What type of traveler are you? Do you prefer to find a home base, stay local, enjoy your beach/balcony/pool, and catch up on R&R? Or do you pretty much not sleep on vacation, feeling like every minute you sit inside your hotel room is a minute that you’re not using to see the sights?
I fall into the latter category. I would venture to say that I return home from a vacation much more exhausted than when I left. I consider this style of travel completely worth it, however, because journey to a new place is an adventure that should not be missed. If I was going to spend all day sitting inside, I would have stayed home and ordered Greek takeout from Santorini Taverna in Fort Lee, NJ for a fraction of the cost of a plane ticket.
Several hours later, I awoke from my nap with a sense of urgency. My internal travel-clock woke me up, telling me that I was wasting too much time indoors (albeit in a lovely villa with a comfortable bed). Jolyn, who is a bit more of a low key traveler but happily comes along for my whirlwinds adventures, was also stirring. The sun would be setting soon, and it had already started to get a little darker on our side of the cliff.
We knew that Santorini was known for its sunsets, but we wanted to experience it for ourselves. The sun was setting in an hour, so we decided to walk around the town and find a prime viewing location. We discovered an excellent vantage point at the crest of Oia with a westward facing view. Sunsets in Santorini are a communal celebration; tourists and locals alike emerge from their rooms to observe nature’s beauty together. We noticed that a crowd had already started to gather.
People were lining up in streets, on balconies, on other people’s rooftops…it was truly a communal event. And it never got old – this happened every night. Since it was already getting close to sunset, we decided to hold off on heading towards the best vantage point (the rocky structure towards the top of the above photo), but we made it our goal to get a good spot there the following evening.
We still got to enjoy the sunset from our location on one of Oia’s long, narrow walkways. While waiting, we photographed some of the floral beauty of Santorini. My new bride didn’t look so bad herself…
From there, we waited and watched the magical Santorini sunset. It was everything it was cracked up to be.
While the pictures don’t do it justice, I can still glean from them the two-dimensional version of the beauty of seeing it in person. After the sun finally sunk beneath the horizon, the entire collection of spectators erupted with applause and cheers, signifying their approval. Another successful sunset was in the books.
Fresh off our initiation into Santorini sunset culture, we wanted to cap off our evening with a delicious Greek meal. We settled on a low-key place with an incredible view, Mezzo Cafe. Despite the average TripAdvisor reviews (which we didn’t factor into our decision; we were just hungry), we enjoyed the meal quite a bit. In fact, we liked every meal we had in Greece. Even more than the meal, we enjoyed the view from our table.
Jolyn enjoying a glass of local Santorini wine
An easygoing crowd enjoying the Oia evening
A predictably gorgeous night in Santorini
Fresh-caught local fish…no eyes please…
After dinner, we went for some dessert…
…and retired to our balcony with a couple bottles of Santorini wine.
And thus concluded our first night in Santorini.