Reporting live from Nafplio....
I'm writing this report while in Nafplio, the second leg of our journey in Greece. We just completed a 3 night stay in Santorini. I'm just going to mention highlights and casual observations on places we have visited as there's a wealth of very useful information and tips that have been posted on here. If there's also any questions I can ask for anybody on here while I'm here in Greece, I'd be happy to attempt to ask or find out for you.
- I'm very happy with the decision to rent a car for the 3 days we were there. We might have even saved on transfers to and from the airport to our hotel since we picked up and returned the rental from the airport. One way taxi fare would have cost us between 15-20€. I paid a total of $108 for the rental with no surcharge for airport pickup and return. I rented from Kemwel ( they match any competitor's price ) and quite pleased with the condition of the car and their professionalism. We drove to Akrotiri, Kamari, Pyrgos, Oia, Imerovigli and truly enjoyed exploring the backwoods and narrow lanes and some residential neighborhoods.
- Ana, from our hotel suggested a TJMaxx kind of store,as my hubby and I needed to buy
some clothes because we did not arrive in JTR with our luggage. It would be 2 days before we were united with our luggage. Our original Lufthansa flight from the US was cancelled and our luggage did not make it to the flight we were put in. The small clothing store is along the main highway going to the airport, south of Thira, next to a pharmacy. It has 2 Chinese red lanterns hanging outside the store front and I think it's owned by a Chinese family. The store sells most clothing articles, luggage, bags and some accessories. The price is similar to what you would pay at a TJMaxx store and the clientele is mostly locals.
- Akrotiri: we joined a guided tour for 10€ per person. It's hard to imagine ( at least for me ) how anyone can appreciate and enjoy the museum without a guide putting things and the sights into perspective. The tour was an hour long, about 30 minutes of it is lecture. This made the ruins come alive. I can't wait to see some of the original frescos at Athens Natl Museum, the last leg of our tour, We had a great, small group - hubby and I and a another family of four. The guide ended up spending almost an hour and a half with us because some of the good questions asked. It was an engaged and very interested group and I think this motivated our guide to include more details than usual, in her commentary.
- Akrotiri is open until 8 pm. If you're staying in town, might be better to time your visit after the cruise ship visitors have returned to their ship, maybe sometime after 4 pm if you're averse to crowds.
- our best meal was at Mataxi Mas in Exo Genia. The restaurant is out of the way from the tourist trail. You need to take a cab or have a car to get there. Great food, setting and ambience for a very reasonable price. The grilled octopus is very tender. Appetizers, aperitif (raki, similar to ouzo) dessert and liqueur are on the house!
- we also enjoyed Salt & Pepper Seafood Restaurant in the north tip of Thira, it's seems as though it's in Firestofani. It's along the main road after the hustle and bustle of the tourist hub of Thira, the owner's husband buys the fish and seafood at dawn everyday so their seafood is always fresh. And your taste buds can tell. The portions are generous too, so definitely share-able.
- the gyro and souvlaki at Lucky's Is indeed very good. The owner (Lucky) is one great entertainer and will be visiting Houston, TX at the end of the year. He kept us entertained by his wonderful stories about everyday life in Santorini. We talked to him about his construction projects and real estate in Santorini.
- I thought the Oia sunset was a bit overrated. I'm not sure if it's just because of the time of the year or some other factor but I didn't find anything special about the sunset. We perched ourselves in one of the higher spots in Oia, slightly north of the ruined castle. Judging from the size of the crowd that congregated there, I think we picked the right spot.
- our newly discovered favorite dessert: ekmek kataifi (sp?). We've had it almost everyday since we "discovered" it. It's creamy white, with ground pistachio nuts topping on a bed of the string-y, wheat frost like base, then drizzled with honey. great with coffee.
Nafplio leg, next....
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Reporting live from Nafplio....