Published on Wednesday, 14 June 2017 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
Santorini, the holy grail of all travel destinations in the Mediterranean, is usually listed as high priority on most globetrotters' bucket lists in their ardent quest to seek out sceneries of amarathine beauty.
Set against the backdrop of a startling deep-blue sky, precipices of rainbow hues soar out of the caldera immersed with the sparkling crystalline water of the Aegean sea. With the looming cliffs sprinkled with white-washed houses, its multi-colored volcanic beaches and beautiful kaleidoscopic sunsets, it is no wonder that Santorini ranks as one of the best islands to visit in the world.
When to Visit Santorini
Do take note that some Greek islands completely shut down during the off-peak period, and Santorini is one of them. You won't want to visit Santorini when most shops and hotels are closed. Santorini is open season to tourists from late April to early November when the weather is warmer, other than this stipulated time frame, the island turns into a ghost town towards the end and the start of the year. We chose to travel to Greece from 22 April to 6 May when the temperature was perfect for us to trek around without breaking out in sweat. If you are a fan of the sun and surf however, you may want to push it back closer to June when its at the peak of Summer and the waters are not icy cold.
YY and I tediously scoured travel blogs and websites, trying to figure out what was the appropriate length of time that we should spend on this immensely coveted travel destination. Some sources say that there is nothing much to do in Santorini and three days should be more than adequate where as others beg to differ, claiming that two weeks is the perfect duration.
We were running on a schedule (due to the harsh realities of life, if you want to travel with the same creature comforts as we do, you can't afford to take so much time off work unless you are hankering to get fired, or you are one of the fortunate ones to get bankrolled by daddykins all the time) and we wanted to explore other significant regions of Greece as well, so YY and I decided to allocate 5 days (30 April – 4 May) to Santorini from a two-week trip to Greece.
Courageously deciding to spend almost half of our Greek holiday in Santorini was something we would solemnly reflect upon as we sat in our grotto themed hotel room one night in Santorini, staring at our phones in despair, internally screaming at the weak WiFi signal taunting us with its one constant flickering bar.
This was the not the case when we first set sail for Santorini, however. The thought of embarking on an exciting journey to a seemingly magical island that is the stuff of fairytales filled me with ebullience, and my heart was set aflutter at a rapid speed on par with the tempo of a hummingbird's beating wings.
Day 1 – Living in a Cave, Literally
We had spent some time on another Greek island, named Naxos, before boarding a ferry (operated by Blue Star Ferries) that would transport us to Santorini in two hours. The ferry we took could more accurately be described as a cruise liner in terms of its appearance rather than a ferry. The ship was huge and could comfortably accommodate thousands.
There are several different seating options available on the ferry; 1. Free Seating – basically any seat you can find outdoors from patio chairs to sofas, 2. Air Seats – an allocated seat indoors in air-conditioning or heating (whichever the weather dictates) that comes in the form of a huge and plushy leather recliner, and 3. Private Rooms – equipped with a bed and private toilet. The price goes up respectively with comfort. The travel agency that we engaged hooked us up with the Air Seats, which was definitely more than satisfactory for a two-hour journey.
Speaking as a victim of extreme motion-sickness, I can confidently say that others who have the tendency of experiencing this similar recurring irritant will not get sea-sick on this particular ferry as its mind-boggling size passes right through the waves like mere puddles of water, with little to no rocking during nice weather. You will feel vibrations from the giant engines working overtime, but the vibrations and drone of the engine hum is actually quite soothing and lulled me to sleep when I was on board.
Staggered Levels of Living
Cliff Side Suites Entrance
Upon reaching the port, we quickly hunted down our hotel transport and were whisked away to Cliff Side Suites, a hotel with individual rooms built into the face of the Firostefani cliff. Many hotels coexist harmoniously together on the steep cliff and they are all connected via flights of concrete steps that run up, down, and everywhere else on the cliff face.
