Santorini – Day 5 – Blue Milk

Today was one of those days where nothing particularly interesting happens but which is enjoyable nonetheless or perhaps precisely because of its mundanity. There were no irritations at the beach or perhaps I am finally relaxing. It was hot again today but a light breeze took the edge off. The worst thing that happened this morning was that the orange juice had run out at breakfast.

We went to lunch at Demi’s again because although I was intent on eating another gyros pitta, the place that did what Siggy wanted was too busy and the other place we found didn’t do it. She wanted Greek yoghurt and honey, but ate only about half of it when it arrived. Such are the trials of eating out with your girlfriend. I made do with a bacon and mushroom toasted tortilla wrap which was slightly more healthy than a gyros pitta and quite tasty.

I got through about 300 pages of the Jack Reacher book and managed not to melt. Ingestion of another Snickers ice cream variation, several peach iced teas and a chocolate milkshake helped. The Snickers was a choc ice rather than on a stick or in a cone and was as close to the original bar while still being an ice cream.

I haven’t said much about our hotel so let me do that now. It’s called Aqua Blue and it is only a couple of years old. So everything is in good condition and clean. There are two parts to the hotel one big where the reception and gym is and one small where the restaurant is. Both have appropriately sized pools.

The gym isn’t air conditioned or particularly expansive but as with everything in the hotel the cycle, running machine and weights are all new and there are shower and toilet facilities nearby. There’s also a conference room and a wellness centre but we’ve not ventured that far.

There have been towels out on the sunbeds every time we have walked past the pool for breakfast. Seems like people are getting up at the crack of dawn to secure their spots. There’s a massive beach with sun loungers and umbrellas exclusively for guests a minutes walk away and I know where I’d rather be. The early morning ninjas are welcome to the pool which is overlooked on three sides. There’s an expensive bar near the pool with some seating around it – it’s open until 1am but luckily we are at the far end of the pool and can’t hear any noise at night.

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Our room had a decent sized balcony with deckchairs and two other chairs and a table. It’s not a studio so we have no tea making or kitchenette facilities. In fact there’s not even a proper plug in the bathroom sink so we have to unscrew the cover and plug up the hole with a pair of rolled up ankle socks if we want to wash any of our clothes instead of paying for the laundry service. There is a shaver power point, a phone (?) and a hair dryer in the bathroom and a fridge in one of the bedroom cupboards (which isn’t properly integrated and gets a bit tiresome to open and close given how close the cupboard is to the end of the bed). The fridge is what wakes me up at night. The air con unit, beach towels (swapped every two days) and the safe are included in the price of the room.

The shower is good but of a silly design with an open front which means part of the floor of the room gets wet. There’s the aforementioned sink and the toilet. In terms of storage in our double room there is only just enough space for two people’s belongings for two weeks. There’s no obvious place to store our cases or the extra pillows and bolsters that are on the bed.

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The room is cleaned daily by a friendly cleaner who leaves fresh towels on the bed each day arranged in various shapes. What bugs me the most I think about the room is the lack of a proper sink to wash clothes in – having been self catering for our last eight (I think) holidays in Greece it feels like a come down even though this is probably the most expensive Greek holiday we’ve been on.

The hotel is however very well positioned on the sea front and we have a nice view of the complex, the pool, the beach and the sea. There are lots tavernas and bars to the left and right of us and a general goods store and ATM a few minutes walk away. If you want an upmarket base for a beach holiday in Santorini then I thoroughly recommend it.

In comparison to Tigaki in Kos there appear to be less fat people, less old people and less English people holidaying here. There are a lot more Americans with their loud ways and dubious manners, more millennials saying ‘I’ll get…’ instead of ‘can I have…’, and lots of Japanese or Chinese people wandering around with GoPros, floppy straw hats and hiding under umbrellas.

There’s something about a significant proportion of the clientele that disagrees with me. When we say yassas (a formal hello), kalinychta (good night) or efcharistó (thank you – pronounced ‘eff harry’s toe’) the locals look surprised. It makes me think that they are not used to holidaymakers being polite to them in their own language. It is also evident from conversations I have overheard that a lot of tourists don’t even understand such basics as yammas (cheers) or yassou (informal hello) never mind the rules of when to use the more formal yassas.

I know it’s only day five but it’s time enough for me to form this opinion. Maybe it’s just this resort. Perivolos and Kamari seemed a little more down to earth to be honest. And don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we are here. This is a great hotel and the beach is better than the others. Santorini is a lovely island – the views were spectacular when I looked out of the airplane window as we manoeuvred to land (and as you will see later when we went on a couple more trips out). I’d much rather be here than on a ‘staycation’ or someplace in Greece we’ve already been to.

There’s another eight days yet so plenty of time for my mind to be changed and to finally be served a decent cocktail. However at the moment it’s at the opposite extreme to Halkidiki for me – Halkidiki was like Blackpool in Greece with too much fish and chips and all day breakfasts and zero culture – Perissa is too up its own arse due to the fact that it’s catering to people who are up their own arses.

Says me writing a blog, but I’m not wandering around taking solo selfies of myself, or Facetiming people back home while I’m on the beach or telling everyone loudly about where I’m considering living next year – Vietnam, Spain or Norway, ‘I’ve heard they really really care about people there you know; they like literally care, it’s a whole different culture…’

We went to Charlina Restaurant on the edge of Perivolos for tea. Cheesy garlic bread, pork souvlaki and chicken souvlaki. Seems more like the rustic family run place I am used to while still being typically larger, in terms of number of tables, than those in Kos. It was unpretentious with traditional Greek music. The food was tasty and well presented without too much rice or chips. We also got complementary ouzo and water at the end of the meal. Foul aniseed tasting poison.

 

The sea is a silvery light blue colour like blue milk (See I can get a Star Wars reference in anywhere I want). There’s a weird yellow haze in the sky above the sea near the beach at Perissa which might be exhaust fumes from all the planes. It looks weird. A few minutes later the sea had a pink tint to it.

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There were people rolling past on Segways. I suppressed the urge to shout ‘Segway wanker!’ at them. I spotted the first (and last as it happens) mosquito of the holiday.

Then we walked into Perivolos proper to Jojo cocktail summer bar which has pumping tunes, fancy decor and bloody expensive cocktails at 12 Euro! They were made from fresh but there weren’t any complimentary nuts or crisps! Twelve fucking Euros. I blame Siggy who is easily sucked in by decor. And the beer wasn’t any cheaper – 6 Euro for 500 ml of draught Mythos. Gadzooks! Then when Siggy paid with a 20 Euro note, she only got 5 change, the cheek of it! Won’t be coming here again.

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Perivolos was strangely empty for a Saturday night. Perissa was far busier; it was really rather odd.

Rejected celebrity lookalikes: David Dickinson, Mark Watson and Phil Daniels. All three were ‘Madonna’ (borderline).

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