Santorini: Day 6 (Mum's birthday!)

January 17, 2015

...And on the topic of birthday posts, this is how we spent mum's big fiftieth.

So after waking up, we drove up to the monastery, which is the highest point on the island of Santorini. We went inside to experience the Eastern Orthodox type of worship, which was extremely new to us.

The highest point means the best views. Even though our toes were freezing (the wind wouldn't stop nipping at us), that didn't stop us from snapping lots of photos.

We then went up to Fira for some hot chocolate before going to mass. This restaurant overlooks the beautiful city of Fira.

After, we went to mass where the parish priest welcomed us with open arms. Albeit not being able to understand a single Greek word, he gave us a special mention (through a translator) and told us that it was okay to just meditate. He also gave us a special blessing when the mass was over. I guess this is what I love most about the Greeks: they're welcoming, easygoing and eternally cheerful. They've easily become one of my favourite people.

Mum also had a spa treatment in Kangal Spa, situated also in Fira. After spending the morning in the capital city, we headed back to Oia to have some lunch. On the way to the restaurant, we stopped by the scintillating Ammoudi Bay. What is especially captivating about this bay is that it is a myriad of colours: not just the usual white-washed houses and vivid blue domes that are sprinkled around the island. This one in particular has deep reds from the clay, as well as a vibrant green from the moss. What a delight.

As previously stated, we had lunch in Oia in a place (Lord forgive me) whose name I forgot. What I can say though, is that I was undoubtedly transfixed by the view. We were right on top of a blue-domed church. I am always in awe of the outstanding scenery of the island.

We also took a wander around our little charming village of Oia. Seriously, it's unlike any other.

We had dinner at Lotsa again, because the food there was amazing. We capped off mum's big day with a toast of champagne and a resounding 'Opa!' on our balcony-slash-patio overlooking the caldera. As the sun bid goodbye and the city lights started to sparkle, toothy, grateful grins started to form on our faces and laughs started reverberating. There's nothing like quality time with your family. Mum's birthday was truly something spectacular.

Not only does this conclude my mum's birthday post, but it also concludes my day-to-day Santorini posts. Writing these has made me nothing short of nostalgic and reminiscent of my new favourite place on earth; how I wish I could whisk myself away to the exotic island albeit winter. Vivid memories of the statement architecture, beautiful Greek inhabitants and extraordinary experiences still dance around in my mind every now and then.