2nd Day Living in a Dream: Oia, Santorini

Saturday, May 31, 2014

How about waking up into a dream? That’s correct because we are still in our dream land – Oia, Santorini! We got up at 7 and by 8, we were all ready to go out, hoping to get some nice photos without other people in our photo. But the problem is, we are not the only ones who have that plan; there were quite a lot of couples and photographers already at the post card perfect corners like the famous blue domed church:

We got here within minutes from our house and it was already a line of people waiting to get their own pics of the famous post card location. On the way, we passed by many brides and grooms (mostly Chinese) all dressed up for their wedding pictures…..either with a photographer or a tripod to take their own photos. Santorini has become popular to Chinese in the past few years as a destination for pre-wedding photos; 4 years ago, we didn’t notice as much. We waited for few minutes until they are done and have our own few minutes of the place to ourselves πŸ™‚

We found that early morning is not the best time for photographing Oia, the position of the sun created harsh shadows so the colors will be much deeper and darker; best timing is the afternoon from noon to 3 ish. So instead of going back to our house to get our tripod, we had our morning walk to all the places where we had our wedding photos taken four years ago. We walked south toward the other tip of the village, stopping here and there for photos of course. Although not the ideal time for its colors but no strangers in our photos.

Shop owners started to set up their shops like this very pretty gallery shop; I have seen this shop in many travel series:

We walked by many well known/expensive hotels, here’s the Andronis Boutique Hotel:

Armeni Hotel, which is a budget-friendly hotel:

The whitewashed houses built on the cliff, a unique landscape of Santorini:

Souvenirs of a shop:

Those red plants really stand out from the whitewashed houses:

Beautiful white arch:

Entrance way to another expensive hotel: Katikie:

The whites were just unbelievable, love the simplicity of the whites and blues of Greek islands! I heard a story that back then when the Greek islands conquered by the Turks, the locals wanted to show their loyalty to Greece so they painted their houses white and blue (colors of the Greece flag). The combination gives a very relaxing and peaceful atmosphere, perfect holiday destination to refresh our minds from our busy work life!

A large church in creamy color:

Another beautiful hotel in pure white:

The way to one of the most expensive hotel: Mystique

Onar villas is also around there! I have been looking at where to stay in booking.com so I remembered seeing all those hotel names πŸ™‚

The curvy white stairways down to more hotels!

Can’t resist to take more photos!

Here is the view of the village of Oia!

We remembered we had a wedding picture taken here four years ago, it wasn’t a hotel back then!

Same place four years ago πŸ™‚

More view of the village built on the cliff…there’s a little harbor down there with houses…

Here’s the gate that we had our wedding photo taken!

It certainly brought back many memories πŸ™‚

Here is the view of the whole village:

Right next to the gate is the entrance to Captain John, which I don’t think was there four years ago.

More photos with the picturesque village!

Beautiful cobblestone stairways:

It was almost 10 already, time flew by when having fun and we still haven’t have our breakfast yet!!! We walked back and planned to stop by a bakery to get some pastry and bring back to our hotel as breakfast. On our way back, there were groups and groups of cruise ship passengers here already!

We passed by a few tour companies here:

Yes we were hungry but still have to stop for few photos!

What is she thinking??? If afraid of the sun, should come here during winter months instead LOL! It was already hot by 10 so I can’t imagine wearing long sleeves and long pants plus that hat!

This is the book store in Oia; the cat always sleep in that suitcase, cute!

We stopped by a bakery and got some sandwiches and finally made it home for our breakfast with the incredible view! This was the bakery, can’t tell its name:

We hang out our house for a bit before heading out for lunch…..plus photos in our terrace πŸ™‚

Colors of Oia during mid-afternoon!

Time to venture out again for lunch, we picked the restaurant on the top right of our house, this restaurant is always crowded from day to night called Lotzo. We were lucky there wasn’t a long line and we got seated right away. There are few tables with the view of the sea but those are for 4 people. The restaurant has two waitresses, not sure if they are daughter and mother. I heard the young girl said the restaurant was from her grandparents and her dad met her mom while vacationing in Santorini! She grew up here and now she’s away for college, but she comes back every summer to help out!

Soup of the day: fish soup, it was very flavorful! Yummy! It was big enough for two of us!

Hubby ordered the grilled king prawns with rice; the shrimps were excellent!

I ordered a traditional Greek dish called moussaka, it’s like a lasagna but layered with grounded beef and egg plant and cheese. It was my first time trying this dish, it’s good but a little bit heavy side for me because I am not use to having a lot of cheese.

We waited a long time for our bill because the two ladies were very very busy; customers keep coming in! The total for our lunch: 37 euros with a Fanta.

After a great lunch, we walked back to our house, literally within 3 minutes, to get our tripod and headed back out for photos of us two! From the road on top of our house, you can see our terrace:

More incredible views of Oia, just too beautiful! Even though it was our 2nd time back, it gave us a lot of surprises!

I think I’ll never get tired of the view in Santorini! Tripod set…here’s a picture of us in our favorite place in the world!

We headed the way to the blue-domed church and passed by many and many post card perfect locations!

What’s different here than four years ago was this two bell roof:

4 years ago, there weren’t ropes and wall to block people from climbing on the roof, now those two bells are part of a hotel!

But there were still a lot of people standing the way to the entrance of the hotel for photos.

