Hello unplanned hiatus! Turns out that whilst I am great at scheduling content for whilst I’m away, apparently I’m not so good at picking up again once I return. Normal service will now be resumed!
As regular readers may know, because I wouldn’t shut up about it, I recently turned 30 and I was lucky enough to do so on the beautiful island of Santorini.
Now, I’m someone who typically isn’t bothered by birthdays and I don’t tend to make a big hue and cry about them. However, I figured I should make a bit more effort for my 30th. I don’t think turning 30 has any particular significance except that which you assign to it, so I decided to make my 30th symbolic for me. This is how I spent my day.
I’d heard the sunrises on Santorini were equally as spectacular as the sunsets, and I thought seeing the sun rise on my thirties would be quite cool.
One thing I learned is that it’s not that easy to predict where the sun is going to rise if you’re generally not up to watch it! If I’d been on my A game I’d have planned a little better but this was more of a spur of the moment decision…
We decided to watch the sunrise from a very glamorous car park where our hire car was parked. We thought it would have a clear view of the sunrise, which we figured would be over the water.
Actually the sun rose behind a hill. And the scenery was definitely not your typical Oia beauty – a desalination plant, plenty of telegraph poles, and our very attractive hire car.
Still, it’s not about whether it was picture perfect or not, it was the magic of standing in the stillness on the morning of my thirtieth, watching the sky gradually turn from milky white to light pink to orange before the sun finally broke free from behind a hill, and sharing that moment with my husband.
Breakfast with a view
Alright let’s be real, after watching the sunrise at 6am I went back to bed. I was on holiday after all.
Then my lovely husband surprised me by making me pancakes!
Let me set the scene – I’m coeliac, so he’d had to bring the flour with him. He was a bit worried about bringing an unlabelled bag of white powder onto a plane for obvious reasons, so he’d brought a packet of gluten free pancake mix. For some strange reason, he’d chosen a mix that was for both pancakes and Yorkshire puddings. Alright, fine. The problems then got more pronounced due to our somewhat basic AirBnB kitchen (full review here) as he then had to add the right amount of milk to the mix with absolutely no means of measuring said milk, and mix it in a saucepan with a fork because that was the only thing available. Luckily there was a frying pan, at least!
Anyway that’s the story of why my birthday pancakes looked a little bit like this.
I actually think they looked pretty good. And you know, I couldn’t have cared less either way. If someone wants to make me birthday pancakes it’s going to take a lot for me to complain about it. And other than looking a bit strange, they tasted great and I had a generous stack with some local honey on so I couldn’t have been happier. Plus the view from our terrace was breathtaking.
I opened some cards from family and friends, with my husband and my pancakes and my juice, with the sun beaming down. It was good.
Oh and my husband was particularly fascinated by this boat you can see in the picture because it had a digger on it. For some reason boat + digger = pure joy. Is this true for anyone else’s husbands or is it just mine??
Oia photo tour
We’d already spent half a day wandering around Oia, but that had been when the weather was a bit overcast. So, given that the sun had come out in full force, we went back to our favourite spots for some more photos.
The place is just ridiculously photogenic, after all.
And of course I had to pose for a birthday photo by the beautiful tree from the day before. Note: this is the infamous Boden dress that you all persuaded me to buy (I am totally blameless in this) and it’s amazing.
Note: Fitbit to track the insane number of flights I was climbing. I think we made it to over 100 by the end of the day. Mostly due to…
After a quick lunch of some sandwiches, which I may or may not have shared with a cute dog who showed up out of nowhere, we decided a walk was in order.
I’m not normally one for mega hikes, especially not in the heat, but I decided it was time to stretch my pasty legs. We decided to try and walk to Skaros Rock, which is that promontory with the flattened rock on top you can see in this photo. Cruise ship for scale.
We drove to the nearby village of Imerovigli, which you can see hovering behind it on the top of the cliff. Then we walked down, down, down; past some extremely fancy resorts and infinity pools to die for. After all the climbing down, there was a small amount of climbing up again and then there were the most amazing views.
I’ll share a sneak peek here but stay tuned because I’m going to write a whole post about this awesome hike.
