ananthasubramanian ananthasubramanian

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Ananthasubramanian Narayanan  http://wp.me/p2PcjY-gm

When In Greece... While a lot of things we saw, had and experienced in Greece was nothing short of wonderful, there were few things that didn't leave a good impression with us.
Smoking in public is one of the more difficult things to keep up with in Greece. People smoke anywhere and everywhere. Inside public transport. Inside restaurants. Inside shops. Basically everywhere.

And it is also not possible to find drinking water for free. If you are used to having tap water in your country, you will find it very difficult here. Some of the locals even suggest that the tap water is toxic that it should never be consumed in any manner.
The restaurants don't serve free water and that means you could spend about 2.5€ for a bottle of water only. When we budgeted for food and daily expenses, little did we factor in this expense.
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Remembering the good times! 😊

There is no better time than now to look back at one of the more beautiful memories we created at Oia, as we await our flight journey back to Straya.
Just as sun rises here in Athens today, this sunrise at Santorini on Saturday was an extremely peaceful affair.
I loved the fact that the same island displayed absolute silence at dawn and organised chaos by dusk.
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Day 11 - Our final day in the island.
And we decided to visit the active volcano here.

Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera.
Nea Kameni is a small uninhabited Greek island of volcanic origin located in the Aegean Sea within the flooded Santorini caldera. Nea Kameni and the neighbouring small island Palea (or Palia) Kameni (the new and old burnt islands) have formed over the past two millennia by repeated eruptions of dacite lava and ash.
Major eruptions over the past 300 years took place in 1707–1712, 1866–1870, 1925–1928, and 1939-1941. The last small eruption happened in 1950 and involved lava dome extrusion.

The nearly barren island is visited daily by dozens of tourist boats throughout the summer. Visitors climb a gravel path to reach the top of the 130-meter-high volcanic crater, where it is possible to complete a full circuit of the rim.

Text Source : Wikipedia

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Day 10 - The S-Day.

Walking around Oia peacefully !
Yes that's right. We walked around and watched the sunrise also from Oia. Peacefully. Oia in Santorini gets heavily crowded in evenings that there is heavy rush and queues for photographs as well as for even walking from one spot to another. The sunset definitely lives up to the hype but the crowds are a major killer. The heat is also a lot that it gets difficult to watch the beautiful sunset nicely. Of course, it can't be nice when you don't have space to move, have sweaty clothing and random people asking you to click their photos on their phones. Difficult !
While we did all that, we chose to visit Oia at sunrise. At 5:30 AM, we were the first visitors to the town located at the northern edge of Santorini. For an hour or so, we could click lots of photos without the crowds and also witness a special sunrise over Oia and Caldera.

At around 6.30 AM, we started the 10km hike from Oia to Fira (People usually do Fira to Oia) only to complete it in 4 hours time with lots of timeouts for photos and breakfast included.

Over the past 10 days, we have observed Greece to be wonderful in many ways. The public bus transport is brilliant, especially, in the islands. The islands we visited - Mykonos, Paros and Santorini - had extensive bus services that went well beyond midnight. The bus network is also very good that it reaches out to most of the important tourist spots efficiently.

In This Photo :- The famous blue domes of Santorini.
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Day 8 - Food is a big part of the entire travel experience in a country like Greece. Our dinner last night was candle lit by the beach side at Hibiscus - The oldest traditional Greek restaurant in Paros. They serve some of the most amazing Greek food in the island all baked in the wooden oven even in days of electric oven!
It was even more wonderful after the kind of day we had - an hour long trek along the 1000 year old Byzantine trail, beach hopping from Agia Irini Beach to the one in the heart of the island and hours of sleep to stay away from the sweltering heat.
You would, of course, see many such restaurants around Greece. But last night was still special. We had Baked Feta Cheese, Briam and Vegetarian Mousakka made with cheese and lots of vegetables from tomatoes to egg plant to potatoes.
Along the way till now from Nafplion to Paros, we have been spoilt with some of the best food in the country. Incredibly, almost all of them are not premier, cozy and high class restaurants. They are all small to medium sized restaurants who make specialties in their own style.
We had the best Greek Salad at Plaka Stairs in Athens and at Mykonos at Souvlaki Story. Souvlaki Story also offered us a complete vegetarian platter that had Grilled Vegetables, Baked Potatoes, Grilled Haloumi Cheese and of course, the Souvlaki. That Souvlaki is not the wrap! Souvlaki in Greece comes in sticks as well as in wraps. Different parts of Greece, different styles of Souvlaki.
Greek is a great place to be in - even if you are a vegetarian or a vegan. There is more to their food than just oysters, octopuses, fish and lamb!
There are more stories to tell about the Tzatziki, Bean Soup, Eggplant & Olive Dips, Kataifi and importantly the many Baklavas we have had for a week now! But that's for another day.
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Day 7 - Sunset at Old Port of Naoussa at Paros.The heart of Naousa is this tiny fishing harbor, packed tightly with traditional fishing boats and surrounded by restaurants and cafes. Its almost postcard perfect.

In the evenings the city comes to life after dusk. Despite not having the same level of craziness as Mykonos, this settlement in Paros is awake well beyond midnight.
What we also realised is that the heat is sweltering and can definitely put you down completely. Which is probably one of the reasons why people choose to come out after 8pm !
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Day 6 - Sunrise at Windmills of Kato Mili.
This is the most photographed spot on Mykonos and is also one of the more famous locations in Greece. However, it gets very difficult to get a clean frame without people during sunset. So sunrise was the only option.

Bars and Restaurants in the area clean up only around sunrise. The island is awake all night. But the calmness that the old windmills portray in the mornings with the winds of Mykonos make it a special experience.
The sunsets at Mykonos are equally wonderful. You get to see the sun go down completely and very clearly.
This was the first and last sunrise we witnessed at Mykonos. Until next time, the memories of this sunrise will be cherished. 😊

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