2.03pm (Brisbane); 7.03am (Santorini)
Today is Mum and Dad's 25th wedding anniversary. As such, when we were picking earrings out in Fira for Beth's 18th birthday (two days away), Dad saw this beautiful three-tone gold ring in the shape of their wedding bands. Their wedding bands are rather special because, firstly, Dad had to buy them twice (he got cold feet and Mum sold the rings and then they were going to get married again), and secondly, they come too close in a v-shape; there is a beginning and an end on these rings.
Beth, for her birthday, got some gold “key of life” design earrings. They too are very pretty and I'm feeling slightly left out because I have no Santorini gold. (I do have a charm though.)
That was yesterday's shopping adventure (most of it spent in Angelo's jewellery store). We also took a bus to Akiroti beach – the red beach.
The bus system for tourists is wonderful. The main depot is in Fira; for the past two mornings, we've made the trek down to Fira to catch a bus to where we want to go. To catch a bus is about the same price at home to catch a train to the city. The buses are comfortable and you get to see more of the island without the annoying voices of tour guides, compared to if we took a tour bus. One the bus trip yesterday, we were able to see how high up we actually are. (Michael, one of the managers here at Sunny Villa, said we're 365 metres above sea level.)
The red beach is caused by the rock formation above it. A cliff almost hangs over the beach, and the rock is red. The rock is red. The beach... has a red tinge to it. It's not really a spectacular red. The black beach on Hawaii was much more spectacular merely for the fact that the black sand was still being created and you could see how it was being created. It's a nice beach, but not worth the 7€ it costs to sit on the beach.
I snoozed the rest of the afternoon, woke up hungry where Mum found a little local restaurant which served, supposedly, great Greek cuisine. Let me tell you now, it does.
We had an early dinner – early by Greek standards, late for the Harvey family – at Verda's (?). We shared two entrees, two mains and two desserts. The entrees were Fava (a Santorini special) and tomato fried fritters. For mains, we ate mousaka and pastichio. Dessert was one dish, but we had two of them; bavklas(?).
The Fava didn't quite agree with me – I believe it had too many different flavours in it. Fava is mashed chickpeas. Our fava had onions and pepper and lemon juice over the top too. While it sounds... like something I wouldn't eat, it's worth a try and then move onto the tomato fried fritters. I enjoyed those much more. Santorini tomatoes (as the fritters were made out of them) are fantastic. Santorini tomatoes are never watered (according the the Santorini Handbook) and get all their moisture from the air, this is what makes them so tasty. I'm inclined to believe this because even after frying, the tomatoes in the fritters were tasty and easy to eat.
Mousaka, to us, is like a vegetable lasagna. It has a base of potatoes and eggplant with a cheesy sauce over the top. It has no meat (much to Dad's dismay), but is satisfying all the same. Beth and I would like to try and make it when we get home. Pastichio is basically pasta, mince and a fluffy cheese sauce; layered exactly like that. It tasted a bit like chicken two-minute noddles. The three varying textures of that meal made it interesting to eat.
Dessert was my favourite part. We never get dessert eating out as a family because we always order our own meals, which we have now learnt is not the way to go. Baklavas tastes similar to Mum's peach sultana crunch, only without the fruit. It has a pastry base, with some sort of filling in the middle of the pastry layers (I can't exactly tell what was in the filling) and drowned in a honey-type syrup. Best thing ever. Sweet too. I'd love to try and make that when I get home.
Obviously, the meal was the best part of the day yesterday. Not because it was food, but because it was tradition Greek cuisine. We're going to the same place again tonight.