we searched the bus schedule and knew that our times to go to different parts of the island were limited. so, when we woke on sunday morning, we knew we should try to catch the 11:50 bus into fira. after a relaxed morning drinking coffee and writing blogs/editing photos, we were off to the bus stop… only to see the bus pulling away at 11:48 AM. we’d read the warnings that the bus could be late, but none had mentioned the bus leaving early. we were at a loss for what to do, until a friendly japanese guy suggested the 3 of us split a cab. we agreed, and sat with him while we waited for the cab to arrive. david enjoyed talking to him about japan, and we also really enjoyed our iced coffees that we got from the local souvlaki guy.
once into fira, our japanese friend took us to a nice look-out point near the cable cars where we snapped a few photos before parting ways. david and i chose a chinese restaurant for lunch, which went a little against our greek-only dining, but it was cheap and one of the only places open. then, we explored fira. we walked along the “gold road,” winding in and around little cave houses, small orthodox churches, and souvenir shops. everywhere we looked, people were sweeping, painting, cleaning, and prepping for the season to come. the sun was shining bright, and everything seemed to gleam with anticipation.
we wandered through the main square of fira (theotokopoulou square, to be exact) and got some yummy ice cream from a small shop. we sat on a bench and watched people come and go as we enjoyed our afternoon snack. david made friends with a local dog, and we hit up a couple more souvenir shops before taking the bus back to oia.
once in oia, our goal was to see the famed sunset. we joined with the small crowd of onlookers seated on top of some ruins and ooed and ahhhed as the glowing red orb sunk beneath the sea. it was one of the best sunsets i’ve seen in a long while.
then, in search of dinner, we walked through oia and followed a back road to a tavern called alkyona. there, a gruff old man led us to our table and took our order. we both decided to get some traditional fare and david got the lamb gyro, while i got a greek salad and a mousaka (a layered dish with eggplant, potatoes, meat, and cheese). the food was good, especially the greek salad, that arrived with a giant hunk of feta resting on top. the atmosphere was interesting; it was an old shack of a place with wooden support beams painted a glaring blue, with everything else a faded yellow. it really felt like an old seaside tavern, with the cap’n himself serving us dinner.
we walked home in the quiet dark, watching cats hop from perch to perch. david captured a few interesting night photos of our little area before bed. i can’t get over how beautiful and unique this place is. it’s fun to be able to live in a cave house for a few nights, and pretend this is our neighborhood.