Santorini’s beaches are unique in that there is one at Akrotiri that is dubbed the “red beach” due to the red rock that it faces, and there is also the black sand beach we had visited earlier. Akrotiri is also the main archaeological site, but the site itself is closed due to an accident that killed a tourist a few years ago. We never made it to the museum, but we did hop on the bus to Akrotiri to check out the beach. The bus was crowded when we boarded; in fact, our clever boarding at the rear door enabled us to even get onto it! We scrunched in against strangers, and, in the natural course of travelers, became best friends for the next twenty-five minutes. An American from Montana was chatting with an Italian couple next to us (up against us might be more accurate) and eventually we all discussed the island, our homelands, I was able to utilize my Italian, and when we finally arrived at the bus stop we were ready for the beach.

Boris and I chose to walk to the beach instead of taking a water taxi for five euro, and it was five euro well saved. The walk wasn’t long, and by the time we got to the beach we were ready to dive into the chilly waters. Tourists crowded the beach, and its small size was noticeable. There was no shade, and a wind scattered dry leafy things across our towel, but the view was wonderful.

For lunch we found a fish taverna against the water. We saw our fish, which had been caught earlier in the day, and they grilled it for us whole. Boris’ biology background and years of dissection experience came in handy, and as we ate, he gave me a lesson in fish anatomy that I won’t soon forget. Not much was left of the fish when we were done—just the head!

Later in the evening we got a bit gussied up and took another bus to Oia, where so many Santorini postcards are taken. When I think of a Greek island, I think of this: white buildings and rounded domes, blue speckling the cityscape on the sea, water shimmering in the background. That is exactly what we found at Oia, as well as hundreds of others trying to watch the sunset from the best vantage point. The light, a reddish yellow, warmed us as we found a roof of a creperie from which to watch the sunset. People, again scrunching together and making friends of strangers, found places on roofs, on steps, standing, sitting, families and lovers, all gathered to watch the end of the day. With us on the creperie roof were a British twenty-something and her mother, as well as a young couple of unknown origin. As the sun slowly sank beneath the horizon, we took dozens of photos, taking advantage of the perfect light.

When the sun finally set, the crowd applauded, which made me laugh. The masses dispersed, we ate another fantastic meal and made the second-to-last bus to our “home” in Karterados.

***Note: I have no idea why the font on this thing keeps changing. I’ve tried multiple times to keep it all the same font with no success! Forgive me!