In Santorini and Naxos just after the US elections

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Our outlook on life improved once our boat landed and were picked up and taken to our hotel for three nights, Manos Villas. Our room was huge, with a nice balcony overlooking the pool. Since it was the low season, Kamari was a ghost town, but we lounged around for a little while and relaxed on the rocky beach. We rode the bus back to the main city of Fira where we walked along the western edge of town which is beautifully cramped with bone white houses perched on the cliffs high above the sea. The town and views were amazing and it finally gave us a good feel for what the Greek Isles were all about. We spent a good amount of time walking through town, and then watched a lovely sunset before heading back to the hotel.

The weather didn’t cooperate for more sunbathing the following day, so we packed up our bags, checked-out and got a few hours of work done in Fira. After lunch, we headed back to the ferry terminal to catch the boat to our next island destination of Naxos. In Naxos, we stayed at a guesthouse called Pension Sofi. It was a nice little place and they showered us with hospitality the entire stay – beer and cheese on check-in, Haley a rose, home made wine and olives, gift wrapped souvenir magnet and Greek coffee.

We kicked around town that evening. It was a surprisingly large downtown area that was really bustling for that time of year. For dinner, we went with Pension Sofi’s recommendation of a small local taverna. When we walked in the door, one of the patrons, a regular, greeted us loudly and asked where we were from. When we told him NYC, he started going on and on about our new president. Turns out he lived in Toronto for a number of years and just recently moved back to Naxos. Throughout dinner, he would occasionally strike up conversations with us from across the restaurant, mainly asking us questions about Obama. He finally moved from his table to ours and started telling us a few interesting stories about his tough times in Toronto. He even bought us a beer and invited us to a local bar that was set to open in an hour or so. We told him we may stop by, and bought him a beer on our way out to return the favor. Him and his friend shouted an enthusiastic ”OBAMA!” as we walked out of the door. Kind of a weird and interesting first night on Naxos, but nice to see that the US’s international relations have already improved.

The following day, we explored the marble filled old town, a maze of almost tunnel-like streets leading up through castle walls to a catholic church at the highest point of the hill. We also walked out on a small peninsula to take a look at the Temple of Apollo. We opted out of a car rental to explore the interior of the island, and walked to the beach instead. It was a soft, sandy beach – a nice change from Santorini’s rocky shores. 

By Haley and Jim; excerpts, edited by Greece Travel Blog

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