Travel Journal
Santorini & London -- April 1-16, 2004
Day 3 & 4

Day 3 -- Sunday, April 3

Landed and it was very cold out with very heavy winds, then got our bags and took a potty break. This was unfortunate, as we discovered that these pit stops had no SEATS. Had to perch on the rim of the bowl, most unpleasant. After that, we sat around for a while trying to figure out what to do next, since we were too early for our hotel guy to get us. So we walked over to the departures area and asked for help, and the lady at the Aegean counter called us a cab. How nice. He found our hotel, but we were in for a surprise. The suite wouldn't be ready till noon. (It was about 8am at this point.) It was freezing outside, and we had no idea where to go or what to do next. So we got put into a regular room to sleep and relax until ours was ready. And sleep we did! It was 3pm when we got up. Our place still wasn't quite done, so we walked a short bit down the tiny street and found a mini-mart (only about 2 doors-length away). Got some stuff for lunch, cause by this time we were hungry. Just basic sandwiches and chips, but it was filling enough.

So FINALLY around 5pm we got to inhabit the suite. Cute, but tinier than it looked in the pictures. Unpacked a few things and relaxed. Checked the Greek TV channels, of which there were a piddling 9, some of which showed movies & old US TV shows (with Gr. subtitles) every now and again. (Late at night when we couldn't sleep, we saw that they have infomercials in the wee hours just like we do. And some of the same products as well.) Ate more sandwiches for dinner later, watched more TV and did some word puzzles. I took some pictures out the windows once it got dark, which came out kinda neat. But as the night wore on, we started to realize that this just wasn't what we wanted. It was far too cold and windy, nothing was open close by, and we felt so isolated. Not really being able to talk to anyone in our own language was very suffocating. (I know, it sounds like a typical American reaction. But we had no idea we'd feel that way until we were in the middle of it.) Basically, we just felt uncomfortable in every respect. We came to the conclusion that we just wanted to leave, and would make arrangements to do so once we got to Fira town in the morning.

Day 4 -- Monday, April 4

As the sun was coming up, I took more shots out the windows of our view. There was a cruise ship making its way close to shore. It takes about 10 minutes or so to get down there, either by walking down along the main (car) road or by traversing the narrow paths and awkward stairs straight down the middle. Stopped at a cute little cafe called NRG for breakfast. Had lovely large crepes filled with feta cheese for Paul and bananas for me. Extremely yummy! We looked at loads of small shops selling loads of stuff, some touristy, but some not. Checked out some very nice items in one particular jewelry shop. After a while we noticed loads of (mostly older) people milling about shopping as well. Turns out they'd come from that cruise ship anchored out in the caldera, and the passengers were dinghy-ing to the "Old Dock" and then taking the cable car up to the town level. But for us it was time to get down to business.

We had done some prior research (since we wanted to send some emails anyways) and found an Internet spot called the Lava Cafe. Very pleasant atmosphere and facilities. We scoped out flight times to make our way back to London. With lots of friends and family in the area, we knew we'd be OK. By the end of the day, I'd bought the jewelry & a couple of other things, our Aegean flight was switched to the next morning, and Paul's cousin Sandra was awaiting us as soon as we could get there. Our only snag was that we couldn't change the BA flight back to London over the phone. Just had to hope we could do it once we got to Athens. On the way back to our suite, we picked up dinner at a Greek fast food joint called Goody's. Kinda like their version of McDonald's, I guess. But our path back was not easy. Part of the way we were followed by 3 dogs that wouldn't go away (They didn't try to hurt us, but were just annoying), and then after that from a wall on our left came a plastic grocery bag full of water right over our heads. Luckily it landed right between us, missing getting us drenched by inches! That was really the last straw in us wanting to leave. We just felt so unwelcomed at this point. Anyway, we got in and ate our experiment. It was interesting and different, but still good and filling. Watched some more TV and tried to sleep.

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