Santorini – Day 2 – Mind your razor

Breakfast was the usual mix of mild rudeness from fellow hotel guests and novelty of the foodstuffs available. Bottlenecks inevitably formed at the drinks and toast machine. I passed on a cooked breakfast instead opting for cereal and a bowl of fruit. I ignored the Greek yoghurt as it tends to give me stomach cramps. Talking of which we seem to have avoided any problems vis a vis last nights pink burger.

Towels were already on pretty much all the sun loungers around the pool giving us little option but to go to the beach and the dreaded ‘black’ volcanic sand.

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The sand is a bit like poppy seeds and easy enough to brush off your feet, but gets red hot in the sun by midday. The wind varies from a welcome respite from the heat to a major pain as everything needs to be weighted down and the beach towel pegs we bought from Kardemena in Kos last year come in very handy.

We had a little wander around the back streets. Popped into a bakery for a small tasty triangular vanilla donut each which I could’ve washed down with a chocolate milkshake that I bought from a supermarket if I hadn’t already chugged it down. They call them supermarkets but they’re what I’d called ‘mini markets’ – a bit like a Spar shop.

There’s a lot of low houses with arched roofs and dusty car parks away from the beach. A big church with a fancy blue and white bell tower and the usual unphotogenic power lines and skip-sized wheeled bins which tend to creep into my shots and make me wonder if I can use the clone stamp tool in Photoshop. The Church of Timios Stavros isn’t open to visitors during the day – rumour has it that it is open in the evenings and we heard the bells ringing on one occasion so I guess there are services sometimes.

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We went to Demi’s Bistro for lunch – a fruit salad and a Greek salad. Demi’s is on a tee junction near the church with the big mountain side rearing up in the background. The young Greek chap serving us had a very friendly manner and a huge quiff that would make Morrissey jealous.

There’s a leather goods shop, a quad bike hire shop, a gyros pita place and a tour shop nearby. Quad bikes (piloted by boy-racer baboon-like buffoons with selfie-stick wielding scantily clad female passengers – who would need a serious amount of skin grafts if they were to fall off -hanging on for dear life) and motorbikes blat and fart past. Coaches and delivery trucks growl annoyingly, but it’s an otherwise fairly laid back spot away from the money grabbing on the beach front. Capers on the salad are a nice touch.

Then it’s back onto the beach and I continue reading I See You by Claire Mackintosh that I started on the aeroplane. It’s not my usual cup of tea but I thought I’d give it a go for a change and that I could then pass it on to Siggy. All the books I have read this holiday are covered by a separate post here.

A thirsty golden retriever joined us in the shade of our beach umbrella for a while this afternoon and some people next to us poured it some water into a pot they had emptied of sand (put out to collect cigarette ends – there seemed plenty on the sand despite of this). The dog lapped the water up enthusiastically and then had a bit of a rest before trying to get the ball off a couple of irritating Italian looking men who were playing with bats and a ball in a kind of Wimbledon themed testosterone pissing contest. What’s more annoying than a ticking clock? Come to Perissa beach and find out.

Siggy then announced she wanted to go to the gym. She had warned me that the hotel has a gym and I even packed my kit. Whether it gets used I’m not sure yet. I am as overweight as when I came back from Kos after two weeks pigging out and drinking, so maybe I should give the gym a visit.

We had cheap cocktails at Dorians again – Around the World and Mind Your Razor which was made with kahlua, vodka and club soda. I still suspect they have a fridge full of bottles of premixed cocktails around the back, but they taste nice and the price is nice too.

Then we went to Hellas Taverna just down the road from Dorians as you head back towards the beach. We had a Santorini favourite – tomato fritters, moussaka and chicken souvlaki.

The fritters were a bit like onion bhajis but not that greasy and obviously made with tomatoes and only a little onion. Chopped parsley accompanied them nicely.

We had only just finished when the mains arrived most unusual for a Greek restaurant. The meal is quite basic but the chips are tasty and the chicken was better cooked than the over priced burger last night which, having seen the prices away from the beach today, I realise was priced at least 5 Euro too much. Siggy enjoyed her moussaka which came hot in a pot and without too much of a béchamel topping.

Hunger Games was on the big television in the side room with the sound off and Greek captions.

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Then we went to Bob’s Bar back up the road away from the beach and slightly more expensive than Dorians (which is more or less diagonally opposite). It cost 6 Euro each for Siggy’s White Russian and my weak tasting Long Island Ice Tea. The music included a reggae version of Aha’s ‘Take On Me’, Hall and Oates’s ‘Maneater’, and John Lennon’s ‘Woman’ all of which I hope I never hear again.

Then we went on to the Lazy Lizard Music Bar an English owned establishment back down the road towards the beach. The road is imaginatively called Main Street. I just had a beer and Siggy had a Creamy Lizard (baileys, Kahlua banana liqueur and milk) in a margarita glass. The beer was flat and there wasn’t much of an atmosphere. The flyers for the bar made a point of stating that although it was called a music bar there was no live music playing.

The Main Street seemed like an enclave of everyday people separate from the pretentious snobbishness on the beachfront. The woman at the bar advised us against going to see the sunset at Oai and to go to Fira (Thira) instead and just go to Oai for the day. We took her advice on board and in retrospect it was very good advice. In Fira you see the same sunset but with less people crowding around you.

The subject of ‘who did this tune?’ tonight wasn’t even playing but we questioned the name of the song Phil Collins and Phil Oates did together after hearing ‘Maneater’. It was ‘Easy Lover’ and we didn’t need to Google it. We agreed that covers better than the originals are ‘Don’t leave me this way’, ‘Tainted Love’, ‘Torn’ and ‘Ray of Light’.

We walked all the way down Main Street towards the beach and found ourselves back where we were at lunchtime. Pavements are scarce and the traffic is typically mad, so be careful.

We had a nose around the tavernas at the end of the beach road and witnessed a stand up shouty argument complete with in your face hand gestures between two local looking chaps – lots of men from the neighbouring bars and restaurants ran out as if to join in and it looked like there was going to be a big scrap but it quickly subsided and by the time we had found the end of the beach road, turned around and walked back, it was as if nothing quite so dramatic had happened.

We clocked our first (borderline) celebrity lookalike in the form of Hulk Hogan.

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