Friday, July 29, 2011


 We know that Santorini can be found in the Aegean Sea.
We know that it is a volcanic island, a caldera that remained after a huge volcanic explosion.
We know that we can reach Ancient Thira by going up the cliff riding a donkey (hence, the donkey souvenirs all over)...
...but we know that the donkeys are so smelly for us (sorry donkeys, we still love you!), that we'll end up riding the cable car instead.
We know that there will be tons of tourists even if it's off-peak season. (We were even lucky to have met these really nice and funny Italian tourists).
We know that there will be lots of walking around the white narrow alleys of Santorini.
We know that we'd be surrounded by the white houses and villas Santorini is famous for.
We know that we'd be embracing lots of whites and blues.
And we know that all we'd ever buy are little trinkets and souvenirs!

You know, before going to a place, we categorize it as either "Safe" or "Not Safe".  Safe places are those cities where unjustifiable spending can be avoided.  Where ritzy shopping is almost non-existent.  Think Vietnam or Egypt.  On the other hand, not safe places are those cities where no matter how broke you are, you still won't be able to stop yourself from buying something exorbitant yet fine.  Think Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.

So yup, we made the mistake of listing Santorini under the Safe category.  Consequently, we allotted a budget appropriate for a Safe place.   We thought "Hah, we won't really use up our pocket money there.  We'll probably just spend a little on Santorini magnets and stickers!".

One thing we didn't know is that Santorini is famous for fine handmade jewelery.   

Numerous jewelry boutiques line the cobble-stoned alleys of Thira.
And you know how girls react to jewelry.  We ended up going inside these shops, drooling over exquisite pieces that we cannot afford hahaha.  

In one shop, Karol saw this pair of turquoise earrings set in gold, with a very distinct Greek design.  First, it's her birthstone.  Second, it's sooo Greek.  Isn't it the perfect souvenir?  How can she say no to that?  An unexpected purchase it is.
The store owner was really nice and even offered to have her photo taken with Karol.  Great.  Good sign... we didn't get ripped off.  Because if we were, she wouldn't have offered to have herself photographed. Haha. 
While walking around Thira after Karol officially got broke, we just couldn't stop looking at their works of art and went inside another shop.  This time, the shop owner asked where we are from.  When we said we are from the Philippines, she said "Ohhh Philippines.  I will never forget the Philippines".  According to her, two of her most memorable clients come from the Philippines.  Years ago, two Filipinas (mother and daughter) walked into that store and they both bought A LOT.  According to the owner, it is one of her biggest sales ever.  Whatever the daughter wants, the mom buys.  The mother bought a lot for herself as well.  To add, they have VERY GOOD taste.  As far as she can remember, the mother's husband is the "Prime Minister of the Philippines or something".  We made guesses as to who those Filipinas are and... (applause) we guessed it right.  "I will never forget the Philippines because of them", said the owner.

In between those The Buzz moments, Macy quietly tried on this set, fell in love with it, and bought it. 
It's not even close to those two Fiipinas' purchase years ago, but at least we kinda reminded her of our country.  Haha.  And because the Philippines is close to her heart, the owner gave each of us a Blue Eye Greek pendant in 14k Gold... for FREE!

Here are some notes to remember in case you decide to get your own shiny shimmering souvenir from Santorini:
 1.  For significant purchases, make sure you get some sort of a guarantee or authenticity certificate from the store.
2.  Haggle, haggle, haggle!  Do whatever it takes for them to give you a good deal.  You know the drill... ask for the price, give them YOUR price, pretend to walk away, and if they stop you, it's yours!
3.  If you decide to use your credit card, don't believe them when they tell you "Oh this purchase is gonna take two months before it reflects on your bill.  Credit card transactions in Santorini take a lot of time before it reaches your bank, because we are on an island and it takes time to submit everything... etc etc."  Both shops we bought from said the same thing and even though we know it's impossible (as soon as the purchase got approved by the credit card company, it means the transaction has already reached the bank, right?), we can't help but think that it MAY BE true.  You guessed it, our bill arrived even before we got home from Europe.  


  1. i like your freebies "Blue Eye Greek pendant in 14k Gold". =)

  2. Oh! My dream place! =) Hope to visit it on my 30th birthday! :D

  3. thank you michi! The owner was really nice to give us those lucky charms! =)

  4. Jonah! It has also been our goal for the longest time to visit Santorini! Go for it, we're sure you'll enjoy celebrating your birthday there! =)

  5. could you whisper who's that mother & daughter your talking about. email me heheh pls.

  6. Hahaha! Jack come on, make a guess :) It'll be fun haha!

  7. i sooo love your purchases!

  8. Thanks Carmi! They're the perfect souvenirs :)

  9. Now I'm curious who could the mom+daughter tandem be... :D Great souvenirs, I can only afford a snow globe. lol!

  10. Hi Mirage! Thank you! The mother+daughter tandem is actually quite easy to guess :) We're sure you'll get it. Good luck haha!

  11. Oh my god such beautiful jewellery? How much were the earrings, and that gorgeous gold necklace set? Will help me to start saving now for when I go!

    I write about travel too :)