In the past I have always been the solo traveler going around meeting locals, when on a trip.
I never thought about joining a tour. My first time was in Istanbul some years ago and it was super!
Nice to meet locals, but perfect to go around with them and discover new places with the eyes of someone living there.
It’s not only about being guided somewhere, it’s about being walked around getting to know people, traditions and secrets (and a bit of gossip too!).
This is the intention of my blog, to let you feel inside the Greek community.
To meet people, and not only Greeks, who live here.
To see this beautiful country with the eyes of folks who were born here and of others who chose it as their new home.
For the rest there is wikipedia and google images 🙂
If I had to choose the eyes which could show me around Santorini, I could not go wrong with Kathrin’s.
Blue, happy, sweet and aware.
Kathrin is a beautiful young German woman who moved to Santorini almost twenty years ago.
She came here to work for the summer season: life was generous and she met the man of her life and the romantic island did all the rest.
She settled here running not only a splendid family, but her own business too.
Tourism has always been part of her life as her background is there.
Living in one of the most wonderful and famous islands of the world made the step easy, she decided to create a tour guide agency, Santorini Experts, where, together with her business parter in crime Marcos, she highlights the grace of Santorini in an authentic way.
I think it’s great that they can offer the Greek and the foreign sight on the island.
Since I live here I have understood that you can get used to everything, even to beauty.
If you were born here, looking at caldera everyday, surrounded by the blue, I am pretty sure that you are not totally aware of the greatness of this island.
Sometimes it happens also to me. I know I am very lucky. But I know that I am very lucky when I am somewhere else and the volcano is not there watching me.
Kathrin is very local now, after almost twenty years but still her origins are elsewhere.
We met for a coffee (how many coffees I have already drunk – coffee=new friends – lucky me!) and I immediately liked her.
Charming, gorgeous and she looks like someone who knows what she is doing.
We promised to meet for another coffee soon and that happened in Thirasia.
Thirasia is a small vulcanic island who sits in front of Oia. Before the Minoan eruption Thirasia and Santorini were one thing together with the vulcano.
I had never been in Thirasia before, shame on me!
When I decided to visit, I needed to know the timetable for the boat which lifts you from Ammoudi to Thirasia.
I thought: Kathrin knows it for sure!
So there we are, why not going together for a stroll in Thirasia!
How lucky I am! Not only I know lovely people, but they are also super guides!
The boat trip is only 10 minutes, it was quite wavy but we made it on the other side!
We walked up the stairs, what a good training for the beach season!
We entered the village and immediately people started smiling at us saying ‘Oh kalimera Katerina!’.
People love my friend as she is a very respectful person.
She has a deep knowledge about what she showed me.
She is never boring, she is very fun and makes you want to know more and more and more.
The philosophy of Santorini Experts is about this: revealing stories about the island while making you feel comfortable as if you were with a friend.
And I am sure that everyone at the end of their tours is sad that they finished too early.
This was my feeling as well.
As we reached the port to go back to Oia, I asked Kathrin: ‘What’s next?’.
And I am sure (and hope) there will be more soon!
Stay tuned for more pictures and description of my tour to Thirasia!
©Nicoletta Barbata/One Quarter Greek
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