Thank god for the hotel porter, who had forearms as huge as my thighs (and as veiny as a porn stud's dong). I had already bought way too much on the trip and to imagine having to struggle with luggages weighing over 40kg down the precarious steps to our hotel room was terrifying. He picked them up with ease and skipped down the stairs while we carefully teetered our way over.
Our suite's interior was designed like a traditional cave house unique to Santorini. White washed walls and floors with archs built into the room, illuminated with warm yellow lights gave an extremely homely and cozy ambiance. It was however, extremely cold and humid within our room as we were given the corner unit where it doesn't receive direct sunlight, however the size of our suite, which was considerably larger than the other rooms we saw, more than made up for it. Besides, there was an air-conditioning unit that could alternate between cool and warm air.
View from our Veranda
View from our Veranda
When we stepped out of our room, we had access to our very own private veranda with an amazing view of the caldera. There was time to kill so we decided to take a stroll into the small bustling town of Fira, have a late lunch and make our way back to our veranda to catch the sunset.
The path to Fira presented this gorgeous view of the town with a glimpse of the old port that laid at the foot of the cliff
The town of Fira
The walk to Fira was simple to navigate as it was just one long cobble-stoned path that led straight into the town. May I reiterate the word “cobble-stoned” though and bring to your attention that I'm using this word very lightly as it is not so much a cobble-stoned path, but rather a path of giant jagged, slippery rocks with large gaps in between haphazardly tiled together on an uneven and slopping terrain.
Even with sandals on, I had to keep my focus on the ground to prevent tripping over any staggered rocks. So please, refrain from wearing heels or even wedges unless you feel like falling on your face and rolling down the slopes. The walk to the town was just 15 minutes, but extremely tiring due to all the uneven slopes and steep steps. These are the things that people conveniently forget to mention when they brag to you about their all-so-awesome trip to Santorini.
The town of Fira was swarming with throngs of tourists armed with their cameras and sweating in the mid day heat. We walked into a maze of shops and wandered around aimlessly, noting with amusement at the commercialization that had already taken place. Amidst the family owned tavernas, bars and shops, brands like McDonalds, Pandora, Adidas, Chopard, Panerai, TAG Heuer, and even Patek Philippe stood out in startling contrast to the old charm of the quaint shopping district of Fira. We just hope that mass commercialization does not fully overtake this charming island in the future.
Lucky's pork gyros
We walked into a taverna called Lucky's Souvlakis to satiate our appetite and ordered two pork gyros (wrapped with pita bread) for a meager €2.50 (SGD$3.50) each. The pita bread was rolled with pork, lettuce, tomato, tzatziki and fries. It was delicious, but the amount of carbs in it took away much of the flavor of the pork gyro shavings. Then again, at just €2.50 for a complete meal, we couldn't complain.
Made an adorable friend while admiring the sunset
We picked up several bottles of beer and wine on the way back to our hotel to catch the sunset. On our private veranda, YY cracked open a cold Yellow Donkey and I uncorked a bottle of sweet red wine (nicknamed The Blood of Heracles by the locals) as we watched the sun make its magnificent descent into the shimmering horizon and set the sky awash with the golden remnants of its rays.
Blood of Hercules
After the sun completely kissed the sky goodbye and it got extremely chilly under the dim glow of the stars, we retired to our little cave and continued drinking on into the night, only venturing out into the darkness for a late dinner (Mama Thira for truffle mushrooms and grilled octopus) and more drinks.
Day 2 – Aiya, Oia is Damn Overrated
The signature look uniquely associated with Santorini is the view of blue-domed churches towering over the sea-drenched caldera in Oia, a 30 minute drive from the town of Fira. We had scheduled to spend the second day exploring the town of Oia.
I woke up bright and early to the shrill, ear-piercing screech of my alarm clock and my heart sank when I immediately felt the familiar dull pain of a dreaded hangover radiating with a vengeance through my brain, and a nausea that lingered at the back of my throat. I dragged myself out of bed with YY and headed down to the hotel pool where a breakfast buffet was served for hotel guests from 8 – 10am daily.
