Crete and Santorini | 4th July 2013
Today was the last day of the cruise and we were sailing off to Crete in the first half of the day and then onto the most beautiful place I have ever heard and seen pictures of, Santorini. When we docked in Crete we were told that there wasn’t really much to do because the town was a fair bit away from the port so we had a bit of a sleep in. After breakfast Sara and I made our way down to the immigration building which also had some little shops and we just used the wifi available to check our face books and instagrams of course. Some of the others said they were going to try and walk into town but after 10 mins were back and said it was too hot and too far! This part of the day was really boring so I just went back and had a nap until lunch. I actually didn’t know why we even went to Crete on this cruise because no one did anything and it reduced our time in Santorini. But that’s okay at least I can say I’ve been there!
After lunch I went and joined the others on the deck again for some sun, tanning and pool time and ordered some delicious smoothies and cocktails again and just had a relaxing time. The crew got up to dance and they did the Filipino cha cha which as a massive surprise to me because I had never heard of it before even though I am Filipino! Turns out it was a dance that a little girl who has a talk show in the Philippines made up. It was so funny and the people dancing on the deck were mostly Filipino too and one of them was a bar tender that gave us drinks at the toga party! I also went to the front part of the cruise ship to have a look and relax in the sun there because it was less windy and more quiet. I sat with one of the other girls in the other contiki tour group and we just lay in the sun until we heard the loud speaker announcement about our next port of call.
It actually didn’t take that long to get to Santorini from Crete, but the dock was apparently full so we had to wait a while for it to be clear so we could get off. It took a long time and this also ate up our exploring time so the crew people told us we would be getting on tug boats again to get there quicker. We were all given our tickets for the “excursion” because you had to pay to get off and get a tour of Santorini. I forgot to mention this before but there are extra optional activities on this cruise that are run by the cruise company, but a lot of them were very expensive and started way too early in the morning for me and some of the others so most of us just chose the Santorini town excursion so we could get great pictures of Oia! The others that went on the excursions said they were great too so if you want to do those go and do them!
Once our contiki groups finally got called to head to the tug boats we all hurried along so we could make the most of the time we had. Once we got off the tugs we had to get onto some buses because the road up the mountain was massive! The tour guide was really cute and to remember her name she said to think of Erini of Santorini! She had some really interesting facts about the island and the volcano which was nice to hear. We drove for quite a bit up the hills of the island passing all the beautiful white buildings and olive plants.
Wen we finally got to the top of Oia, we all jumped off and got led to where the gorgeous pictures you find of Santorini in magazines and travel brochures come from. We were all in awe and the weather was fantastic! The sun was shining and the light reflected off of the white buildings beautifully. We all took our photos and just soaked up everything there. Santorini was by far my favourite place to just sit and look around. It was so peaceful and serene.
We also had some time to shop but it was so limited! I took this challenge on and began with some of the girls in jewellery shops, but I knew time was ticking so I broke off with them and just bobbed and weaved through as many shops as I could get through. I ended up buying quite a bit compared to the others! Goes to show what extreme shopping takes, it takes skill! I bought some rings, a rose gold bracelet, Grecian sandals, street art and some other little things. Everyone was amazed at what I got in such a short amount of time. I was pretty stoked myself! After everyone had met at the bus we got back on and headed to fira town, the main part of the island.
Before we actually got on the cruise the tour manger had told us about some donkey rides we could go on, but we all unfortunately missed our chance to ride some in Rhodes because we were all recuperating from out toga party and missed the time to go and do the “safe” donkey ride. The only options we had left if we really want to do it was in Santorini but we were told that they were super racing mules and only go where they want of go because they don’t listen to the guys that run the donkey rides! Terrifying as that may sound a group of us were determined to get the donkey experience so we headed down to the area where you start the trail. It was a nice walk down the streets of fira town and there were cute little restaurants and cafes lined along the streets and edge of the cliff. It was like walking into a picture or a tourism commercial because everything was just as I had imagined or maybe even better! We could tell when we were getting closer to the donkeys because we could smell them.
We each paid 10euros I think to ride on a donkey and got split up into groups. I was with Jess, Aleysha and Sara. We were all told to wait for a while which started to freak me out because we needs to get back onto the tug boats by 8:30pm and it was already 8:15pm! The girls calmed me down and said that I should t worry because there were still heaps of others waiting behind us that were on the same cruise so I calmed down after that. We all got onto our super mules which were attached to one another except Jess’ for some odd reason. Mine went kind of fast at the beginning and almost slipped down the steps and I did a little squeal because I got scared and one of the guys told me off! He said don’t make a noise because they will run… That was reassuring! Anyways we all started to head down the trail on our donkeys but Jess’ one was crazy and almost rammed into the wall so Jess grabbed onto the pole and slid off of it! It was like I was watching an acrobatic performance because it looked like Jess did a flip trick on the donkey then landed on her feet. It was cool but scary at the same time! She didn’t get back on it after that and just acted as our professional photographer. Truthfully, I didn’t blame her because the donkeys were super racing mules and the ground was shiny and slippery so that didn’t make it any easier. The rest of us did make it to the end all in one piece and I managed to hang onto my shopping bag and camera while taking pictures the whole way! Proud achievement!
We all took our photos with the donkeys once they all stopped and made our way to the port to grab the tug boat back to the cruise ship. Turns out we didn’t have to worry because the tugs weren’t stopping until like 9pm so we could’ve have gone around a but more, but it’s better to be safe than get left behind!
We were all dead tired after that experience so we just got some dinner and went back to our cabins, some of the others we to the bar and lounge for a couple drinks. Sara and I tried to catch up with them but we couldn’t find them so we just went to duty free to check out what we could buy. I was running low on toothpaste and the girls found some yummy chips so we all used our cruise card and got our supplies. We gave up on trying to find the others so Sara and I just stayed up talking about girly stuff and the trip until we want to go to sleep. That last night was one of the weirdest nights though because we had to leave our bags all packed and ready in the hallways to be collected by the crew so we could get them when we got backs to Athens the next day. So if we needed anything we had to leave it in our day bags. Rookie mistake on our behalf, most of us forgot to pack it the night before and were scrambling. After all the drama we were able to get some sleep, but like I said it was a weird night and there were some weird things happening in the hallways that I am not at liberty to discuss! It made for some much talked about gossip the next day though! Xx
Off to Santorini!
Loved the view from here!
It’s on like donkey kong
such a great representation of the place