Friday, May 28, 2010

Greece part 1

Dear all, did you miss me? I'm sorry this blog has been neglected for a good long time. I have finished my finals (and crossing my fingers every single day), and went on a well-needed vacation to Greece and Ireland. I'd always thought that I would never want to see another book again in my life after what I went through during the finals, but after a refreshing break I feel I just might take up further studying in the future.

Our original plan was to fly in to Greece via Athens, but after seeing the turmoil we decided on a change of plans to fly straight to Santorini instead. Santorini is a collection of lovely little islands off the southeast of Greece formed from volcanic eruptions. It is difficult to say exactly what was its charm: the beaches were clean and peaceful, the architecture of the buildings were very different from the rest of the country, and the people are one of the friendliest I have seen.

We spent a day on Perissa beach. The sand is black due to the volcanic soil, and the sea is in the bluest shade of blue I have ever seen. The one thing I regretted was not bringing more warm clothing to the island. Foolishly I thought all islands would be sunny and happy but unfortunately that does not include santorini! The temperature was cool but the wind was...cold. The locals were wearing jackets and sweaters and I felt like such a fool in my summer dresses, shivering away on the beach! In the end I had to put on my thick jacket I brought along, and planned to wear in ireland cos I assumed the weather was much colder there, and still looked like a fool on the island wearing my winter jacket and thin flouncy dress. Le sigh.

(actually I didn't really get to wear the thick jacket in ireland much in the end. We overestimated the weather in greece and underestimated that of ireland, but more of that later anyway.)

Our most expensive dinner in santorini, totalling to over 17 euros per person.

And, we had a surprise birthday celebration for the bestie! =)

We recruited many cute guys to sing her a birthday song.

On the second day, we rented two cars for the six of us and went a-exploring around the island. It is impractical and somewhat impossible to walk around in santorini as the island is not really that compact and dust was blowing into our eyes all the time as the wind was so strong (which explains the chilly weather too). ATVs are cheaper than renting a car but one ATV only sits two people and it goes SO. SLOWLY. A car costs about 45 euros per day not including petrol for an automatic car, and a manual one costs 40 euros. But the manual car wasn't a feasible option as the driver sits on the left and drives on the right side of the road, and the clutch is on the right side of the driver (all opposite to malaysia). Sin Wee was really excited to be able to drive after a dry spell in glasgow but me, as always the one with no sense of direction always seemed to read the map wrong and we ended up reversing the car quite a number of times as we took a few wrong turnings or didn't turn at the correct place. Good times.

Sinwee looking very excited behind the wheel.

Vilchada beach.

All six of us with the flag of Greece behind.



Another souvlaki.

Greek salad! with a huge chunk of feta cheese in the middle. Yum!


A little tip for those who are also heading to Greece. How do you know if the restaurant has cheap food? An average moussaka costs around 8-10 euros, so if its moussaka is cheaper than that it's considered cheap enough. A cheap greek salad will cost about 5-6 euros.

Part 2 coming up next!