I choked down tiny pieces of food and trudged back up to the hotel room where YY very chivalrously suggested that I get a few more hours of rest before we make the trip up to Oia, an action completely out of character for him as he acts like a fucking drill sergeant on holidays and embraces the whole “make hay while the sun shines” nonsense about how he does not want to waste his precious vacation time sleeping in.
After awaking from my slumber, still hungover but not as terrible as before, I begrudgingly showered and incompetently applied my makeup at the pace of a slug taking a shit. We then headed out close to 3pm, YY was grumpy for waiting so long, and I was grumpy for being the sole reason of his grumpiness when I was already the victim of a throbbing alcohol-induced headache from hell.
Our cantankerous mood slowly subsided as we devoured our lunch, and the glowing embers of irritation were entirely snuffed out when we happily boarded the bus for Oia. It costs €2.40 per person for a one-way bus ticket from Fira to Oia, a far cry from the €20 fare that the taxi operator quoted us (taxis don't run on meter here, they charge a fixed price based on timing and location).
The bus ride to Oia was scenic but nerve wrecking. The road that linked Fira to Oia was suspended high up on the cliffs. It was a two-way road that was extremely narrow and just a mere swerve or a small bump from another vehicle would cause the bus to tip over the short and useless barricade and we would plunge to our unsightly demise. Our remains would probably be scattered everywhere and have to be scraped off the interiors of the bus should it roll down the hill and simulate a giant meat blender. However, aside from visions of our liquefied, mangled corpses, the view was spectacular. We had a bird's eye view of the valleys and agricultural landscape that laid beneath along with the sparkling sea that stretched on forever.
The bus dropped us off at a small square with a few eateries and souvenirs bordering one side of it. That signaled the start of Oia's shopping district and we shuffled along with the crowd into the meandering alleyways, hoping to be wowed by stunning architecture strategically etched into the face of the cliffs.
Excitement quickly turned into bewilderment, which gradually morphed into utter disappointment with every step we took further into the shopping district. The town was nothing like the whimsical wonderland we saw in postcards and travel photos. The main town was squeezy, boring, and insipid with its main “street” (as small as a back alley in Singapore) flanked by a slew of tourists traps and souvenir shops which obstructed the view of the beautiful sea.
Making a purchase at Atlantis Books
Only one shop out of the many we walked into in Oia is worth checking out – Atlantis Books – a rustic hole-in-the-wall bookstore filled with quirky signs and teetering shelves crammed with an assortment of titles. I purchased two English books related to Greek mythology here, and one of the owners (a hipster of course, complete with the quintessential lumberjack plaid shirt that is the badge of the contemporary subculture) carefully stamped each of the books with Atlantis Books' logo.
Other than this charming literary treasure trove, the other shops were overpriced souvenir stores, jewelry boutiques, spas, restaurants, and bars that basically offered stuff that we don't really care about.
The castle ruins from afar
Yet, despite the disappointment, we had already set our hearts on on exploring Oia this particular day, so we persevered onward, eventually winding up on the ruins of an old castle where we had a panoramic view of Oia's caldera, the town cut into the slopping surfaces of the cliff, and the sapphire-blue sea that stretched as far as the eye can see.
The view from the castle ruins on the left (blue-domed churches)
The view from the castle ruins on the right (windmill)
The view from the castle ruins was spectacular, however, people drenched in perspiration from the scorching blaze of the Mediterranean sun swarmed like flies on the castle ruins, jostling to secure the perfect position in anticipation of the sunset. Yes, you read me right, the more travel-savvy tourists chope coveted positions on top of the castle ruins as much as three hours before the sunset.
The castle ruins is the most popular location to watch the sunset in Oia, and it is packed like a club everyday when the sun makes its brilliant departing display. YY and I were not ones who could nonchalantly kick back for several hours while the relentless mid-day sun beats down on our skin, so we decided to take a leisure stroll back to the bus pick-up point in order to catch the sunset back at our cozy and secluded private veranda.
