trip up from the port was a blur for me as I conjured up thoughts of the hovel to which we were being driven. Every turn that took us to a back street confirmed my pessimistic view.

Meanwhile C was not at all fazed by this and not worried. Quite happy with Efe’s assurances and thoroughly enjoyed the fantastic and picturesque trip to our accommodation.

Well, you can see from the photos that we have done well. In fact, this place is better than the Belvedere (and they do have rooms with no balconies!) and a rung up the scale! You should check their website, it’s called Homeric Poems: http://www.homericpoems.gr/en/home.html

On our 1st full day we did a tour of the Southern part of the island. It included visiting the highest point, 3 small towns, lunch and then a swim at the ‘Black Beach’ followed by a visit to the island’s wine producer. Hard to take!

The black beach is called that because it is. The sand is black and VERY hot. So hot, you can’t walk on it with bare feet. But the water was great. So were the wines:

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Yesterday we visited Oia, pronounced Eya, like Enya but without the ‘n’. It’s a tiny town on the northern tip of the island and all the tourists flock there. Well, they did yesterday – 5 humungous cruise ships sailed in and every passenger arrived in Oia at the same time as us. Dratted tourists! It’s so much better when they aren’t around.

Oia is where most of the island’s tourists flock to of an evening to watch the magnificent sunsets. When I say ‘most’ I mean all the suckers who don’t have fantastic accommodation like ours with a balcony that faces west. We just sit here with a glass of wine, enjoy the sunset and look at the poor souls further north trying to get a glimpse of it over the shoulder of some tall American who is sensitively blocking their view.

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Quite watchable really.

John has a friend staying here for 4 months and this is her 12th visit to Santorini. So, she acted as our guide yesterday and we ended up seeing sights and eating and drinking at various establishments we would have missed without her help. It was fantastic.

A friend of ours was planning to visit Santorini (she shall remand nameless to protect her reputation). When asked what it was she really wanted to see, she said it was the church with the blue roof. On arrival, she found there are 400 churches, 393 of them have a blue roof! Here’s an example:

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On the way back from Oia we had another Greek bus treat. C and Dennyse decided to stay on for some shopping. John & Heather ran for the bus & hopped on. I had to throw money to C and then run for it as the bus was leaving. I managed to catch the driver’s eye and he opened the rear door for me. Well, it was so packed I had to stand in the foot well.

Then he stopped at several more stops and more people crushed on. It was a cosy trip. Made quite a few new, close friends by the time we’d reached our destination!

Last night we went to a birthday celebration for John’s cousin who lives here and just turned 80. The guests turned out to be a variety of expatriates plus some native Greeks. Had a great time. None of them had heard any of my jokes before! Brilliant to have a fresh audience. When I told them the one about Stavrou the Greek, they all roared and wanted to know how come I knew Greek people so well. Might move here, everyone loves my jokes. They reckon I should be on TV!

Also discovered my Greek name is Demetri! C wants to call me Dim for short. A little unkind of her I think.

Tomorrow off on a boat trip around the volcano on a small, local boat. Not sure whether to be excited or concerned.

A warning: Cheryl is planning to write a blog. I suspect you will find it quite boring and undoubtedly will be defamatory of me. You are welcome to ignore it when/if it comes. She claims to have already written it out (the old fashioned way), but now has to type it. That could take some time!

This may be the last overseas blog (stop cheering), unless something spectacular happens between here and Athens. We fly out on Tues for the long leg home. Arrive back to a Tasmanian winter after this! So better end with a swimming photo:

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I am planning a last blog when home detailing Jim’s top tips for travellers. I know you will be waiting with bated breath.

Ya sas

Jim

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10 Responses to Notes from Santorini

  1. No need to travel, Jim. As I write there is someone water skiing at Kingston Beach, just like they do in the Med. Mind you, the temperature is 11C, so he may be frozen to his skis. You’ll be able to try it when you get home.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      I’ve just been reading the weather report and warnings for Tassie for the coming week. I think I’ll wait about 6 months before entering the water again!

      Better get in a last few swims here before we leave.

  2. Gail Foster says:

    Hi Jim (or Dim)
    Your blog has been anything but dim! – very informative and entertaining! Santorini looks absolutely stunning!
    I am waiting for your blog Cheryl! How was Santorini shopping?
    Hope you have a great trip home!
    I need those travellers tips Jim!
    See you soon!
    Love Gail

    • Jim Wilson says:

      C says Santorini shopping expensive, but great to look at all the little shops.

      Good of you to follow C’s example with my new nickname! At least you are appreciating the blogs. C’s will be boring, I wouldn’t read it if I were you….

      And, yes, Santorini is stunning.

  3. BILL PERRY says:

    Kalamera Dimitri! – I laughed about your captive Greek audience, none of whom had heard your jokes before. – Unlike the rest of us. (Sure it’s the way ya tell ’em).
    I wish you and Cheryl a safe trip home. I’m sooooooo jealous! That pool looked something!

    • Jim Wilson says:

      They want me to stay and tell them more Bill. But I said no, my fans await at home! Jealousy is an appropriate reaction by the way!

  4. Lynne says:

    Dear Dim and Cheryl
    it just gets better and better!! My fav photo is the sunset with RED flowers! Just sensational! Wow it looks good! Enjoy the last few days – travel well! We have a detox unit waiting and an on-site dentist for C. Also snow on the mtn, chilly mornings and a cinema for 24 hour slide show!!

    • Jim Wilson says:

      We are going to need that detox unit Lynne. A last day of swimming today and beer plus wine on the balcony. C is refusing to move!

  5. Helen O'Loughlin says:

    Hi C & Dim,
    I am soo pleased that you have raved about the Greek Islands as I have always wanted to visit there & Tim hasn’t really shared my enthusiasm but I think now he can see why!
    It certainly looks spectacular!
    We will miss you colourful blogs, you do have a bit of a gift there Jim!
    Looking forward to C’s take on the trip!
    Helen

    • Jim Wilson says:

      It’s a great place Helen, you need to come. Any self respecting RMM, especially one who is also a Pirate Cap’n (arr), would definitely take his cabin boy there!

      I’ve enjoyed blogging. Even when some self-revelation means unkind people start calling me Dim!

      Not sure a blog by C is a good idea….

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