Amy Rigby's Travels

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"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." --Mark Twain

The above quote is part of what inspired me to travel to Europe in the summer of 2009. My mom, sister and I traveled to Greece, Italy and Spain in a span of two weeks. Our stop in Santorini was the most meaningful for me because I had always wanted to go there.

Santorini, Greece

I'll always remember landing on that small runway on the tiny island of Santorini. My eyes brimmed with tears as I felt the Aegean breeze caress my face and looked out at the whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches that stood out starkly against the dark gray backdrop of mountains. It was more beautiful than any postcard or painting could ever convey.

The best way I can describe Santorini to you is it's like walking in a dream. The pace of life around you seems slower, and everything feels so relaxed and peaceful. The scenery around you seems too perfect to be real.

Food

Santorini is famous for the small tomatoes and white grapes that are grown in the island's volcanic soil. I really enjoyed eating tomato balls, which are a mixture of tomatoes, bread crumbs and herbs fried into a patty. One of my favorite foods was the fried feta, which is a dip made of feta cheese, tomatoes, onions, herbs and olive oil. A word of caution of for any seafood lover who plans on traveling to Santorini: despite the fact that Santorini is an island, the seafood is ridiculously expensive. I often saw lobster being sold for about $90!

Things to do

I stayed in the town of Oia, which has a lovely pedestrian road that stretches for about two miles. This road is really nice to walk on because there are no vehicles allowed on it. It is lined with dozens of restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. I loved to just walk down the pedestrian road for hours and shop.

Santorini is notorious for its breathtaking sunsets. The island is actually a caldera of a volcano. The sun sets over the caldera, creating vibrant hues of orange, red and pink over the water. When the sun sets over Santorini, crowds gather at their favorite spots just to watch.

People

I found that most natives of Santorini spoke English, which is good for me because I don't know any Greek. They were also very friendly and always willing to give advice about good places to eat and fun places to visit.

One thing I found interesting is that most of the elderly men had "worry beads" in hand. These are very popular in Greece. They're basically a string of beads that a person fiddles with when they are worried.

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