When I was in the 5th grade, I read the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. And then I read the second. And then the third. And then I watched the movies. And then I bought a pair of jeans and was distraught when they didn’t fit my friends, too. I was obsessed. Ann Brashares, you got me good. Going to Greece, (particularly Santorini) has therefore long been a dream of mine, and as soon as I knew I’d be studying in Europe this semester, I was dead set on getting there.
As I wrote about in my last blog post, three weeks ago I finally got to hop on a plane to Santorini, Greece. Six days, numerous hikes, several hours on the beach, a lot of hummus and a gnarly sunburn later, I can tell you that of all the places I’ve been in the world, Santorini is the most beautiful. I’m writing this post primarily with the purpose of sharing some of the pictures I took; they have to be shared somehow!!
(The Caldera at 6:30AM)
I got into Santorini on a 6AM flight, and upon hearing that it was my first time on the island, my very friendly taxi driver pulled over along the Caldera so that I could watch the sunrise coming up over Fira. The way the red and orange hues reflected on the large span of water – a photograph can’t quite capture it.
(The Black Sand Beach in Perissa, Santorini.)
I stayed in Perissa, which is about a 20 minute bus ride from the city center (Fira). In Santorini, you either choose to stay in the City Center, or to stay by the beaches. I chose to stay by the beach... and I don’t really have any explanation for this other than the fact that I will always choose the beach. This was the view from my Air B n’ B!!
On my second day in Perissa, I saw the trailhead for a 2 hour hike up to Ancient Thera. My crazy Birkenstock wearing self decided that this 2,000 foot climb sounded like a great idea.... in my sandals. If I were to do it again, I would wear sneakers and sunscreen. Eh, you live and learn, right? No regrets though - the view made it more than worth it.
(Tired but triumphant little toes.)
(The view from the top of Ancient Thera.)
Another highlight of my trip was the 12km walk from Fira to Oia. Again, sunscreen would have been a good call (are you sensing a trend here?) but I was in awe of the sights I saw. The pictures speak for themselves.
On my final day on Santorini, I took a boat to the volcanic island of Thirassa, and swam in the hot springs. Despite being (unbelievably) smelly, it was the bluest water I’ve ever seen.
But of all the places, all the views, all the incredible sights... the sunset from Oia village was the most incredible. I’d heard that it was said to be the most stunning view of a sunset in the world, and now, having seen it, I understand why.
Santorini, you were a dream. Shoutout to Ann Brashares and Lena Kaligaris for making this a lifelong dream of mine. Still searching for my Kostas, but that’s all the more reason to come back soon, right?
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<p>My name is Elisa Stern, and I am a junior at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. I am studying neuroscience and philosophy, and will be studying abroad in Amsterdam for the Spring of 2016.</p>