The back alley with the perfect photo spot
While tracing our steps back, we occasionally wandered into side alleys, most of them usually leading to nothing but private properties overlooking the sea (signs on the gates of these private properties warned us from proceeding any further lest we wish to be persecuted for trespassing), but the last alleyway that we strayed into was a beautiful secret passageway to that trademark scenery unique to Santorini; the scene of blued-domed churches set against a backdrop of staggered, mismatched buildings, carved into the curvature of a cliff that looms above the jeweled waters of the sea.
Unfortunately for us, we were not the only ones to discover this charming photoshoot location. We thickened our hides and fought tooth and nail for photo spots at this little alleyway where throngs of tourists frantically clambered over others to get that perfect shot.
We emerged victorious and came away with many gorgeous photos to show for our exhausting day in Oia. But aside from this postcard-esque location accessible only by an unnamed side alley, there really isn't much to do in Oia unless you enjoy shopping for souvenirs and other worthless paraphernalia that will ultimately just be stored away in a drawer back home, long forgotten.
Day 3 – A Quarter of a Century Old
I awoke suffering from an existential life crisis, personally feeling that I have not accomplished much and am still struggling to find my way despite being alive for a quarter of a century. My fears and uncertainties about the future were quickly quashed with a hearty breakfast. There is nothing like gorging yourself on breakfast foods to temporarily soothe the worries of life away.
The view of Fira while descending in the cable car
A yacht tour
Fira Old Port
We had a rather relaxing day planned with laid back activities, a stark contrast to all the wild alcohol-addled parties I have thrown for my birthdays of yesteryear. We took a leisure stroll into Fira where we paid €5 each to take a cable car down to the Old Port.
Deep fried battered sardines
Fried sea bream (fresh catch of the day)
We had lunch in one of the restaurants situated just right by the water's edge and lazily lounged around, luxuriating in the cool ocean breeze as the sea waters gently lapped against the side of the concrete port.
We had the option of taking the cable car back up to Fira, or riding a donkey for €5 per pax. We chose to go with the donkey ride after we did a little bit of research on Google and were assured that the donkeys were humanely treated, and given plenty of rest and water between rides. Of course, you can always walk up the steps, but I strongly advice against it because the path is saturated with ginormous piles of donkey shit, every square millimeter of the giant poop mounds crawling with fat horse flies that rise like black clouds, roaring with a deafening buzz whenever the swarm gets spooked by any movement nearby.
The ride up was thrilling and definitely not for the faint-hearted as the donkeys each had a mind of its own, occasionally breaking out into a sprint up the steps, stopping abruptly for a break, nipping at other donkeys, veering towards the side of the handrail up the 600 steps which almost gave us heart attacks due to how the jerky movements threatened to throw us off the side of the cliff to our deaths, scraping our legs against the sides of the walls, and even throwing back their heads and braying randomly. The steps were extremely slippery too as they are made of marble, so it is not rare for the donkey to constantly slip.
From Fira, we embarked on a long walk to a restaurant situated at Imerovigli that I had made a reservation for at 7.30pm. Mezzo Restaurant was supposedly the best restaurant that offered an amazing view of the sunset with quality culinary offerings that could rival the beauty of the setting sun. It would have been a 30-minute walk had we not stopped by a liquor store to stock up on wine and beer and brought them back to our hotel first.
The place was packed when we arrived, and I mentally patted myself on the back for having the foresight of making a booking a month in advance in order to obtain a table with an unobstructed view of the caldera.
We ordered a bottle of Assyrtiko, a sharp and subtly acidic white wine made with a variety of grapes locally grown in Santorini itself to go along with YY's braised lamb shank slow cooked in pearl onions, groats, mint and mushrooms, and my risotto with scampi and tomatoes.
Risotto with scampi and tomatoes
Braised lamb shank slow cooked in pearl onions, groats, mint and mushrooms
My extravagant plate of langoustine risotto was bursting to its seams with robust flavors and the sweet, delicate and aromatic crustacean essence of the langoustine stock that the risotto was slowly simmered in. YY's thick chunk of lamb shank was so extensively tender that the meat slid right off the bone, the earthy and musky fragrance of the fatty meat perfectly complemented by the zesty, creamy, and thick tomato-based sauce.
