Published: November 20th 2011November 20th 2011
In the morning, I still had to book our hotel where we were going to stay in Santorini. Because of the low season, we could stay in a very nice romantic hotel for a reasonable price:)
I left to get Didier from the airport and was there just in time, only to find out his flight had been delayed so I had to wait there for a little while. I was so excited to see him come through those doors!
In the evening we ate some spaghetti with spaghetti sauce I made the week before:)
We woke up early in the morning to catch our ferry to Santorini and eight (yes, eight :s) hours later we arrived:) We took a cab to our hotel where we could choose our room and received a bottle of wine to go with it. The hotel manager advised us to rent a car and he recommended some restaurants where we could have a nice dinner.
We drove our car to red beach, we expected a whole beach with red sand but this wasn’t the case. It are actually just a couple of red rocks in the sea, not so much
a real beach. But it was still pretty nice to see.
Afterwards we went to look for a restaurant to eat, we couldn’t find the first one he advised (later on, it turned out he pointed out the wrong place on the map). So we went to another one called Dolphins he also advised but which was more “touristy” , you can imagine our surprise that the restaurant was completely empty! We think it was a combination of us being early, the weather being cold and the low season.
We took some little dishes and shared all of them together.
After our dinner we went to Fira to drink some coffee and back to our hotel.
We woke up and ate a delicious breakfast at our hotel.
Afterwards we went to Oia, this is the village that makes Santorini so famous with its white houses and blue roofs and doors. I bought some jewellery that I thought would be perfect as a Christmas present for my sister but couldn’t resist wearing them myself, a couple days later my sister noticed me wearing them on skype so now I have to find something else:p We also discovered the
very delicious “Santonuts” and ate a whole bag:)
Before we left I made some pasta to eat on the ferry but we didn’t so we decided it was perfect for lunch, we went back to our hotel to eat that with a bottle of wine Didier bought at the airport.
In the afternoon we drove to black beach, we didn’t expect much of it due to the red beach from the day before but this was an actual beach with black sand. We both had never seen that before so we sat in the sand for a while.
Afterwards we went to a winery to taste some wines, finally I discovered some wines I like in Greece!
In the evening we had a nice dinner not too far from our hotel called Anogi, we planned on going somewhere else but this one looked so cosy we couldn’t resist.
We ate breakfast again in our hotel and asked the manager what we should still visit before we had to go home in the afternoon.
We went to a beach with cliffs that were carved due to the wind, and to a little harbour next to it.
had a little time so we went back to black beach and took some sand to take home:)
Then it was time to catch our ferry, or so we thought. We completely forgot about the hour changing to wintertime so we were an hour early:( oh well, it happens:)
Back in Athens we went to the market in the morning to get some ingredients because we wanted to cook ourselves in the evening.
Didier hadn’t eaten typical Greek food so we went to Plaka for dinner, he ate Mousaka and I ate stuffed peppers mmm:) We walked through the shopping streets afterwards and ended up at Syntagma where Didier drunk the typical Caffé Frappé.
In the evening we/Didier made risotto, it was so delicious! We watched some house episodes afterwards.
After sleeping in it was time to say goodbye, I took Didier to the airport where we ate mcdonalds before he actually went through security. Ugh, I hate saying goodbye! Especially because I know I won’t see him until Christmas :(
Oh well, I didn’t have much time to think about it (which was a good thing!) because I had to hurry to take
a bus to Thessaloniki. A couple of days before Elien called me to ask if I wanted to come to Thessaloniki and Istanbul with them, and of course I wanted to go!
I catched up with them in Thessaloniki in the evening at the hostel.
In the morning, we had breakfast in the hostel and got to know Scott, so he went with us for the day to visit the city.
We saw a lot of churches that day and we also visited the white tower. We walked along the sea which the other girls described as “the black hole” from seeing it the previous night.
In the evening we checked out and started our bus ride to Istanbul. They woke us up at 3 o’clock in the morning for passport control, not once but two times! Once for leaving the EU and the other for entering Turkey.
We arrived in Istanbul and went to our hostel which wasn’t ideal but ok for 8 Euros per night. We found it scary that we couldn’t lock our room so were glad to find out there were also some guys sleeping in our 12person bedroom.
It turned out to be a safe hostel;)
In the afternoon we visited Haghia Sophia and the Blue Mosque first. These are pretty amazing buildings to see, inside and out. We were a little surprised we had to pay entrance at a lot of places, in Europe almost everything is free for students so we realized here how lucky we are:)
Afterwards we went to the Grand Bazaar where we walked around for a long time looking at all the diamonds, colourful shops and of course fake bags;)
In the evening we went to a little cafe and tried some baklava, it is delicious but oh my god sugar overkill much?!
We started our morning at the Topkapi Palace, it took us a long time to get through this whole palace and we didn’t even go to the Topkapi Harem. It’s a nice palace to see but you really need al lot of time to see it all! Afterwards we went to drink some tea and eat a potato in the park:)
In the afternoon we went on the Bosphorus tour, this is a boat that goes up and down the Bosphorus. It’s really cool to see
everything from a different point of view. After the tour we ate some fishbread, there are little boats on the river selling this fishbread and it’s really good!
I saw some delicious “smoutebol” looking stand so I couldn’t resist taking some, and again sugar overkill! As you took a bite the syrup was dripping down on the other side:)
In the evening we went to Taksim square, this is a very busy and cosy shopping street in Istanbul.
We took a bus tour this day. You could choose between blue and red busses but only the blue ones went to the Asian side so we chose that one. Looking at it now, the red ones might have been a better choice...
We did the first tour and stepped off at the New Mosque, afterwards we walked to the Suleymaniye Mosque. The tombs were closed because it was a holiday so we didn’t get to see those. We ate luch in one of the cafes outside of the mosque and went back to the New Mosque to take the other tour.
The first blue bus that passed was full so we wanted to wait for another one because
we wanted to be able to listen to the headphones. So we sat at the bus stop for 1.5 hours! Yes, that is how long it took for the next bus to arrive. And the worst part: it was also full! Oh well, these things happen I guess:p
When we arrived back at the starting point the night tour was starting so we took that bus too. We met a women named Sonia from Venezuela on this bus and she had a drink with us when the bus stopped on the Asian side to have drink with a beautiful view on the Bosphorus Bridge.
In the evening we went for dinner at a nice restaurant we saw the first day:)
In the morning we went to the sunken palace, Basilica Cistern with Max from Montana who we met at the hostel. We didn’t expect it to be so beautiful so we were glad we saw it!
At noon it was time to go to the airport to catch our flight where we bought some cheap wodka to bring with us to Athens.
In the evening, I skyped with my sister and Didier:)
Visiting Santorini, Tessaloniki and
Istanbul, I definitely noticed that we were there in low season. It was nice to see these places not as crowded as they usually are. I would recommend visiting Istanbul for sure in low season as it was still pretty busy. I think you can just see a lot more places in one day when you don’t have to stand in line for a long time, every time you want to visit something:)
There are more photos below