The owner of our hostel picked us up at the airport and drove us to the paradise where we'd be staying for the next few nights: Villa Manos. He parked the van and jumped out to get our suitcases for us.
No one moved, but Jessica said, "Wait. This is where we're staying?!?"
Yes, yes it was.
The inside was nothing special — just two rooms lined with beds to sleep six — but we weren't planning on spending much time inside anyway. And in line with that plan, we threw our suitcases at the ends of our respective beds and walked outside to the pool.
We lounged for a while in complete awe of where we were. Everything was so colorful. The sky was as blue as ever, and shared its vibrancy with the aqua water of the pool and the sea.
We decided to venture into Fira, the island's capital. Someone said it was only seven or eight minutes away, so we started walking.
And we kept walking and walking. It turns out it was seven or eight minutes by bus. The walk was closer to 30 or 40 minutes, but I didn't mind. It was gorgeous.
After a couple of stops to ask for directions, we eventually made it!
We shopped and looked around for a while. I bought a much-needed pair of sunglasses, but saved the rest of my money. We walked back when it started to get dark.
Bethany, Caitlin, Amy and I stopped to get some take-out food for dinner. I ordered a Greek salad. We crossed the street to meet Kate and Jess at the grocery store. We did some shopping for the week and walked back in total darkness. It was a little scary crossing the bridges where a sidewalk was non-existant, but we made it back safely to eat our dinner.
I had expected lettuce. Turns out it was feta cheese, olives, peppers and onions piled on a whole lot of tomatos. It was good, just not what I expected at all.
We spent the rest of the night lounging, talking and trying unsuccessfully to download "Hercules" from iTunes.
All-in-all, a good first introduction to Santorini!
Editor’s note: Former Grand Haven Tribune intern Lydia Coutré is spending a semester in Italy. She is a junior at Kent State University, studying journalism. Her blogs during her stay in Italy will be posted here and at http://lydiaislost.blogspot.com. All photos by Lydia Coutré.