I started the hike back to the city center and on my way, found some cats that I tried to befriend from a distance. I’m very allergic to cats but I love them and would love to be best friends with all cute animals. Of course, the allergies play a major role in my ability to actually be their friends so I just talk to them like a crazy person from a distance. One thing that I noticed was that there are a lot more cats roaming around Fira than dogs but I saw more dogs around Oia than cats. I’m not sure why the difference in stray animals considering how close the cities are to each other but definitely an interesting observation. The cats, obviously ignored me (as did the dogs in Oia) which made me wonder if animals would respond better to me if I spoke them in Greek. Obviously I don’t know Greek, but it was funny to think about. I had a friend in high school who had a dog who only understand Spanish. It was amazing, but obviously made me feel bad about myself because I can’t communicate in simple terms in other languages but these animals can. I guess I need to step up my game when it comes to other languages.
I finally found myself in city center and given that it wasn’t the tourist season, most of the restaurants were closed so I went looking for a grocery store. If you didn’t know this already, I use grocery stores as a key source of food when I travel alone. If I’m feeling excessively lazy or don’t really wanna deal with human interaction, I will go buy my dinner and snacks from a grocery store and eat somewhere else. Usually somewhere with a view, but sometimes my room if I’m tired. I do this because it’s significantly cheaper to purchase food from a grocery store, you don’t have to deal with as many people and you have the ability to go somewhere that has a better view/atmosphere. So I was on a hunt for a grocery store since I wasn’t really in the mood to do a sit down restaurant. I found one, but it didn’t really have any good take away foods that I could use for my room and so the dinner hunt continued.
Luckily I found a restaurant that a street food vendor that was selling gyros and so I thought it was the perfect place for me to go for dinner. I was about to leave Greece so I might as well eat some authentic Greek food, authentic Greek street food to be exact. So I purchased a lamb gyro to go with all the fixings and made my way back to my room.
I tried to take in as many fo the store fronts and wander down streets I’ve never walked before on the way to the hotel, which was actually much harder to do since the town is relatively small. Plus, since the sun had set and I was walking around by myself, it was a little unnerving to walk down streets with a bunch of closed stores and no one around. I know that it must have been safe and that there wouldn’t have been any issues, especially given how nice people were but I just can’t change my habits. I will always be super cautious regardless of where I go because don’t want the one time that you let your guard down to be the day something terrible happens. When I knew I was alone, I would speed walk back to the main roads to make sure I was safe and eventually I found myself at my hotel.
I settled down on my balcony with my Kindle and just stared out into the night trying to take in the rest of Santorini before I got back to reality. I have to admit that it was probably the most peaceful portion of my trip and this may have been my second favorite moment thus far, definitely one of my top 10 favorite moments of all time. That balcony, that view, the quiet around me, and the smell of the water was literally the perfect combination and best way to end my time in Greece. Finally, the temperatures dropped low enough that I made my way back into my hotel room and got ready for the next leg of my journey.
Belgrade, Serbia – it was time.