Slept like a log last night maybe thanks to the local brews. Had a very light breakfast of cereal, orange juice and a couple of small cakes (come on, I’m on holiday!).
We were off on a trip to Oai, so it was time to crack out my threadbare ‘1862 Deep Blue’ Primark tee shirt, that’s been on all sorts of day trips around Greece with me over the years, for maybe it’s last hurrah.
Our pick up was ten minutes late which is bang on time by Greek standards. It takes around 40 minutes to get to Oai from Perissa by road – with lots of crazy driving from tourists and locals. It’s especially fun when a coach gets stuck behind a quad bike.
Oai is the Greek town on the hillside that is in all the brochures and indeed was my backdrop at work on Trello loaded from unsplash.com for a few weeks before our time off. I managed to recreate the shot today from a viewpoint on the ruin of the Byzantium castle. The castle ruin is perhaps the least photographed building in Oai as it is the best vantage point to take photos of everything else.
The views across the caldera are some of the best I have ever been lucky enough to see. Like Kefalonia, which I went to years ago, Santorini has always been on my wish list based just on the views I saw today. The annoying tourists and high cost of food and drink, are unfortunately the price you pay for being somewhere that looks this stunning.
There were lots of boutique shops selling high end jewellery, watches etc. (Moncler, Givenchy, Dior, Alexander McQueen, Etro, Versace, Emilio Pucci, Jimmy Choo, Thom Browne, Kenzo…) which would appeal to the people on the tours from the cruise ships that swarmed over the area like proverbial flies around smelly stuff. We saw a Japanese bride and groom in full dress posing in front of the views and lots of different nationalities wandering around the smoothly paved area lined with shop after shop selling every type of souvenir you can think of and much more you wouldn’t want to.
For part of our lunch we had tiramisu, caramel cake and two vanilla milkshakes at a patisserie with brilliant views of the island. Unfortunately we didn’t get the name of the patisserie. Then a little later for the other part we shared a cheese and ham salad baguette which was like brioche from Z’s burger and pizza bar. A bit backwards, but all very tasty.
As you would expect, they weren’t giving it away, for instance the cakes and milkshakes came to just under 30 Euro, which I think was more than we paid for dinner last night. My tip if you’re on a budget is to bring a packed lunch (perhaps bread, cakes and fruit smuggled from the breakfast buffet) or visit one of the supermarkets on the outskirts of Oai.
We wandered back towards our pick up point and met a friendly couple from Indonesia who we helped take a photo of them posing in front of the landscape and who returned the favour. We then had a pit stop for drinks and toilet at Mes Amis a cafe bistro on the edge of Oia staffed by very friendly people.
Then we waited about 25 minutes longer than we wanted for our bus to arrive. When it did, the driver apologised and the source of its lateness was revealed to have been the other passengers on board. We had to bus to ourselves on the way out.
The bus took us back a different way via Vlyhada to drop off the other passengers going on a boat trip. There were lots and lots of boats, an industrial tomato museum and very little else by the looks of it. Little did we know then, but this wasn’t the last time we were going to find ourselves in this neck of the woods.
Once we were back in Perissa, we jollied on down to the beach only to find that there were no spare sun beds in our area. Rather than buy drinks and use a restaurant’s or bar’s loungers, we instead opted to spend time at the hotel’s small pool on the side with the restaurant (as opposed to the main pool). It had a nice feature of an underwater bench built into one end which was perfect for cooling off. Officially it was around 32 degrees Celsius today (although we heard people talking about temperatures in the 40s) with only a small cooling breeze evident around the hotel. Perhaps why the more exposed beach was full today.
We had a very good pizza at Noma. The waiter complemented me on my Jaws tee shirt which had the opposite reaction from Siggy who hates sharks. When she saw it before we went out I thought she was having some kind of heart tremor. Some might say it’s inappropriate wear for a beach holiday, but this is me not caring.
The pizza (half ‘Classica’ with bacon, ham, peppers and mushrooms, and half ‘Puttanesca’ with anchovies, garlic, onion, olives, capers and oregano) was great, the baklava was great and the burgers look… great and properly cooked.
Then we went back to Yazz for a Red Donkey and a White Russian. Hip Hoppy Kick Ass Ale. Proper real ale society stuff – so hoppy it’s off the chart. Salty popcorn. A synth, drums and vocals duo tonight.
We stayed for a bit and then moved on to the more expensive Beach Bar where we listened to a jazz versions of ‘Smack My Bitch Up’, ‘Highway To Hell’, ‘Creep’ and ‘Sweet Dreams’, and had a couple of Mythos Radlers and some very nice chilli crisps.
Celebrity lookalike Claire Sweeney was at the pool today, Albert Einstein strolling past relatively quickly, and Benny Hill who was not being chased for a change.