We must have looked completely lost as the gentleman approached us while we wandered the streets of Fira. Trying to find where to pick up our rental car had proved much harder than we anticipated! A very kind Greek man took pity on us... led us to his shop and called the rental car agency for us.
In September of 2003 I cruised the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Venice for 2 weeks - it was a magical itinerary! Santorini was one of our port stops and renting a car seemed like a great way to explore the small island. Once the nice Greek man helped us find where to pick up our ride - the day produced some of my favorite travel memories!
Cruising in our Smart Car we blasted Greek music from the local radio station, explored local villages, skipped rocks on a secluded beach, drove by vineyards, dined on yummy Greek food from a rooftop terrace with friends (while drinking Mythos!) and enjoyed the famous sunset views in Oia.
After returning our car in Fira and heading back to the ship - we stumbled upon the nice Greek man's shop again. This time he was outside with his friends clustered around small tables enjoying drinks and friendship - I'm guessing a nightly ritual. He recognized my husband and I right away - asking about our day on his island. After our friendly conversation he gave us a bottle of wine from his family's local vineyard. The kindness of this man sticks with me to this day! Not once did he try to sell us anything (he had a beautiful high end jewelry store) - but only wanted to share his lovely slice of Earth with us.
Even though we had a terrific day in Santorini - it's the serendipity of meeting this man that made it a truly special day and one I'll never forget! Many years later - it remains one of my favorite travel days that I revisit in my memory often.
Until the next adventure - bon voyage!