Saturday, April 9, 2016
Our last few hours in Santorini.
Today is our farewell day to Thira, Santorini and the whole Greek bit except for our two nights in Athens coming up.
We are having our final breakfast now.
When we first got here, the resort was very quiet and it felt like we were the only people here. This morning (Kalimera!) the dining room is inundated with people from all over the world.
If I listen quietly, I can hear American, Asian, north European and Greek accents...all talking in their own dialects and languages.
Everyone sounds excited as this is their spring break so I am told. Everyone deserves a holiday every now and then and what better place to have said holiday bit in Santorini.
Things I have learnt whilst here.
Cars go in any direction. Crazy driver rules apply here, but MOST drive relatively slowly. There seems to be no hidden agenda, no evidence of road rage that we have perceived.
Many cars stop in the oddest of places, occasionally blocking traffic. If they leave their hazard lights on that means they can get out of their cars and go chat with someone in the closest shop for a while before returning and resuming their drive.
Hardly anyone wears a seatbelt in their car.
No one wears a helmet whilst on a bike....motor or foot pedal for that matter.
Everyone wears a helmet...(almost everyone) whilst driving quad bikes on the roads as well. They seem to be a popular form of tourist transport nowadays, whereas we old fogies went by foot or by bus.
People drive with their mobile phones pressed closely to their ear. No concerns for police catching them here. Even the older aged women have mobile phones up against their ears as they drive.
People smoke in cars, in restaurants, wherever.
People spit in the streets (it's a man thing here I guess).
Just about every Greek person we have had the pleasure to exchange conversation with has done their utmost to be polite and courteous to us. I know and understand that in the hospitality business it's imperative to be smiling all the time, but the people here seem to go just that one step further to demonstrate how much they care about your presence.
Last evening we had a farewell dinner in a restaurant that overlooked the sea between us the the volcano island. We watched as a large cruise ship reloaded its tourists back on board after a day of Santorini sight seeing.
Our waiters were two of the most loveliest waiters we have encountered.
They gave us complimentary hummus to go with our inevitable tzatziki as an entree, plus on completion of our meal, a dessert snippet...of a chocolate like pudding with a dollop of cream on top. Both were 'on-the-house' which is so generous of them.
Times are tough in Greece right now with austerity measures apparently in full swing so to be treated so well by people who are not even sure if they'll get a wage at the end of the week is amazing to say the least.
Both our waiters spoke our language and both expressed desire to travel to Australia. One even (figuratively speaking of course) divided his heart into two and said one side is for his family, the other side is for Australia. This is because out of all the people he has encountered in his work, Australians are the happiest, generous and most receptive he has encountered and he one day wishes to go to Austrlia, to catch up with family and friends.
How sweet is that!
Well, it's time to go complete the final pack and make sure we have all our stuff ready to be hauled on the ferry to Athens.
I shall write again soon folks.
Great to be sharing my memories, thoughts and perceptions with you all!