Boat Rides and Black Sand Beaches

SantoriniIt is actually paining me a little to write this post. Because we are leaving Santorini today. I don’t think I’ve experienced this kind of heartache about leaving a place since I wandered down Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg ten years ago, openly weeping at the thought of leaving Russia. I am going to miss this place so much. But! Onward and upward! Here are some of our latest adventures. On Wednesday we went on a boat ride to several of Santorini’s volcanic islands with Eric’s conference group. We took a truly harrowing bus ride down 20 or so switchbacks on the side of an enormous cliff to get to the port of Athinios. And then we saw that one of these little guys was going to be our boat. I was more than a little apprehensive.

SantoriniBut it was awesome! As is evidenced by this giddy pirate.

IMG_3411Our first stop was the (still-steaming) volcanic island of Nea Kameni. It was amazing to see all the jet black shards of rock from the volcanic explosion that formed the island as it is today. Basically, it used to be a round island, but a subterranean volcano exploded so violently thousands of years ago that it blew a giant hole right in the middle of the island and formed a few new rock islands as well. Impressive.

SantoriniWe hiked all the way to the very top! I was proud of us, especially in the heat. The views were pretty incredible from there. That’s the city of Fira behind us, adorned by a few cruise ships. It was so special to get to visit this island, since we have a direct view of it from our hotel.

SantoriniThey had these little rest stops along the way, which I thought were really cute.

SantoriniOur next stop was Palea Kameni, known for its sulphur hot springs. Eric and I hadn’t brought our suits, but I took off my shoes and socks and put my legs in the water. It felt great.

SantoriniI had been nervous about the rocking of the small boat on the waves, but I honestly ended up *loving it*! We sat right on the edge and got heartily splashed by the waves, which felt amazing, given how hot it was. Everyone else retreated from the side of the boat, while I alone could be heard scream-laughing and exclaiming, “This is awesome!” It felt like a gentle roller coaster, with bonus sprinkler. I took so many pictures of the water because it was just so gorgeous. I loved watching the swirling eddies of varying shades of blue and the waves recklessly crashing into each other, creating the prettiest splashes every time.

SantoriniWe went back to Nea Kameni and docked for a little picnic. It was too lovely for words.

SantoriniOn the way back to Athinios, I stood with my hand on the railing and looked back at this breathtaking view, pretending I was the captain of the boat, sailing for lands unknown.

SantoriniOn Thursday afternoon Eric and I headed south to the beach town of Perissa, which we’d flown over on our way to Santorini. It’s picture postcard pretty–nothing but black sand and little cabanas.

SantoriniAfter a long bus ride, we jumped right into the sea! Please don’t let me blind you with my extreme whiteness. I realize that is a danger and so am issuing proper warning.

SantoriniThe rocks were so beautiful, and it was very tempting to take them all home with me. I only decided against it because I thought it would make my suitcase too heavy.

SantoriniI wrote my word in the sand.

SantoriniAnd I wrote this too.

SantoriniWe had dinner by the sea, and I finally got tot try gigantes, which are…gigantic beans! This stew was so hearty and delicious. Eric had pastitsio and loved it too. We timed dinner just right to be able to catch the bus back to Fira. Huzzah!

SantoriniThe sun was setting as we made our way back to the hotel, and Eric and I stood at the ledge over the cliffside and wondered that we were able to see such a beautiful place together. This feels in some ways like our third honeymoon (1: Hawaii, 2: Istanbul), and we couldn’t be more grateful for the time we’ve spent here and for each other. We’re definitely leaving Santorini with heavy hearts, but we are excited for the adventures to come in Athens. Thanks so much for following along with our trip here and on Instagram!

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