Before the rolling firmament was spangled with stars, we were awarded the parting gift of this magnificent phenomenon where the sun's diminishing rays painted rainbow streaks across the heavens.
My frozen chocolate marquise with mango sorbet
We sweetened the deal with some artisanal hand-made desserts before beginning the tranquil trek back to the hotel to indulge in more tipples.
We were seriously regretting allocating 5 days to Santorini as we found ourselves running out of things to do, and as the third day came to a close, we engaged the assistance of our hotel staff in booking a guided day tour for the fourth day that will take us to the further regions of Santorini for €65 per pax.
Day 4 – Santorini's Secrets
A small shuttle picked us up from our hotel at 11am and transferred us to a coach bus further down where the road widened up. The coach was packed full of tourists of all nationalities and guided by an English speaking tour guide whose beet-red, sun-burned skin conjured a human lobster to mind.
The first stop was the Akrotiri Archaeological Site. Though the tour guide will walk you through the site and explain all the nifty details, tickets are non inclusive of the tour package, and priced at €5 per head. A handful of female tourists in our group decided to skip this portion of the tour and to head for the beach nearby, probably because they were uncultured swines who were not even as mentally advanced as the ancient civilization we were about to see, and can't appreciate the historical significance of anything not related to sun bathing and posing for Instagram in bikinis.
The Akrotiri in Santorini is Greece's very own version of Pompeii sans the petrified dead bodies terrifyingly frozen in torment for all time. The ancient civilization of Akrotiri dated back a mind-boggling span of 7,000 years ago. Akrotiri was destroyed circa 1627 BC (3,644 years ago) by the Theran eruption which blew up more than half of Santorini (classically called Thera, now officially renamed Thira) to hell. If you take a look at the map of Santorini, it depicts a gaping hole (the caldera) where land used to be, now occupied by seawater.
The Akrotiri excavation site is housed indoors, sheltered from the elements under a sturdy modern roof built over the ancient village. There is a lot of mystery surrounding the the archaic civilization as it is speculated that the excavated portion makes up only a modicum of the entire site. Due to the *ahem* fragile state of Greece's economy, the government cannot afford to provide the necessary funds to continue the excavation, and earnest archaeologists who have developed quite the obsession with the ancient site simply have to hope for hand-outs to accumulate slowly over time in order to continue with the research.
It is believed that the people of Akrotiri were aware of an impending eruption as no human remains were found in the area, and their houses were scarce of valuables, pointing to a notion that they had already packed up and evacuated the village before tragedy struck. However, there is no mention of refugees from Akrotiri in the history books of Greece, and some historians believe that they could have perished while attempting to escape. Archaeologists hypothesize that if they delve deeper and further with their excavations, they will eventually find human remains.
According to our tour guide, if we stay optimistic, we may eventually get to see the entire excavated site of Akrotiri in its full glory 500 years down the road. Yay!
Thoroughly impressed with how incredibly advanced the ancient civilization of Akrotiri was, we set off for lunch. The bus dropped us off at Savvas Popeye, a taverna specializing in seafood down by Perivolos beach.
We delighted in some crisp, springy and sweet battered calamari, slightly charred and smoky grilled octopus and a hearty, tender and juicy lamb shank served with cous cous. The food, served in huge European portions, was fresh and cooked to perfection.
With only 45 minutes left to spare, we got up off our lazy asses and took a relaxing stroll down the black beach. However, it wasn't much of a relaxing stroll for me as over the course of the holiday, the intense drop in humidity (as compared to Singapore) left my skin parched, and my heel was cracked all the way into the flesh. So with each step I took, I winced in pain, more so when the itsy-bitsy black rocks entered the flesh wound.
