Our last day in Sifnos was spent returning the rental car and then having breakfast. We enjoyed our stay at the Delini hotel, especially with the breakfast, but it can be awkward at times being one of only a few guests at a place. It's slow season, so there weren't a lot of people in town, not yet at least. We like this fact, but it has its drawbacks. First, not everything is open. Second, the hotels are not full, which is usually a good thing, except that you become the focus of the hosts, and our hosts seemed intent on getting us to eat at their restaurant. We, on the other hand, wanted to explore and eat in the different towns. It got to be really awkward, and as a traveler, I kind of resent being put in that position. It would be better if they just left it alone and made it a non-issue.
Also, and I can't be sure about this, but as I mentioned, the coffee wasn't very good, and I think they were serving me yesterday's coffee. The only reason I think this is because, in addition to the awful taste, I was there in the early morning and drank the coffee and it was cold. Now how do you brew coffee that isn't at least lukewarm? The coffee eventually got hot, but the fact that it was cold made me wonder. Also, I was the only one drinking coffee, and the had this big vat of coffee just for me. Did they toss it out every day and make another 5 gallons just for me? They would have been better off just making a small pot, but at least making it fresh. If they did in fact give me re-used coffee, that's a terrible thing to do in a service business, and something to keep in mind.
Either way, it was time to catch a ferry. I had to go into town to make sure I got a receipt for the rental car return (such a paranoid American), and then we waited for the boat. We ran into a pair of nice English women who were touring the islands as well. They were older, probably in their 60s, and just checking out the islands on a whim. They didn't have an itinerary, and were making it up as they went along. You have to love Europeans, they are such great travelers. In fact, we saw many Euro families, many with young babies. They're fearless, and just go for it. I rather like that, and am glad that our kids have traveled as much as they have. It's nice when you consider that they've both been to Europe 4 times, and I never went until I was about 35. Plus, they've camped across the good old U.S. of A. and I never camped as a kid.
The ferry was fun, though a long ride. From Sifnos to Santorini it takes about 4 hours, with several stops in between at some of the smaller islands. It's a great chance to see some of the smaller islands, which unless you were touring them all, you'd probably never see. The boat was, like all the others, way more interesting and luxurious than I thought they'd be. The ferries are reasonably priced, and they are very comfortable. You can sit on the deck, where it's really nice, or be inside and nap, eat, or read. A worked on her website while N and I played and hung out on deck with mom.
We were told that the approach into Santorini is impressive, and believe me, it was nothing short of amazing. The cliffs are towering, and there are towns embedded into the cliffs. The houses are like caves, literally dug out of the rocks, and they line the ridges of the island. Since it's a volcanic island, the towns revolve around the caldera, which is what the ferry rides into. It's like entering a fortress, just beautiful.
What is even more amazing is when you get off the boat and drive into the villages. I can't even describe how cool it is, and our hotel is nothing short of fabulous. I love this place, and don't want to leave. The bedroom is fantastic, I think it's a honeymoon suite. All that's missing is the heart shaped bed that vibrates when you pump quarters into it. The view is to die for. This island is popular for honeymooners, I'm told, because it is really romantic, and so incredibly beautiful. And this hotel just blows me away.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go swimming with the kids, and thanks to RIC for the pics.