Saturday, September 8: This morning I take my time checking out of Villa Galinia. The ferry for Athens doesn’t leave until 6:40 this evening, so I have a long day ahead. I linger over breakfast, reorganize and re-pack my suitcase with all my new purchases, and then go back into Fira, where I take a little walk through the white-washed village one last time.
All day today, the wind is howling and whistling over the island, a bright & cheery tempest. I wonder if this is the “weather” that the tour company warned about when I decided to take the fast ferry tonight.
I stop for lunch at Mama’s House, a Rick Steves-recommended restaurant. According to Steves, this is a good budget choice with unpretentious Greek fare. I order some tzatziki, a yogurt, cucumber and garlic appetizer, and some eggplant rolls. As these are both “starters,” I figure it will be okay to eat two things, but as always, I’m surprised by the portion sizes. They are both delicious, but, along with the bread that comes with the tzakziki, I can barely make a dent in the meal.
I have plenty of time to kill, so I drive back to Oia, where I saw a cool painted cross I want to buy. I walk around the town, find the little cross which is hand-painted by the shop’s owner, and take some more photos.
On my way back, I take the route along the outer edge of the island, where I see vineyards, beaches, and a hill covered in windmills. It’s quite a lovely drive out in the country, away from the tourist crowds of Oia and Fira.
Finally, I return to Villa Galinia, where I sit by the pool for a while, whiling the hours away. Finally, I go to the little “Restaurant” in Akrotirion, where, since I’m barely hungry, I eat a colorful Greek salad with tomatoes, onions, olives and feta cheese.
Finally, at around 6:00, I head to the new port to take the speed ferry to Athens. I’m sad to leave the islands and return to the mainland, especially because there are so many other islands I would love to explore. Of course, I know I’ll have fun on the mainland too, although it will be a different vibe altogether.
Little do I know what a torturous evening awaits me.