Sunday, July 19, 2015

Eurotrip 2015 - Day 7 (7/3/2015) - Black Beach

We had intended to do an early hike this morning in order to avoid the later heat and harsher sun, but we kinda punted on that idea.  We had breakfast around 8:30, 30 minutes later than originally planned, then drove down to central Fira on the quads.  From there we walked southward along the main road for about 25 minutes until there we didn't have a view of the coast anymore.  We made a quick stop at AB Market (I think) and then walked back to our quads.

 
Next, we drove to the Black Beach, aka Kamari Beach - which is in (you guessed it) Kamari.  We set up shop near the southern entrance, paying 12 Euro to "rent" 2 sets of an umbrella and 2 beach chairs.  The setup on this beach was nicer than at the Red Beach - the beach chairs for rent were more organized and convenient.  This beach is also much longer than the other one.  After spending a couple of hours on the beach (I mostly lay under the umbrella, though I did go out for a wade when Joe and Tina took their first swim), we walked over to the nearby Irini Beach Cafe (probably not the official name, but it had Irini in it, and it was a beach cafe).  I ordered their mushroom "risotto", which was really a mushroom rice dish (my menu still said risotto while Tina's said rice).  I did not expect much, but the dish turned out to be pretty good.  Joe ordered the prosciutto pizza while Tina ordered some Pita and saganaki (she was not feeling terribly hungry).  The saganaki was also really good.


After we eventually got the lunch bill and paid (it always seemed to take a really long time to get the bill on this trip, especially in Santorini - this was by far Tina's least favorite part of dinners out), we took the quads up the nearby hill (Mesa Vouno) where Acient Thera apparently sat.  The road up was a crazy zig-zag which turns around about 20 times.  The top of the Sellada Pass was *extremely* windy, so we decided (out of an abundance of caution, or perhaps fear) not to continue up the walkway to the top of the hill..  None of us could hazard a guess at exactly how fast the air was moving there, but we suspect that the gusts reached hurricane speeds.


After being blown about for a while, we drove back down the hill and then back to the hotel.  There, I rested a bit and then took a shower, while Joe and Tina went to the pool again before cleaning up.  We met up around 6 PM to drive to Oia for our dinner reservation at Ochre Wine Bistro (a suggestion by the hotel clerk from the night before as a good place to watch the sunset while/after dining).  We arrived about 20-25 minutes early and took the time to walk around the surrounding area a bit.  We then headed back to the restaurant and were seated on the upper level of the tiered terrace - the place is set up such that pretty much all the tables have a good view of the sunset.  The menu was a bit limited, and none of the 6 or 7 main courses was a vegetarian option.  They did accommodate me by preparing one of the seafood pasta dishes without any actual seafood, but it didn't turn out to be very good (which is fine).  I also ordered the Greek salad, and that was as good as I expected it to be.  Joe ordered the chicken souvlaki while Tina had another of the seafood pasta dishes (but with the seafood in it).  We spent a couple of hours there (we left perhaps 20 minutes after sunset), and as expected most people were there for the sunset view.  The place was mostly full - I only saw one table that was empty at sunset.  The prices were more reasonable than I expected given the fanciness of their card, but it was still the most expensive meal of our trip (this did include a big bottle of water, a couple of Fantas, an iced tea, and a sangria, though) .  Given the great view and the somewhat reasonable prices, I could forgive the limited menu and recommend this place for a sunset in Oia, especially if you are a non-vegetarian.

 
The drive back to the hotel encountered significantly more traffic than we saw on the way up, but it wasn't horrible.  By this time we were all quite comfortable on the quads, so navigating the windy cliff-edge turns at night wasn't too bad either.  We arrived back at the hotel a bit after 10 PM.  After trying (unsuccessfully) to get good pictures by the pool of the "blood moon" that was in appearance, we decided to turn in for the night.

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An album of all my favorite photos from the trip can be found here:
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Google+ Photos (includes photo sphere functionality)

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