After a peaceful evening of listening to bad French music and karaoke, at the hotel outside of Athens, I awoke with renewed excitement to continue my travels through Greece. In the midst of the cold rain, I jumped into a taxi back to the Athens airport. Thankfully, there were no delays or strikes, so I arrived in Santorini about an hour later (if you go by ferry it takes 7-8 hours. I am sure it is lovely, but I am too impatient for that). I found a nice couple from Ohio to con into splitting a taxi with me from Thira airport to Fira (how original), so the cost was only 5-euros and well worth it instead of standing in the December-like winds for another hour-and-a-half waiting to catch the bus.
The longest part of the day was not the flight or the taxi ride – it was having to walk all over Fira Center to find my frickin’ hotel. You see, in Santorini (like Costa Rica), they don’t believe in having addresses for locations. For small towns, there really is no point anyway, everyone knows everyone and they know if you are new are or if you grew up in the same small town your whole life and decided to stay and raise your family – to which your oldest child now tries desperately to leave and curses you for remaining stuck in the past.
Santorini is not small enough for that and there are way too many tourists to keep track of which hotel is where. I had to ask five people where the Hotel Antonia was until finally someone pointed me in the correct direction (I will point out here that the Greeks suck as at giving directions, let alone knowing which is the correct direction to point someone towards – “up there on the left” is not giving someone directions when there are 52 hotels “up there”, “on the left” and you have to take three rights, then go straight, take another left, then go up there, on the left to find your hotel). Oy. Anyway, after an hour of hauling my bag around Fira like a pack mule, I made it to the hotel.
Mario, the innkeeper, greeted me with some warm coffee while we got paperwork situated for check-in, and then he gave me the layout of the island, along with several recommendations for things to do, places to go and restaurants to eat at. He showed me the apartment I am staying at through Saturday, which is CLEAN, doesn’t smell of smoke and is super cute! And theeeeen, he told me the best news…..they serve coffee, tea, and wine all day long, no charge…….I am gonna be in trouble……