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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Saturday, 19 May 2007

Saturday, 19th May:

Well today is the start of my week long holiday (actually 8 days). It started with an early start with a boat depart at 07:30EEST from Piraeus, yes another Highspeed Flying Dolphin ride to the “island hop” (returning next Sunday, 27th May by Aegean Airlines back to Athens). I arrived at the port around 07:00EEST, with enough time to get myself a Cappuccino to make good my start of the day. Weather forecast was mixed for the first couple of days – it was actually expected to rain for the next 1-2 days of my holiday – grrrr!!!

Journey was meant to be 5 hours long, with stops at Paros and Naxos. We actually arrived about 45mins later than planned – due to the poor weather and a delay in departing Naxos. My hotel-transfer awaited my arrival, and we made our way to the hotel, a nice family-run hotel located just on the outskirts of “Fira”. The hotel was called “Astir Thira”, and I located it on the Internet, on Santorini-Hotels.info – was pretty reasonable, at approx €70 per night for a volcano view. Not too bad in comparison to some of the other hotel prices listed.

I wanted to stay in Fira, as was advised that this was the main hub of the island. I wanted to enjoy the hustle and bustle and as I was staying for the week, wanted a choice of places to eat, drink and enjoy myself during my stay – which I’ve got to expect is based mainly around the main Town.

It was quite busy already when I went, and can imagine it being very crowded in the peak season...some areas were already quite crowded at this time of year....god knows what it is like later in the year!

Santorini is really split into 3-core areas of interest, the area around Fira (aka Thira) - the capital of Santorini - which is infamous for overlooking the Caldera (Volcano). The north-west area - with the main town called Oia (aka Ia). The south-east which is the beach resort area (Kamari or Perissa are the two other main towns on the Island). Another positive reason for staying in Fira is that the Town was pretty central to the remainder of the island. One could take a tour to the Volcano island (Nea Kameni island), the hot-springs (Palea Kameni island), Thirassia Island (another island), and Oia (sunsets). One can also hire a car, quad-bike or moped - all are very popular and seemingly safe (but buses are very frequent and very reasonable and go to various areas of the island - north, east and south). I decided to take the opportunity to venture around by “Number-11”, yes my two little leggies. Well after 6-weeks I have yet to visit the Hilton Gym so there was no excuse to make worst my exercise routine. Anyway, let’s see how long it will take me before I give up and hire a car, moped, bicycle or quad.

After checking in, refreshing myself, I decided to venture in the Fira Town, and found a nice Taverna to eat lunch, called “Kinos”. Friendly folks, and they liked my smile (seems most people do, especially the nice Greek ladies (boy aren’t some pleasing to the eye!!). Lunch was pretty reasonable and very nice, had Fried Aubergine (eggplant) followed by a Santorini Salad – similar to Greek, with a few additional extras, they gave me a complimentary glass of Santorini White wine. Anyway, as the owners were very friendly and we got chatting during lunch, I decided to go back for Dinner, likewise they gave me a complimentary glass of Santorini wine, Red wine this time. Very nice folks, very hospitable, will probably go back at some point during the week.

Having had a Murphy at the local “Irish bar” (no Guinness thou’), I decided to return to the hotel for an early night, was pretty tied after a long-ish journey during the day.

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