Santorini – The island of blue roofs, white wash houses & cats

Have you ever had a dream? Maybe to sky dive or see the Eiffel Tower? My dream, since I have seen pictures of Greece, was to go to Santorini.

Well, I accomplished this dream. To finally cross that dream off my bucket list seems unreal.

The surreal feeling I was overcome with is euphoric. To actually be there, seeing the blue roofs, white wash houses and even the donkeys was mind blowing.

My first hour in Santorini was everything I expected. We had transportation from the airport to our hostel, and as soon as we got in the car greek music was playing and the sun was rising in the distance. It was picture perfect to say the least. Even though I was exhausted, having slept (or not slept) in an airport, was all taken away by the beauty that surrounded me.

We drove the winding roads, listening to greek music, with a greek driver singing along, and my first impression of Santorini was simply breathtaking.

It was a bit cold, but that did not keep me down. I was in Santorini, what more could I want?.

The moment I realized I was really in Greece was when I saw the donkeys. Sounds pretty funny, and you think it only happens in movies, but donkeys are forms of transportation in Greece. The best part is they are led by a little Grecian man!

Sophie and I finally got to our hostel and it was the best surprise to step out of the car and see the sunrise. It’s like everything you ever hope it to be. The sun is bigger than you will ever see and the colors radiate off the majestic Aegean sea.

We could not check into our hostel until 9 and it was only 6:30. I was freaking out because we had our bags and no place to go, but in the end it was a blessing. We had a few hours to sit on the beach (which was 100ft from our hostel) and we just napped on the beach while enjoying the sunrise.

The hostel we stayed at was on Perissa Beach (Black Sand Beach). It was this nice villa, and Sophia and I had our own little room, terrace included.

The first day was kind of chilly and windy, but we still laid on the beach. We napped and ate our first authentic Greek gyro (which is better than I thought it would be).

After a much needed nap, we went and found the most glorious place on earth, Dorian’s Pub. Dorian’s pub was one of the highlights of the trip. Every hour of every day was happy hour. We had cocktails for 3 euro every night during our stay.

The next day, we rented an ATV and went exploring the island of Thira. We traveled to the red sand beach (Akrotiri). The fact there is a red sand beach, a black sand beach and a white sand beach on one island is unreal to me. There is just beauty all around.

After exploring the red beach, we went to see the light house at the southwest end of the island. It was just one of the many breathtaking sights we saw. You can see the whole island from the top, as well as the sea off in the distance.

You can see the reflection of the sun glowing off the blue water. I just sat in awe and couldn’t really comprehend how all this beauty could be surrounding me. Every direction I looked, I was amazed by something else.

After we sat at the lighthouse for 3 hours, we decided it was time to go. Even though we wanted to go home, our ATV did not want us too.

The ATV did not start. So Sophia and I are by this lighthouse, maybe 40 mins away from our hostel, and we have no phone, no idea what to do. So we start pushing this ATV down the road. There has to be hotel or someone who can help us, right?

I am pretty sure it was a guardian angel sent to us from God, but someone how a lady heard us trying to start our ATV and came running to our help, AND she had a phone.

We called the ATV company and they sent someone to come fix it. I have to say though, our ATV died in a beautiful place, so we didn’t complain too much.

When he fixed it, I wanted nothing more than to just go get a drink and sit on the beach. So that’s what we did. That’s basically what we did every night.

Everyday I woke up to the sound of birds chirping, the Grecian sun on my face and cats, lots and lots of cats.

On our third day there, the sun was shining and it was nice and warm. A perfect day to lay by the beach and get some sun. Something I have been deprived of in Holland.

We sat on the beach under our umbrella, in front of the Aegean Sea, and I felt as if I was in a dream. The only word that could describe that moment was blissful paradise.

Later that night we went to the capital, Fira, and then to the famous sunset town, Oia. Every thing, every view, every where you looked you were encircled by beauty. No matter which direction you turned in, your mind was completely shattered by the amount of gorgeous things surrounding you.

We walked around Fira for a little bit, shopping and just watching the sun slowly go down. We then we went to Oia to watch the sunset.

Waiting on top of the ledge, anticipating the worlds most famous sunset, my mind just wandered. I couldn’t actually believe that I was here. I was in Santorini, watching a sunset I thought I would only see in pictures. I was just taken away by this.

When they tell you it is the most beautiful sunset you will ever see, they (whoever they are) are 100% right.

The sky just captivates you. It turns colors I never thought the sky could be. It almost look like it was on fire, but in the most beautiful way.

We waited around two hours for the sunset and in a matter of 5 minutes it was gone. I have to say it was one of the best “waiting” moments of my life.

I don’t think I will ever witness anything more beautiful in my life and I feel so grateful I can say I have seen the world’s most famous sunset AND sunrise.

On our last day there, we just sat on the beach, walked around the little town of Perissa and just relaxed.

Knowing that I was coming back to Leiden one last time, and I had to say goodbye to the home I have made these past four months was a little bittersweet.

For mine and Sophia’s last trip, Santorini was last, but definitely not least. Fulfilling this dream met every expectation I had seen in pictures and read online.

There are no words to describe how this trip affected me. It may sound weird thinking that a place can change you, but once you experience it, you believe in it and I strongly believe in it.

For those of you who have those places on your bucket list, but can’t find the time, money or a way to do it, know that it is possible. I did it.

I urge you to do the same. The feeling you get when you see something you have only dreamed of is better than anything you can ever imagine.

Yes, you may have to save money, but what I have learned my past few months here and from visiting Santorini is that traveling is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.