We’re in Greece now and again we spend 3 days in 3 different cities, well, 2 islands and a city. We started off in Santorini.

To reach the island we had to tender from the cruise ship via local tender vessels. These are run by the local operators and while the ship is capable of doing this itself, I think they are required to use local tenders here.  Here we are on the tender ready to hit the island.

Anyone who knows the layout of Santorini will know that it is basically the rim of a volcano and the main town of Fira is right at the top. There are 3 ways to get up there, you can take the cable car for €5, you can walk or you can take a stinky donkey for the discount price of €5.  L&G decided to walk, we thought about the other options for about a second and decided to take the cable car.

While waiting for L&G to complete their ascent we stopped for a coffee and cold chocolate while overlooking the caldera. It only took them about 20 minutes, which included dodging the donky poo that litters the path.

This is not our first visit to Santorini as we spent 5 nights here in 2007 with L&G. As we’d seen all the sights we decided to do something different and walk along the coast line from Fira through Firastafani to the top of the hill.
This was a nice walk, steep in places, but it really set us up for a good afternoon of yiros hunting. The walk took us around 2 hours meandering through little cobblestone pathways, past hotels, restaurants and bars. On the way back we picked up some strawberries which are in season here at the moment, they looked delicious and were too had to resist.
As we arrived back in Fira we stopped for our first yiros & mythos. This was a nice little place with a clean WC, which were in need of.  We ordered and it wasn’t long before we were indulging in yiros bliss.

After this we continued back to town to look at some shops. Kath bought a hat and bag, Leanne bought a ring made from a shell.
Out of the blue we ran into the Gallesio clan and as they were in need of lunch, and our last yiros was an hour ago, we settled in for another lunch at a different location. This one had all the hallmarks of a good place.  The big fella behind the counter was sweating from the heat of the grills, he had massive mits, just the right size to hold the wrap. These were pretty tasty and it was the Gallesio families first Greek yiros.  The kids were suitably impressed.


We went our separate ways, exploring more of the town, looking for a tshirt or something else to take home. From here we had a drink back at the same place we’d had a coffee and then made our way back down to the ship via the cable car.
Back on the ship I ordered a double grey goose on the rocks and cut up some strawberries to put in it. As some of you will know, this is my drink of choice and I haven’t had one in quite a while so it was very enjoyable.
Next day and we are in Mykonos, which we also stayed at with L&G in 2007. From here we planned to take a boat over to the ancient ruins of Delos. 

While waiting for the ticket booth to open we had a coffee and Leanne purchased and wrote in two postcards. We already had some postcards to send but we are unsure if the “stamps” we were sold were actually stamps or just stickers?!  We put them into the post box anyway but took a photo of them just in case, we also took a photo of the post box.

The 9am ferry was booked out, however as luck would have it there was a special ferry, filled with French school kids and we were able to get onto this one which was good from a timing perspective, but not so good from a sailing perspective as it was quite a lot smaller than the other ferries that go to Delos.
The swell, while only 1-2 meters, was quite large for this vessel and there was 4 or more occasions where we were sure it was going to tip over.  All the school kids were sceaming and fearing the worst. We obviously made it and knowing that we were coming back on the large ferry made us all feel a lot better.
We wandered around at an amazing array of ancient buildings, wondering the whole time how on earth anyone ever lived in such a barren place with no obvious source of fresh water. Perhaps there was ground water as there are a lage number of wells of which one can’t see the bottom.  Nothing to stop people from falling down them though. OH&S is not a high priority here.
We took the big ferry back to Mykonos and went on the hunt for some yiros. We went to the restaurant strip, but this was all sit down stuff, we wanted street food! Kath asked a local store keeper and we had the info. We set of and found this little place which, for me, is the best yiros I’ve had on this trip.  I had a second one, they were just so good!!

