Shona’s winning holiday

Shona Maclean, a member of our Falkirk team in Scotland, has returned from a holiday to Thira which she won through our recent Life of Thera competition.

The competition is part of a wider Thera project, to create an accessible living archive of memories, stories, documents, objects, photos and film footage from across our organisation, which will continue to be added to as we grow.

Shona was awarded first place for her entry in the competition, after creating a newsletter all about why she loves being a Senior Support Worker with Thera (Scotland). The prize was an all-expenses paid trip to Santorini in Greece, where our organisation’s name Thera comes from (the Greek name for Santorini is Thira).

Below she shares her experiences of the trip:

So I won the holiday? I still cannot believe it! How incredible that my work was chosen and that I was able to go away for nine days with my sister Kirsty and relax and have fun. I could literally talk about it for ages but decided I’d give you a wee summary instead!

We set off on our adventure by taking the train to Manchester, where we enjoyed an overnight stay in a very nice hotel and had dinner and breakfast. We then headed onwards to Santorini for a full week in a gorgeous hotel, right on the beach with three pools and a jacuzzi.

Some of the highlights:

We climbed a mountain!

We started the day early and walked along the beach to a neighbouring town called Perissa. From here we started the hike up to Ancient Thira, which is an antique city, on a ridge, of the steep 360m high Messavouno Mountain. On the walk up, we were relatively in the shade and I got to enjoy some thinking time whilst looking out over the island. There were no sounds of TVs, no shouting, no car engines and sirens, just the birds. It made me think about the different way of life the locals here enjoy – and to be a part of that was just incredible.

Local transport

Throughout the holiday we did a fair bit of walking and exploring different places but we also hopped on a few local buses to experience that as well. We managed to visit Fira, the capital of Santorini, where we did some shopping To Kirsty’s delight we also took a trip on the local water taxi, which to you and me is a small boat!

Other activities

We tried to have a good balance of exploring and relaxing during the holiday and really just make the most of a week away. We travelled on the cable car down to the pier, had a look around some art museums and saw some pretty amazing archaeological sites. We even discovered a wee Scottish pub, called The Highlander, right in the middle of Santorini!