honeyelle: (writing on laptop)
2009-07-01 12:05 pm
Entry tags:

In Transit

7.05pm (Brisbane); Between Athens (12.05pm) and Paris (11.05am)

I'm somewhere between Paris and Athens. I look out the window and see some mountains and think off Switzerland, but I know I'm way off.

The Santorini sunrise, which I saw this morning on my way to the airport at six o'clock, in comparison the the sunset, well, there is no comparison. The sunrise is much more beautiful. You can look at the orange bulb while the entire thing rises up out of the foggy horizon, out of the ocean.
honeyelle: shows coloured pencils with "i live to create master pieces" (Default)
2009-06-30 07:06 am
Entry tags:

Greek Cuisine

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.
honeyelle: shows coloured pencils with "i live to create master pieces" (Default)
2009-06-29 07:26 am
Entry tags:

Ancient Ruins

2.26pm (Brisbane); 7.26am (Santorini)

I was told that Santorini sunsets are amazing. I guess they are amazing if you don't see them all the time. At home, we get some fabulous sunsets. Last night's was better than the night's before, but still, a sunset is sunset. The Santorini sun sets high. I don't know if it's because I'm so high above sea level or because I just can't see the horizon, but it's very high. It sets late at night as well: 8.45pm. I want to go to bed then.

We took a bus to Kamari yesterday, with the intention to climb the hill up to Ancient Thira. Well. The road up is a five kilometre road. And it's very, very high. The highest point on the island. Once we were up the top, we could see the black sand beaches (we'd already seen one in Hawaii, so it wasn't such a big deal to step on one – especially when it costs 7€) and the entire town of Kamari. At the top (after a 10€ minibus trip), we paid 2€ to get into the ruins. While it cost some money, it was worth it. I'd never seen ancient ruins before. The most impressive ruins, in my opinion, were the animals on the back of the wall of a temple that could still be seen and the theatre, because you can actually imagine what the theatre looked like.

That was our day, really. We walked to Fira and around Ancient Thira and back to the villa, all in all, five hours of walking. My legs got a little burnt, and my chest and face were red, but today, I don't look so burnt – just more freckly.
honeyelle: masquerade mask falling (unveil)
2009-06-28 07:37 am
Entry tags:

Walking Day

2.37pm (Brisbane); 7.37am (Santorini)

No one every mentions or reminds you that Santorini is actually an island. It comes with all sorts of island like things. The most obvious, and irritating, one this morning is the breeze. Gosh, is it cold! And when you think about it, of course Santorini will be cold at times. The breeze is unbelievable. It's scared Mum and Beth into not going to Kamari where Ancient Thira's ruins are.

I was hoping to catch up last night, but I think this might become my routine: journaling while having breakfast. I wanted to do it each night so I don't miss or forget anything, but I'm just exhausted. So while eating my Special K with milk (a rather large accomplishment since I'm very picky about milk), I've been thinking what I'm writing today.

Yesterday, I got my dream hat. No, that was not the most impressive thing I did. It is, however, a very awesome hat. We walked to Fira, a good twenty-five minute walk, and had a look around the shops. I found the type of charm I'd like for my bracelet, a Greek design charm (the Greek design looks similar to Ancient Egypt design), because I don't think I could find a charm of anything I've seen. Beth also found a birthday gift – Greek design earrings.

We came back to Sunny Villas, exhausted, jumped in the pool – which was freezing because the sun hadn't warmed it up yet – and then sat and watch the view for a while.

At about five o'clock, six o'clock, Beth and I decided to follow the path along the cliff face in front of our villa. I had to hold Beth's hand for some of the time as the path got rather close to the cliff and I'm rather scared of heights. On the other side of the peak is an abandoned church. It gave me an idea for a ghost story, but it was rather beautiful. There is also a lookout (I think), however, Beth and I took the lower path. I want to go back along it and up to the lookout; it gives an uninterrupted view of the ocean and the other islands.

Coming back to the villa was really hard. I don't believe I am that unfit; golly, was I panting and feeling the blood rush to my head when I sat down with Mum and Dad. I think it's a bit left over from my head-cold a week and a half ago – I couldn't walk up and down our stairs without being short of breath. Beth and I jumped in the pool again.

Dinner was a mess. The meal itself was fine, even a little salty, but dinner really isn't necessary for us. Especially not when we're eating at 8.30, 9.00pm. We don't eat that late and are really not that hungry that late. But we're not hungry at five o'clock or six o'clock when we'd usually eat dinner at home. We're just going to skip out on dinner.

All in all, a good walking day. No souvenirs and no shirts, but a good walking day.
honeyelle: shows coloured pencils with "i live to create master pieces" (creativity)
2009-06-27 08:19 am
Entry tags:

Getting to Santorini

3.19pm (Brisbane); 8.19am (Santorini)

I am rested, I am well. I am not in the least bit hungry or tired. We're in our villa on the side of the cliff in Santorini. It doesn't look exactly like the view that was in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, but I know Beth's happy and that's the point. (It was her Europe holiday choice.)

I'm going to interrupt myself and just say that the fog cleared then reappeared. Unless you've been on Santorini, you may not understand. It took a whole minute for it to: disappear, and we could see some of the other peninsula's of the island, and then it came back just as fast, hiding them from view again.

It's an unreal feeling, thinking that I'm in another country, another continent. When people ask if I've been to Europe, I usually say that I've been London and EuroDisney. I haven't been to Europe. I haven't seen Greece or true France or Italy. I haven't been. So now, I'm in Europe. It's unreal. And it feels like I was meant to be here the entire time. At the moment (8.32am), Beth is standing at the end of our little courtyard (tiny, tiny courtyard) and she looks like she's supposed to be here. Beth and I weren't made for Australia.

Our flight was delayed last night to Santorini. It meant that we didn't eat until 11.00pm – super late for us considering we usually eat at 5.00pm. We'll have to get used to it I suppose; supposedly everything is closed from 2pm-6pm for siesta. Because our flight was delayed we stayed in the airport longer than we wanted to. It baffled us to no end that people we smoking inside the airport. That they smoke in coffee houses, that they smoke wherever they wanted. It got to the point that we thought we'd just sit at our gate and wait, because, generally, people aren't smoking there.

We went to our gate and as soon as we looked up, they changed the gate. A different gate. A gate outside the security checkpoint. On a wild goose chase, we trailed up some stairs and found another security checkpoint, we just had to ask if we could walk through. They seemed okay with it. I think maybe they didn't understand English so well, but we got out, checked every board we came across making sure that the gate didn't change again. Finally we went through another security check – a more through security check where Dad got padded down and I was asked to open my laptop lid. We sat, I slept on the plane and then we got a cab (you just have to trust they aren't going to hit anybody, human or machine). They truly have winding stairs and we walked down them with our suitcases, we found reception, got put in our room - (Oh, you can't flush toilet paper down the toilet on Santorini. I'm not sure if that's all of Greece or just here, but it's a weird thing not to do.) - ate some pizza and fell asleep.