Anyway, disgusting feet conditions aside, the deep blue waves gently rolling onto the black volcanic ash shore gave the illusion of two worlds colliding. YY and I just stood there for a moment taking in the scent of the salty ocean breeze, the honeyed fragrance of springtime blossoms that bloomed in wild abandonment and the warm sunshine upon our faces.
When it was time to head off to our next destination, the group was missing a couple of people (whom I realized later on were the same beach bitches who opted out of the Akrotiri tour). Our tour guide had already warned us at the start of the trip that because we were running on a tight schedule, he will not hesitate to leave without us should we not show up at the appointed time. The guide waited a couple more minutes before making the laudable decision to repudiate those inconsiderate bitches. As the classic adage goes, “time and tide waits for no motherfucker.” I fucking hate tardiness. Being late speaks volumes of a person's character and how extremely selfish, self-absorbed and over-all shitty he/she is as a human being.
The little town's church and clock tower
Church bells located around the town
We were driven to a tiny charming town and our guide took us for a walk through its peaceful streets. There really was nothing much to this quaint little neighborhood, except for picturesque photo spots and interesting little snippets into the everyday lives of these small town folk like how everybody knows each other, everyone goes to the same school and when a wedding is held, the entire town in invited.
We all piled onto the bus again following our short walk and the bus slowly rumbled along to the base of the tallest hill in Santorini, Profitis Ilias, where our bus driver expertly navigated up the narrow precipitous road with no guard rails that ascended to the highest peak of Santorini.
The view from Profitis Ilias
With the winds whipping our hair from our faces, the whole of Santorini was laid out bare for us beneath our feet. I can now resonate with how The Carpenters felt when they sang their classic hit, Top of The World. There used to be a monastery up there but it has since been closed to the public.
It sounds like a great idea to lay down a picnic mat on a grassy spot at the summit amidst the wild daisies, poppies and lavender bobbing their heads in the wind while feeling like you're presiding over men from the top of the clouds. However, unless you want to develop cancer, don't stay on that hill for more than 30 minutes. The pinnacle is home to a military radar that emits huge waves of radiation that can cook you from the inside out. Go up, gasp at the marvel of Santorini's landscape, take a couple of photos and GTFO.
The next destination was Santo Wines, a beautiful winery built on a little hill with a fantastic view of the sparkling sea and parts of Santorini, where we had a complimentary wine tasting of four variations of wines locally produced and bottled in Santorini. The first three we had were nothing extraordinary or particularly unique. Wine tastes like wine, right?
Santo Wines al fresco dining
I have never been so wrong in all my life. When I tipped the last glass down my throat, the cognac-colored wine caused a tumultuous explosion of rainbows on my taste-buds. I have never ever tasted wine that can rival the sweetness of honey like that before.
Apparently, my new favorite wine is the Vinsanto. Vin stands for vino (wine in Italian) and santo represents its origins – Santorini. The mark of a true Vinsanto made in Santorini is in its name itself. Only bottles produced in Santorini are allowed to be labeled as Vinsanto – a singular name. Where as the wines produced in other regions can only be termed Vin Santo (note the spacing).
Despite its deep amber hue, the Vinsanto is shockingly classified as white wine as it is made purely from sweet white grapes. The grapes are sun-dried for 6 – 8 weeks so that they shrivel up into raisins which results in an intense concentrated taste after it is pressed, fermented and aged in oak barrels for at least three years.
The Vinsanto changed my entire perception of wines, and if I were to anthropomorphize it to accurately explain the ground-shaking shift in elements, the Vinsanto is like an average plain Jane that gives the world's best mind-blowing blow-jobs.
It was love at first taste, and I was completely and utterly sold with its seductive aromas of honey, spices and caramelized fruits. I bought three bottles of Vinsanto worth about €300. The cheapest was for consumption back at the hotel and the other two, aged four years and 12 years respectively, were brought home to be salaciously ogled at from time to time.
The best wine I have ever tasted
We cut the tour short and requested to be dropped off at our hotel while the bus took the rest of the group to Oia to catch the sunset. Since we had already visited Oia the day before yesterday, we did not see any point in squeezing like sardines with the sunset crowd, and having to endure the grueling jam back, especially when we had the luxury of stretching out in comfortable lounge chairs on our veranda.