We continued to wander the streets looking at different shops, I bought a Mythos t-shirt, Leanne also got a t-shirt. As Delos was so cold and windy, we had our large jackets with us, which were far too warm to be wearing in the middle of the day, and the t-shirt shop keeper insisted on giving us 2 very large plastic bags to carry these around in. Such a lovely chap.
We visited the famous windmills and went to look for a place to have a drink, however the prices along the water were ridiculously expensive so we gave up on that and went in search of another yiros. This was another recommended place and it was very busy. The wrap was larger with more filling and cost less however wasn’t as nice as the first one we’d had.
We decided to walk back to the ship, mainly to burn off some of the yiros.  It was a 30 minute walk however it was along the road with crazy bus drivers and trucks. We probably should have taken a taxi, but the walk did us good. I used up the last of the strawberries with a few more Grey Goose’s up on deck overlooking the island.
I’m skipping a day here as between Mykonos and Athens was ANZAC day.  That will be in the next post.
In Athens we again teamed up with the Gallesio’s and went out on our own. We departed the ship and walk outside the terminal. There were many taxis lined up, plus some 8 seater minivans, alternatively we could catch a bus, or walk to the train. As here was 8 of us we asked the price of the minivan, which was €80. The total price for 2 cabs was €40 so we took the cab option as this will save us some time in waiting for public transport.
We were off the the Acropolis and the cabbies said they would stick together and we would arrive together, this didn’t happen. Our cabbie tried to offer us more of a Day Trip experience where he would take us to some other “special places”. We weren’t interested so he got the shits and didn’t say a thing for the remainder of the ride. This wasn’t a very long wait though as he was doing 160km/h down the highway!
We arrived a full 5 minutes before the Gallesio family and when they arrived they told of how their cabbie was saying how our cabbie was very annoyed and cranky, not just at us, but all the time. Their guy on the other had seemed lovely and was very happy to be of service.
We arrived at around 9:15 and the line up for tickets was very short, only a 5 minute wait. After getting these we headed to the WC where a local tour guide bailed up Kath offering a private tour. Kath really needed to wiz, and kept asking for the price but the lady kept harpping on, eventually she said €20 each, to which Kath immediately replied “nup” and walked off.  The lady came down to €15, but it was too late. We might have considered €10.
We walked around a bit, took lots of photos. It was quite busy, a lot busier than we remember. On the way out the line for tickets was 50 times longer than it was when we got there, the early bird/worm analogy springs to mind.  We visited the other locations as well and it came to be lunch time so Yiros time it was.

We found our first in an area that is popular with locals, although it wasn’t your typical yiros from the large rotating column of meat. These were cooked on a skewer over the grill, Sish kebab style, and were traditional in that there was no chips and no tatziki. This suited Gary quite fine as these are two ingredients that he asks to be left out of his yiros.  Everyone had lamb yiros except Sharon who had a very tasty looking saganaki. The fellas had 500ml FIX beers, no Mythos, and the ladies shared a 500ml house wine which was nice.

From here some of us had a frozen yoghurt and then walked the streets some more. We ventured into the more touristy area for some shopping, not that we purchased anything. We came across this early model bmw motorcycle which I had to take a photo of just to show my brother Glen, who is in the middle of modifying his own bmw motorcycle.  This was an awesome looking machine, which would have many stories to tell.

About 90 minutes passed and we stopped for our second yiros, which happened to be over the road from the first one we’d had. This time we had chicken ones that came with the chips and tatziki. Again we had another FIX and white wine.

We’d had about enough for the day so we headed towards the train station. Kath snuck in a coffee on the way and I had a piece of baklava. We also picked up 1kg of strawberries from a vendor outside the square for €2.50. So cheap!
We are all to aware of the risks of taking the train in Athens as our friend Katie was pick pocketed a couple of years back on this same train. We warned everyone that this was a problem area for this so all were on alert to make sure we didn’t fall victim.
The train arrived and we jostled aboard with a dozen other people, all who seemed to come out of nowhere. As soon as the train doors closed Rob noticed that his wallet was gone from deep in is front pocket. He immediately yelled out “my wallets gone, someone has stolen my wallet” he said this a number of times quite loud and started grabbing at the hands of all the sus looking fellas that pushed in and around us when we were trying to get on. All of a sudden his wallet somehow miraculously appeared on the floor in front of these guys and it was handed to him. Everyone one was on edge until the next station where 3 of these guys got off, no doubt to target the next mark.
Later Sharon was saying how one of them was holding her hands on the hand rail, no doubt while another was trying to gain access to her purse. You can never be too careful, and even though we were fully aware, it can still happen.  Luckily it all ended up ok, but a big lesson learned.
Our last day at sea is tomorrow, then we are on to Palermo for a walking tour with a private guide. We’re hoping she will be able to take us to some nice markets and provincial areas and also to some nice places to get cannoli, which Sicily is famous for.  They are also famous for the Mafia, but we’ll try to avoid them 😉

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