The Caldera, Santorini
|Hotel Petit Palace...a gorgeous boutique hotel overlooking the caldera|
Our second day (and first morning) of Santorini started on a pretty bad note. We had plans of exploring this volcanic island the same way we did Paros...on a bike! There was a big bike rental just adjacent to our hotel Katerina and John. It was owned and run by John's son Mike. We had plans of renting a quad. The evening earlier we explored Perissa and Perivolos by foot and we had plans of renting the two wheeler for the next morning. As fate would have it, Mike refused to accept hub's driving licence. I have mentioned earlier in Paros post that since the registration was of Uttar Pradesh, it was written in Hindi.
People found it difficult to decipher and hence rejected it. Hubs went to several other rentals and was turned down everywhere.
We were crestfallen. All our plans were kaput. Now what? Taxi? Bus? Taxi was wayyy too expensive. Buses were wayy too rigid. How were we supposed to explore now? 4 days in Santorini...all on a bus? Sad and dismal we proceeded towards the busstop.
The bus stop too was adjacent to our hotel; just like the beach, 24 hours bakery, departmental store, etc etc. The location of our hotel was too good. Anyways we waited for the bus to Fira, the capital of Santorini. It is the hub of every business transaction, transportation et al. Wherever we wanted to go, we would get the bus from Fira.
|Trying to look cheerful while boarding the bus to Fira|
We boarded the bus. The ticket was around 2.5 euro each. After 45 minutes of twists and turns we reached. I was in a state of shock that we were travelling in a bus. Hubs was still trying to convince me that he would find a solution in Fira.
The first rental we went into was run by a very pretty girl. I know all Greeks are pretty but she was beyond the usual. Maria, as she was known, agreed to rent a bike. Bikes in Fira cost more than twice than those in Perissa. Fortunately, she did not even take a look at the license; took it and took out a form for all the formalities. When she learnt that we were from India, she professed her love for Bollywood movies. Om Shanti Om was her favourite movie. Ironically we Indians did not like that movie that much unless a hardcore Shahrukh Khan fan. In midst the conversation all the formalities were fulfilled. Finally she handed over the keys. WE thanked our stars. We got a bike!
|On the quad bike with pretty girl Maria|
Then her father came out. He seemed to be quite strict. Thankfully we escaped confronting him. After a few pictures with pretty Maria and thanking her profusely, we set out for the first adventure of the day.
Our first stop was Kamari Beach. Staying in Perissa, Kamari was our neighbour with the huge rock Mesa Vouno in between. It was a long way to Kamari from Fira. We were constantly riding along the caldera. For the uninitiated, caldera is the huge trough that is formed after a volcano erupts and gets filled with water eventually.
|View of the caldera|
The caldera of Santorini is one of the most scenic landforms in the world. It has got the bluest of blue water and offers the iconic sunset of Santorini. The Greek government has made little spots on various parts of the caldera for sunset viewing. Those spots in turn have been commercialized by cafes and they offer wine and dine facilities by the sunset.
|Sunset with red wine|
|Sunset view spots overlooking the caldera|
The wind was tumultuous all along the ride. Crazy would be an understatement. Infact our bike swayed with the wind and it was difficult to navigate. The crazy wind knocked off a fellow traveller's parked bike at a photo op point. Luckily it was not ours! The hurricane like wind of Santorini is one of the most frightening as well as memorable experiences of my life till date.
|The craziest wind I have ever faced!|
|All set for the ride!!|
|The signature blue dome church of Santorini|
|Cute white washed cafes|
|Self Timer mode|
|Trying to brave the crazy wind!|
Red Purse: Furla Candy
Neon Purse: Shoppers Stop
Skirt: from Philippines