Friday, June 28, 2013

Last Night & A Reminder

Last night included greasy gyros, mimosas in a cave bar behind this view, and loukoumades at midnight - I need to remember that I am not on vacation and that the calories do in fact count! 

Have you had loukoumades?  Its a Greek dessert, its pretty much just fried dough, and its delicious.  It tastes similar to funnel cake, minus the funky shape, and its topped with walnuts, cinnamon, and a lot of honey.

You know the annual Greek fest near you that you always hear about?  GO for the loukoumades!  

One more thing...  
Monday we say bye bye to Google reader, please follow me on BLOGLOVIN!  
{Link on right hand side.}

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pyrgos From My iPhone

Pyrgos might be my 2nd favorite Santorini village (after Oia).  It is the highest village on the island, and standing at the top you get a panoramic view of the surrounding vineyards and entire island.  The village is home to a Venetian castle {which we somehow missed last week!} which dates back to the 13th century.  Within the village there are no streets suitable for cars, only narrow walkways made for pedestrians and donkeys, of course {watch where you step!}.  The homes are stacked close together within the hilly village and all are unique, which is a nice change from the standard "white" everything.

Pyrgos is perfect for a short hike and to watch the sunset.  We were there too early to catch it, but we decided to take in the view at Franco's Cafe, which is noted as the highest cafe on the island!  

We had their snack platter for 2 which included yummy olives, cheeses, and an assortment of crackers.  They had exotic teas and coffees on the menu, and I chose the iced mint tea.  I had no idea that it would have pine nuts in it; good thing I love pine nuts!

As we were leaving the sun finally began to set...
'Twas a lovely afternoon.. ;)

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Night in Oia

Last week we finally made it to Oia; my favorite Santorini town.  Oia is similar to Fira because they are both large villages perched high on the caldera cliff.  Both towns feature boutique hotels, restaurants, shopping, and bars, and although they are only 11 kilometers apart and share the same landscape, the towns are strikingly different.  Whereas Fira is lively and sort of rough around the edges {the stone streets are uneven and many smell like donkeys}, Oia is more upscale and reserved, with marble streets filled with expensive art galleries and fine dining.

Oh, and another thing..  Oia is home to the world's most famous sunset!  We headed there a bit late one night last week, so we caught the sunset on our drive there.  We jumped out of the car and snapped a few photos on the side of the curvy, windy road that takes you to the tip of the island.

When we arrived, the sun had disappeared but the shades of blue, then of pink and orange still lingered in the sky.  Here are some photos from our night.

Lots of windmills!
The village of Oia alone has 79 churches
Nearly all eateries are alfresco style - my favorite!

After walking many of the stairs you see in these pictures, we popped into Melenio for a treat.  I've been to this bakery cafe a few times before and have never left disappointed.  They have a wide range of local desserts and a pretty rooftop terrace {the food arrives via a mini food elevator since their kitchen is downstairs}.  The baklava we shared was to die for!

Have you been to Fira & Oia?  Which is your favorite?
A prefers Fira and I prefer Oia!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pieces of Happy: Santorini Style

1.  Santorini's 2 movie theaters usually play older flicks, but this week Man of Steel is playing (and in 3D!) and we're going to see it tonight!  I love going to the movies. 

2.  For the first time in 4 years of life abroad, I have my own transportation!  
Let me introduce you to our shiny & new ATV, R2D2. 

3.  I live in a place where baklava is always on the menu.  Just look at it.  

4.  Walking through Oia the other night.  More pictures coming soon!

5.  Lucky's Souvlakis.  Real Greek gyros.  The most delicious junk food.  
Loaded with french fries and topped with tzatziki to ensure garlic breath for at least 12 hours.  :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Want a Pony

I never asked for a pony as a little girl, but I'm asking for one now.  
Just look at him!!  Or her?  
Lets  call him/her Pony

Pony lives in the village of Karterados along the main road that takes you to Fira {middle of the island}.  He/she is maybe 3 feet tall and has a water bucket and a little wooden roof to rest in the shade {I saw one night that Pony sleeps under it, too}.  I look for him/her every time we drive by and have stopped twice to visit.  Poor Pony is always alone; I feel sorry for him/her!  Do ponies get lonely by themselves?  Would it be totally ridiculous to buy him/her?  What would I do with a pony?..  {This post is going under my shopping label..}

If anyone is in the market for a pony from Santorini...
I can find Pony's owner.
I want him/her to have a home!

And if not, sorry for this pointless post! ;)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Wine Tasting at Santo Wines

On Friday, A, my dad, and I visited Santo Wines to take in the view and do some wine tasting.  Santo Wines is the biggest wine producer on the island and is very well known on an international level.  The wine tasting here is more touristic and less personal, but is still worth it for the caldera view, atmosphere, and great quality local wines. 

{I didn't realize until after that our camera was on a horrible setting!}
{Wish the real colors would have turned out! :( }
We chose the 6 wine tasting that is served with cheese, olives, "toast" (crunchy bread), and Santo's tomato paste, but they also have a 12 and even an 18 wine tasting!  My favorites were the dry white Assyrtiko, the SANTO Semi Sweet Red, and the classic honey-like dessert wine Santorini Vinsanto

The company not only produces excellent wines, but it manufactures some of Santorini's best local food products, such as fava (yellow split peas that turn into a puree) and tomato paste (the island has killer tomatoes because of the volcanic soil). The foodie in me loved perusing their store, but the smarty in me knew that you can buy everything at the supermarket for much cheaper. ;)  *Note to future Santorini visitors: you can buy Santo wine in the supermarket in clear, plastic, 1.5 liter bottles for only 3 or 4 euros! {Same wines cost upwards of $20 in the US and abroad.}

{A whole wall filled with recognition & awards}

{Love their terrace; this is only a fraction of it}

Have you tasted Greek wine?  
Do you enjoy dessert wine as much as I do?!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Donkey City & The Old Port of Santorini

On Day 2 here, A declared that Santorini should be nicknamed Donkey City.  Donkeys are just the animal of Santorini; they were used for transportation for many years.  Growing up I remember always seeing old men riding donkeys on the side of the road when I visited.  I don't see much of it anymore, but the donkey has become the official souvenir of Santorini.  Whatever souvenir you can imagine, there is one here with a donkey on it.

Today, you'll find most of the donkeys (although I think 90% are actually mules) along the 588 steps that lead to the old port, which is where all the cruise ships leave their passengers these days.  The cruise visitors have the option to take a cable car up to the town of Fira, ride a donkey up, or hike up the old fashioned way, cautious of not stepping in any donkey droppings, of course.

Last week we decided to hike all the way down and back up the steps, just to be active, I guess.  It was a workout!  And there were so. many. donkeys.  A few times we had to shimmy our way through groups of them without any donkey tamers around {scary} and we got whipped by a few tails.  Note: do not hike these steps between the hours of 9 and 6 - it is too hot!