We walked right down to the most photographed location in Oia: the blue-domed church:

The houses next to the blue-domed church are now hotels and private villas so the way is blocked. We tried to get a shot like our wedding pic but now it’s impossible:

However, there is a pink roof that has plenty of spaces to setup the tripod for photos πŸ™‚ Thank you whoever own that terrace! We waited for our turn and had the place for like few minutes before others arrived. Ready, camera, action…snap snap snap!!!

Never ever tired of this view!

Times up! We packed our gears and continued walking south toward the playground, I heard there’s a very cute spot there perfect for photos!

We passed by a shop and saw this LOL!

Here’s the cute spot right next to the playground! Not crowded at all so perfect for photos…might get crowded after people read my blog LOL!

We certainly had a lot of fun here:

The playground, childhood memories haha!

It was hot out without shade! There was a mini market right across from it so we went in to get an iced cold drink! We walked back to our house for a break and then shower before it got dark. Β I forgot to mentioned it on my previous post…..the bathroom in our house, one sided mirror….when it’s night out when inside is brighter than the outside, you can actually see the inside from the outside!!! Hubby said hardly anyone walk on the road outside of our house and even if they do, they are walking downhill so the angle will not see our bathroom. One has to enter our terrace to see the bathroom. Even with that said, I feel uncomfortable showering, so the night before hubby had to hold a huge bath tower to cover the window LOL. So today, I shower before it got dark out πŸ˜›

After the rest and shower, we went back out to Oia Castle; we had a reservation at Kastro at 7 pm that I reserved three months ago! It was not time yet so we walked around for MORE PHOTOS!

We walked all the way to the windmill and back and it was only 6:30 pm. We felt we can’t possibly ate there for 2 hours waiting for the sunset and hogging the table for that long. It turned out the restaurant already expected people to sit there for hours waiting for the sunset and they accommodate that very well by slowly coming out with dishes.

As I mentioned before, the restaurant is fully booked months ahead because of its sunset view and the quality of the food and reasonable prices considering the location and quality!!! I booked three months in advanced and asked for a table on the front view for an unobstructed view of the sunset and we got it! I was so glad that I booked months ahead because there were constantly people coming in to ask and the waiter said: sorry we are fully booked!!!

Hubby ordered a glass of wine for him (I can’t drink) to celebrate the romantic view. What was interesting other than the sunset was watching the area filled with people!

There were people who standing on the road in front of the restaurant and within minutes, the waiter will have to ask the people to move and don’t block the view of their customers πŸ™‚ Throughout the night, the waiter had to constantly asking people to move haha!

Appetizer, we ordered the steamed mussels, it was cooked just right!

The castle area already filled!

After the appetizer, the main courses came out at least half an hour later, they timed perfectly for the sunset πŸ™‚ I ordered the grilled steak, it was absolutely perfect! This was the best steak I had in Greece. I had a perception that the quality of steak aren’t as good in Greece (and expensive) so I tried to avoid that. But this was excellent quality meat and deliciously girlled!

Hubby ordered the grilled lamp chop, he said it was excellent! I like their mash potatoes!

Watching the sun slowly set while having our delicious dinner, it was definitely an enjoying moment!

Sunset view and people watching view πŸ™‚

It got very windy and cold at night so don’t forgot to bring a sweater or cardigan!!!! The total price of the perfect dinner with view: 68.4 euros with one glass of wine, absolutely reasonable!! We highly recommended Kastro!

After sunset, we walked back home and passed by Hope:

The shops were all lit up, another different atmosphere of Oia, love it there! All night pictures below were handheld; we didn’t bought the tripod out with us.

Night view of Oia, the layers ofΒ different color lights and houses were very beautiful at night! This picture was taken by placing the camera on a wall for the long exposure:

This was handheld:

Taken by handheld so the noise was high:

We passed by CafΓ© Patisserie and bought dessert back home to enjoy while watching tv πŸ™‚

Total for two pieces: 5.4 euros πŸ™‚

The tiramisu was good andΒ theΒ Kataifi, first time we had it, was VERY VERY sweet. We just ate the shredded wheat and nuts on the tops, the ones that were soaked in syrup was just too sweet for us!

Good night Santorini, we had a great time once again! Our room at night, I turned it to light purple, my favorite color!

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12 thoughts on “2nd Day Living in a Dream: Oia, Santorini

  1. You are my photography idol! Those pictures are gorgeous. Also, this is a very girly thing to notice, but I love your photo taking wardrobe! The way you coordinate your dresses to the scenery is great! I’ll have to do that when we visit santorini in September for our 10th anniversary. πŸ™‚ we honeymooned there (and Mykonos, hydra and the Amalie coast), but I never found the blue domed church you have pictured here. How do we find it in oia? We are staying at katikies.

  2. Hi I love your blog your pictures are wonderful. Our family will be going to Santorini in one week and I would like to take a picture of the famous blue domed church.Please can you tell me how to get there because I dream of taking a picture their?Many thanks for your help.

    • The famous blue domed church is located in Oia, Santorini…it’s a popular village so you can’t miss it! Once you are in Oia, there’s only one main road and a big square where there’s a big blue domed church…continue walking pass the square and there’ll be little roads on your left. Walk down on those small paths then turn right, you’ll see the postcard perfect blue domed church!

    • From the main square where there’s a big blue domed church continue walking pass the main road where jewelry shops are then turn on your left. You should see hotel with the three bells and then turn right and keep going down the stairs. In no time you’ll see the famous blue domed church and you can’t miss the pink rooftop, it’s right in the corner of the church πŸ™‚

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