Epic Europe Trip 2014 Day 5: The Big Hike With Our Friend Buddy

I write you today from the balcony of our suite overlooking the tremendous caldera, with nearby church bells ringing and a slight breeze just giving me enough cloud cover to see my laptop screen. Its magnificent, and so too was our day today. After a long day of travel yesterday, today is the first full day in Santorini and it was a great way to start the week.

We woke up early again and luckily were able to fall asleep after watching a couple of episodes of New Girl. At around 7AM we were up for good and began the morning by unpacking and getting clothes ready for the week. Once that was done it was time to go down to have breakfast at the pool-side restaurant. We both ordered scrambled eggs and also partook in the nice breakfast buffet spread. I went with cold meats and cheeses while Jenn was all over their chocolate filled croissants. I think she had three of them. Among their offerings for breakfast was sparking wine so I went with just plain sparkling wine while Jenn went with a mimosa. I also got their cappuccino which was pretty good.

After breakfast we went back to our room, showered up and got ready for a massive hike from Oia to Fira. We both did research before the trip on Santorini and this hike and knew it would take anywhere from two to four hours to complete. We headed out at around 11 AM and about twenty minutes in we knew we made a gigantic mistake. We forgot water. Well we forgot to grab our water bottles. The hotel gave us water bottles and we had them ready to grab we both just failed to do so. Needless to say for most of the hike we were pretty thirsty.

Right after we realized we didn't have water we got off the main road and jumped on the hiking trail. At that time a dog (looked like a lab/boxer mix) ran up to us and then followed us along the trail. It was the weirdest thing. It was obvious that he had been on the trail many times before. But he would run ahead of us, stop, see Jenn right next to him and run forward. Like he was our own dog. Jenn jumped on that bandwagon immediately and named him Buddy. I'm sure he had a name, but Jenn said it should be Buddy, so Buddy is what it is. We passed two dozen people in this timeframe with Buddy and almost all of them assumed we were horrible pet owners who let our dog run wild off leash. At about the half way point he ran off to go chase lizards and we assume he went back home somewhere near where we started our hike. 

As the hike started to become more strenuous so too did the weather start to get warmer. When we started the hike it was on the cold side looking like it was going to rain, at the half-way point the sun was out and our jackets were off. We continued on the path and finally after nearly four hours we made the 6+ mile hike from Oia (our hotel) to the capital city of Santorini, Fira.  When we were here in 2012 on the cruise this is where our tour left off and we could catch the tender back to the boat. 

When we got to Fira we both knew exactly what we wanted to do. In 2012 one of the most memorable parts of that trip was an incredible lunch that Jenn and I had in Fira at a restaurant called Sphinx. Jenn remembered exactly where it was and once we were in Fira she had us make a bee-line straight for it. How does she after only being in Fira for two hours in 2012 remember exactly how to navigate straight too the restaurant. I barely remembered the main throughway let alone how to navigate to it. 

Once we arrived at the restaurant the aches and pains from the hike had disappeared. I had this indescribable feeling that I was somehow reliving one of those amazing moments in my life and yet somehow not only was I not looking back at that experience but that I was able to do it again. The views from the Sphinx restaurant are out of this world and luckily their food backs up the great appeal. We ordered right away, Jenn got their pork tenderloin kebab and I got their duck. When the meals came out we looked at each others plates and ended up switching meals. Both were out of this world and we once again enjoyed a great two hour meal experience at the Sphinx. It was truly amazing to be back. 

After lunch we grabbed a taxi to take us back to Oia and to our hotel. When we arrived we walked around the beautiful grounds right when the sun came out in full force. We also recorded a tour of our room since when we arrived the night before it was already dark.

Once we got all the touring done it was time to relax. So Jenn got her book (she's reading One and Only by Emily Giffin) and I began working on WorldofJoel while taking in the magnificent sunset. This is our second day in Santorini and I can say with 100% certainty that the view of the caldera from our room will not get old at all while we're here. Its truly remarkable. 

At 6PM we went out for an evening stroll. Originally our plan for the day was to get a lunch at a normal time but since it wrapped up at 4PM we weren't hungry for dinner so we decided to just take a nice walk. Last night we stayed pretty close to our hotel, but tonight we ventured out much further into Oia and near where we did a lot of our touring on the cruise in 2012. It was such a beautiful night, it was cool but not cold, windy but not exceptionally so, and busy but not crowded.


After our nice walk through Oia we came back to our room and turned in for the night. After a six plus mile hike and an incredible meal at Sphinx its easy to say that today was a great day.