Travel and Become A Storyteller: The Beach House Wanderlust Diaries 2016
Santorini the Splendid
At our Beach House, we have wanderlust running through our veins. We are a collective of dreamers, adventurers and escapists – yearning for the exhilaration that comes from trying something new or discovering a new taste or flavour. We are in love with cities we’ve never been to and people we have never met. Throughout 2016, we are documenting our adventures in a blog series called ‘The Beach House Wanderlust Diaries.’
In this instalment, we are speaking to Sergio Sosa, Senior Sales Manager and Nico Persico, Front Office Manager, about their unforgettable experience in Santorini, Greece. Along with another friend Luis, they had a trip of a lifetime and it was a perfect combination of breathtaking scenery, delicious food and wonderful company. It was both Sergio and Nico’s first time in Greece and they spent an amazing week exploring Athens, Mykonos and Santorini.
Santorini is a volcanic island in the Greek archipelago. It is celebrated for its sparkling aquamarine coastline, dramatic views and unique multicoloured beaches. The small island cradles a rich and stunning variety of landscapes and villages. Discovering such a famous destination with good friends enhanced the experience for this close group of travel companions and they admit that it was difficult to identify what they loved the most about Santorini. First and foremost, they really enjoyed each other’s company, as well as their interactions with the locals.
Sergio said: “The best part of the trip was being together and experiencing these new places. We had fun everywhere we went. Also, having travelled a lot around Europe you discover the beauty in each place and culture. But one thing that really made it for me was the people. The people in Greece were really open and warm. Sometimes when you are travelling you notice that the locals are only friendly to you because you are a tourist. Sometimes you can feel that their friendliness is not genuine. But in this case when we were venturing all around Greece, I really felt that they wanted to take the time to speak to us and share their stories.”
Nico agreed: “I also felt that Santorini was very similar to where Sergio and I come from (Argentina). When we were observing the locals, I found that their behavior, the way they interacted with each other and their dynamics felt very familiar. It was something that I wasn’t expecting. It was a pleasant surprise.”
Last but not least, it was the scenery. You can’t beat Santorini’s stunning geography. Sergio elaborated: “Compared to Cayman, Santorini is completely different. The landscape includes mountains and cliffs and the beaches are completely different to those in Cayman. The black sand beach is beautiful, with lots of caves to swim in and explore. The topography of Santorini is really one-of-a-kind.”
When asked how Santorini inspired them, they both talked about how being there grounded them. Nico explained: “I was so relaxed when I got back to Cayman. After being in such an amazing place, I came back with the realization that life doesn’t have to be complicated and stressful. Sometimes people focus too much on the small things. I learnt to be more relaxed and how important it is to maintain an open mind.” Sergio concurred. He said: “I believe it is the way you approach life. What the trip taught me is just to be grateful for all the beauty that surrounds you. When we were in Greece, I loved going back to the basics. Simple and fresh food plus genuine and warm people. I found that simplicity inspiring – those experiences is what I take back with me.”
When asked what is the one thing that they will never forget about Santorini, they both say they have so many wonderful memories to choose from. Sergio said: “It is definitely the people, the place and the company. Also watching the sunset at Oia was a memorable experience. We are spoilt living in Cayman and we get to see magical sunsets all year round, but it was very different in Santorini. We saw so many people making the pilgrimage to Oia and waiting for hours to grab a spot along the ‘Caldera Edge’ to take in the legendary sunset. It was very much a communal experience.”
Sergio and Nico’s Top Three Things To Do In Santorini
The natural beauty of Santorini is unmatched. They loved exploring the multicoloured beaches made of black, white and red lava pebbles. Their favourite was Kamari with its black rocky sand and fresh cold water.
Unsurprisingly, visiting the gorgeous traditional hilltop village of Oia is on many people’s bucket list. It is probably the most famous area in Santorini and it is known for its charming cliff-side location, with white-washed houses and striking views. It is a mecca for tourists and locals alike to watch the sunset. When the sun sets, the reflection on the buildings and the glow of the orange and red in the cliffs is a spectacular sight.
Exploring Fira, Santorini’s main town, at night is a must. It is a vibrant and busting place full of restaurants, hotels and bars. There is no shortage of things to do there!
Sergio and Nico’s Santorini Adventure In A Nut Shell:
Best food: Fresh olives (Nico had bags of them!), homemade tzatziki (yogurt, cucumber, garlic and olive oil dip), Greek Salad and Gyros. Fresh fruit topped with honey was their signature breakfast. They tried food everywhere – from the Street Food markets to the restaurants and hotels.
Best drink: Campari and Tonic – a very popular drink in Europe right now. Ouzo shots (an anise-flavoured spirit) after dinner were also a staple during their time in Santorini.
Most memorable smell: Sergio remembers the beautiful and earthy smells from the fresh flowers and plants that were growing on the grounds of their hotel. He thought it was a room spray but it was actually coming from outside of their window!
Fondest memory: Swimming in the Aegean Sea and exploring the caves – which at times was daunting due to rough waters, but was an exhilarating experience.
Top three travel essentials: A good camera to capture the moment (Santorini has the best natural lighting!), sunglasses for the bright Greek sun and beach attire because you never know where and when you will find water – beaches, fountains, etc – it is best to be prepared!