For my second day in Santorini, I wanted to get up early to see the sunrise and Oia. You’re probably thinking “Oia, again?” but I loved it so much I actually visited it three times out of my four days on the island! Call me crazy but I wanted to photograph this unique city (village?) in different light – morning, afternoon, and sunset.
I was so glad I forced myself to get up early because Oia was gorgeous at sunrise and basically empty, which was wonderful! Armed with my tripod and camera I wandered down countless little alleys and winding paths. I just can’t get enough of those stunning blue domes!
After grabbing a quick coffee and a tasty mushroom and leek pie at the super friendly Skiza Cafe (this was my go-to coffee and snack spot), I left Oia and headed to the capital city of Fira. It is a bit confusing, but I finally figured out that Thera is the old name of the island and Fira the capital, but now these are sometimes used interchangeably. However, I discovered that following the signs to Thera and Fira both took me to the same city. I found that navigating the island was very easy. You simply follow the signs, and since there aren’t that many main roads, it is hard to get lost.
Fira has a much different feel from Oia. Oia is well-manicured and elegant, even the main street is marble lined, while Fira is vibrant and bustling (it is also where all of the cruise ships dock and disembark). After strolling the busy shopping streets and sampling several versions baklava at the many bakeries, I headed down to the old port.
The street that leads down to the port is famous for its (rather unruly) donkeys. I knew I would see donkeys, but I had no idea I would see that many donkeys. Not only are there a ton of them, but they are a little crazy (and surprisingly well accessorized!). They definitely do what they want (they don’t keep left or right), and at one point I found myself surrounded, but they are friendly and it is a fun experience. For the way back up, however, I spared both my legs and the donkeys and rode the cable car for 5 euro.
After long but exciting day of exploring, I hoped back on my four-wheeler and headed home for another amazing meal at Metaxy Mas!