Skaros actually used to house the capital of Santorini until the 18th century, and there were around 200 houses perched on this tiny rock! I’m surprised they lasted that long given there are frequent earthquakes in the area. The drop to the ocean is dizzying.
We admired the few ruins still left, and contemplated our return back up the hill. It’s quite a long way.
If you follow me on Snapchat (anestingnomad), you’ll know I had to sing myself up the path to make it. Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me…
We arrived at the top of the cliff somewhat sweaty but utterly triumphant. It’s not exactly the hardest hike in the world, but it was for me and I’m glad I challenged myself on my birthday. I think I might start doing that in future years.
This restaurant had been recommended to us by our AirBnB host and seriously, he had the best tips. The place was out of this world. The entrance was ridiculously cute for a start, and we entered past tourists taking photos underneath this arch.
Then we came to our table, which was perched seemingly on the edge of the cliff. It felt like we were eating our supper actually floating out over the caldera.
Of course the service was excellent and my shrimp risotto was very good, but the piece de resistance was the pudding. They had a pudding which was a) gluten free and b) chocolate based so I was in heaven. This is layers of tempered chocolate, white chocolate mousse, strawberries, chocolate sauce, and crème Anglais. Yep.
This, along with seeing the sunrise, was on my 30 before 30 list and I managed to sneak it in just in the nick of time. After some debate as to whether we’d watch the famous Santorini sunset from our roof, from which we wouldn’t be able to see the very last bit of the actual sunset as it’s slightly the wrong angle, or go to the classic sunset lookout point in Oia, we decided that if we were in for a penny, we’d better be in for a pound.
Well, watching the sunset from the sunset point in Oia is quite an experience, and I’ll write about that another day. It was a cool experience, one that I shared with approximately 350 of my closest strangers, a couple getting married and a drone, but it was unforgettable nonetheless!
Family traditions on the terrace
We returned to our terrace when the light was fading, and I just had to sit out a bit longer and admire the view. And also admire our pool which was looking very Pinterest.
Now in my family we have a set of candle holders which we’ve had ever since I can remember. They come out every birthday, and only on birthdays. The Wombles are a family institution, and I didn’t want a birthday to go by without some Womble representation. There are about 8 total in our family set, but I chose just one jetsetting Womble to accompany me for the occasion. So, Great Uncle Bulgaria came with me, and I had a lit candle in a brownie to end the day.
And that was my 30th birthday. Rounded out with two puddings, because that’s just how I roll (literally).
All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately that time has come for this #TravelTuesday link-up. Due to Bonnie’s departure and the real-life demands of the current co-hosts, next week will be the last #TravelTuesday as it presently exists.
But before the #TravelTuesday link-up is disbanded, we would like to celebrate all that has been accomplished and shared over the last few years of its existence! We are inviting all past participants and former co-hosts to join together for one last link-up next week (May 31st) with a theme highlighting the Best of #TravelTuesday! Share your favourite memories from the link-up or provide a personal montage of the blogger-friends you’ve made through #TravelTuesday. Feel free to share up to five posts, whether yours or favourites from other bloggers, so that this last link-up features the best of what #TravelTuesday provided!
Next week we will be sharing a list of travel link-ups that will encourage your passion for adventure and allow you to connect with even more people in the travel blogging community.
> What are your favourite memories or posts from #TravelTuesday?
> Did you become friends with any of the bloggers you met through the link-up? Provide a personal montage of the friends you’ve made through the link up!
> If you could spend the day with any of the co-hosts (past or present), who would it be and where would you go?
We look forward to linking up with all you wonderful people one last time next week for the best #TravelTuesday link-up yet!
And now it’s your turn!
1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favourite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about travelling somewhere!
2. LINK back to your hosts, Diana, Katrina and I.
3. LINKUP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT.
4. FOLLOW your hosts on Bloglovin’.
5. CONNECT with your fellow travel loving bloggers! Be sure to leave a comment, and share your favourite posts on social media.
1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for our big finale next week!
2. Include a (vertical 735px x 1102px) pinnable image in your blog post; as at least one of the co-hosts will be going around pinning your posts.
4. Don’t forget to use the #TravelTuesday hashtag on your social media platforms!