Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Santorini Part 2: Sunsets on Honeymoon Island

We spent 2 beautiful nights on Santorini. In my previous post, my focus was on the multi-coloured beaches sprawling across the edges of the island, but there's much more to Santorini than that (WARNING: Lots of pictures in this post).

There are breath-taking views everywhere
Donkeys to help you with your luggage if you are gasping for breath up and down the hills
Interesting plants for interesting picture-taking opportunities
Animals who enjoy the best scenery in the world

Numerous spots to take the "best picture"
And of course, there are ancient ruins, wineries, shopping, food and everything you can think of for a tourist destination. However, for our 2 evenings on the Honeymoon Island, it was really all about sunsets.

The village of Oia is renowned for having the BEST sunset view in the whole of Santorini. I don't wish to argue against that, but having been there myself, I have to say that whether you get a good sunset does not completely depend on where you are, but whether you have Lady Luck (and Mother Nature, or are they the same? Hmmm...) on your side. We easily had a much better view of the sunset on the night where we were at Firostefani.

In any case, since you are probably going to Greece round about summertime, a tip from me would be to make a reservation at a restaurant with a good view preferably a day in advance, due to the hordes of tourists who will be there to provide competition. A romantic dinner with the evening sunset as a backdrop is too good to be true, so to miss it would be criminal!

Sunset 1 - At Vanilia, restaurant with a view and amazing food.

Honeymoons are made of this!

It was amazing to witness the sunset here
In the perfect ambience, we were joined by a noisy smooching couple behind us and couples on their wedding anniversaries in front of us. We were probably the only ones on our honeymoon.
The wires really spoil a good picture.
Days are long in Europe during summer, so be prepared to wait if you get hungry usually by 6pm. By the time it gets dark, it will be way past 9, and cold and windy. Prepare a coat or ask for a blanket from the restaurant. After enjoying a sunset of this quality, we were of course not expecting much better for our next one.

Sunset 2: At the famous village of Oia

As sunsets are late, you can expect a long period of waiting. The difference is, the best spot at Oia does not have a restaurant. It's just a small area which gets more and more crowded as the time nears. We got there a couple of hours early so found a place to sit and chill for a while.

I joined Hector in his search for happiness, at that moment I couldn't be happier, to be honest.
I even found time to make my way to a cafe to get some traditional Greek sweets for a simple dinner.
We were in Greece from 1-9 June, which was not the peak season yet. The number of tourists increase dramatically during the scorching months of July and August, so it was actually quite a good time for us to be there. But having said that, we still had to contend with more than a hundred people to catch a good view of the sunset. It was also impossible to get a good picture with so many people around trying to do the same thing at the same time. It didn't help that the sky was cloudy and we hardly even had a peek of the sun. It was simply a case of the sky gradually darkening till everyone gave up, so much for the best spot!

I cannot imagine the size of the crowd during July and August

The best I could do to show the Oia sunset

Our honeymoon was really great, and I've has so much to share that after 4 posts exactly 3 weeks, I still have enough material to lengthen my Stranger in Greece series by quite a bit.

I am back in Bangkok now, making all the necessary preparations to tackle the double-edged sword of moving my office and home concurrently in a few weeks' time. I need to switch off this holiday mode and approach the challenges ahead feeling enthusiastic and refreshed.

So goodbye Stranger in Greece, step aside for the return of the Stranger in Bangkok.

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