So like all the other days, I uncorked a bottle of wine (the Vinsanto),YY popped off the cap from a beer, and we clinked glasses while tuning in to the most beautiful show in the universe happening live in front of us.
Day 5 – Athens Bound
We slept in, had the standard hotel breakfast buffet by the pool, packed, and dropped our luggage off at the hotel reception when we checked out at 12pm. Our flight to Athens only departed at 6.35pm, so we headed down into Fira to do some shopping, aimless ambling and basically fuck-all to burn time.
YY was extremely amused when I decided to get a memento of Santorini by custom printing my face on two t-shirts at True Image. True Image has outlets in Santorini and Mykonos, and the store specializes in express printed t-shirts, tanks, shoes, jeans, shorts, bags and etc. The t-shirt design I picked (100% Greek cotton) was exclusively made by True Image and featured a fishnet cutout in the shape of a V on the back. It was hella cool. But I have to admit that I custom-made those two t-shirts printed with pictures of myself in Santorini on a narcissistic impulse, and I'm not entirely sure if I would ever wear it out in public.
We didn't really buy much, just a couple of t-shirts and olive oil based beauty products for ourselves and friends. It was a pretty chillax day just traipsing around town. The highlight to the 5th day was probably Obelix, a tiny stall located in a corner of the shopping district affixed with a bar counter top for customers to take a quick bite. Obelix served THE BEST gyros portion in Santorini EVER!
The Obelix Gyros Portion is priced at €3.80, a tad bit more expensive than the others we had previously but this heavenly cone was worth every single cent, and perhaps more. Tightly and neatly rolled within a thin yet fluffy piece of warm pita, the juicy, tender and meticulously marinated pork shavings were dripping its luscious fatty juices all over the contents contained within. The pork was just slightly charred, which intensified the savory and hearty full-bodied flavors of the naturally sweet porky goodness paired with the wonderfully concocted marinate. The generous dollop of tzatziki tasted like mana from the gods. It was refreshing, tangy, sweet, savory, zesty, creamy and rich all at once. I usually hate tomatoes but the slices in this was a welcoming burst of invigorating fruitiness. The meat to fries ratio was perfect in this. The fries gave a crisp and fluffy textural contrast to the wrap but its portion was withheld to allow the succulent slivers of pork to be the star of the show with its delectable full-bodied flavors embodying the crux of this multidimensional dish.
After we chowed down on, perhaps, one of the best meal I have ever had, YY and I retreated into a cooling taverna where we indulged in a White Donkey IPA, a deliciously sweet, fruity and floral craft beer locally brewed in Santorini. We stayed there just chilling out and catching up with friends back home until it was time to head back to the hotel to catch our airport transfer back to Athens.
Even the Sun Sets in Paradise
Despite my initial complaints about how Santorini was quite underwhelming, the serene little island imperceptibly crept its way into my heart, and I was surprised to find myself bidding it farewell in wistful melancholy on the final day of our stay. Perhaps it's the allure of the idyllic life that compelled me to loosen up and throw off the stressful burden accumulated in the daily grind or the unique, dazzling masterpieces that Gaia paints across the skies everyday, or both in conjunction, that has got me passionately pining to be transported back to our little veranda perched on the caldera.
This article was originally published on Cherubimbo.
Hi, I'm Cheryl. I possess a joie de vivre spirit unique to my character, my expressions of euphoria are wild in nature and I approach life like one colossal party. I love venturing into the unknown and exploring all that is possible; from exotic foods to cliff-diving. When I am not seeking out something extraordinary to check off my bucket list, I love curling up on a comfy couch with a glass of wine and a book in hand. Follow my personal adventures in my blog here where I let loose of all inhibitions, voice my inner-most emotions, exult in all that is wonderful, unleash the monsters within, lose myself in beautiful reveries, reminisce treasured memories and curate recherché experiences.