I crashed a car in Santorini

I know, I left you guys at a bit of a cliffhanger after my last post, but I figured hearing about things chronologically would be a little too tiring. So, I’ll be organizing my posts around stories—and there are many! AND on top of that, I never finished writing about my Germany trip! Yikes.

Before arriving, I had this vision of me zooming around the beautiful Santorini coast via scooter. Since renting those requires a certain clearance level on your drivers license, I opted for a Smart Car instead. It cost only 30€ a day to rent and I wouldn’t have to depend on the unreliable public transportation system on the island.

smartcar santorini
My little baby

The first hour of it was everything I imagined—wind blowing through my hair, speeding up various mountainous regions of the island… it was at the end of the hour where things went dreadfully wrong.

After taking one of many wrong turns, the road led me down to this beautiful rocky beach with restaurants lining the side of the coast. Perfect for a little photography session. I parked the car on the downhill slope and got out of the car. As I finished taking a couple of shots, I turned around to get back to driving and instead saw my car rolling towards me. Oh no, I could’ve sworn I pulled the emergency brake! I thought, frantically bracing my hands for impact. It’s a SmartCar… how heavy can it weigh? 

It turns out the SmartCar weighs a lot. Enough to push me off the ledge and onto the large rocks on the beach below. The car tilted dangerously to the side and then came to a stop. I’d like to think that I was the one that stopped the car from rolling into the water, but I don’t want to entertain the thought of what would’ve happened in that circumstance.

So here I was, my car stuck on rocks about the size of each tire, without a phone and without any idea of how to even proceed. The locals that were enjoying what was probably a quiet, peaceful time on the beachfront rushed over to ask if I was ok. One of them called the company for me and the other one invited me for a cup of coffee at his restaurant while I was waiting.

As he led me to his restaurant, we passed the car and I saw pieces of it lying on the rocksOh my god… how much am I going to pay for damages?! 

Finally, what looked like 3 thugs came out of a huge black thug jeep and started standing around my baby. Eventually, they hooked her up to their huge 4×4 monster and slowly dragged her out.


As I was being taken back to HQ in their thug jeep, I tried striking up a bit of light conversation to maybe soften them up so that they reduced the price. Hey, it couldn’t hurt to try, right?

“So… has this ever happened before?” Yes, Michelle, soften them up by reminding them how badly you wrecked their car.
“Um… usually we get calls to pull people who get stuck in the sandy beaches… but never to this extent.”
I laughed stutteringly. Shit. 

They made me stew in the reception area for a good 30 minutes, marinating my developing ulcers in my stomach. Soon, I sat before this one woman who looked seriously at a calculator. I fidgeted.

“Ok, so if you count the damage you did to the hubcaps, the underside of the car, and the piece that fell off…” she said, tapping numbers into the calculator, “it adds up to be about [insert enormous amount here].”
I was about to puke.
“BUT, I talked to the guy at the auto repair shop, and we can give it to you for [insert entirely amazing reasonable price here].”
With a sigh of relief, I handed over the money in cash.
“You know, I have no idea how she did it. If it were me, since I’m an employee at this company, I would’ve had to charge you full price,” said the disgruntled man who picked me up in the 4×4. “Anyways, we’re going to have someone re-teach you how to use the emergency brake—” He shot me a look.
“Wait, you’re going to let me drive the car again??”
“Well, yeah. Just because you had an accident, doesn’t mean we don’t want you to have fun while you’re here.”
Inside, I was thinking, oh god, please not again. I just want to stay in the hostel now. 

But I manned up and drove around the rest of the day, albeit very cautiously, and ended up at Oia for a magnificent sunset.

santorini sunset oia gif

The best part? This is the view that I was so happily taking photos of:

santorini greece red beach

I wouldn’t exactly say it was worth it…

linking up with BonnieKaeleneVan & Sammy

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  • http://www.melaniefontaine.com/ Melanie Fontaine

    Jeez, that really is a story! But glad that you get away from it without too much trouble – I think I would have totally lost it! ;) But on a different note – how are you able to write so much? I can barely keep up the reading! ;) Not that I want to you to stop writing – I love your blog way too much for that and I love that there always seem to be so many posts I can catch up when I come over. ;) I wish I was able to do that – but my brain seems to disagree and not let me write. What’s your secret? But in the meantime, I’m just going to read on! ;) (Sorry for the comment – just realize how weird it is…eh… moving on)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      Hahaha, yeah. Well I have a set of crazy go-to stories that I’ve been pulling on. For some reason this trip was filled with weird stories! After that, it’s going to be harder to crank them out… I’m riding the wave while I can right now. The more technical ones I can’t seem to do… haha, but I had been thinking about slowing down the pace :p

      • http://www.melaniefontaine.com/ Melanie Fontaine

        Oh no, please don’t slow down! I love catching up on your adventures! ;)

  • Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Dude you are so brave! I would never have even considered that- heck I can’t even drive properly here in australia! Glad they weren’t too harsh with you and still let you drive!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      Hahah, the bare minimum I was looking for was: left side of road, automatic transmission. Now I’ve sworn off driving in other countries… man.

  • http://snowintromso.com/ Van @ Snow in Tromso

    OH. MY!!! I would have totally panicked, cried and never ever stepped foot into that car again! :D You’re quite adventurous!! I can’t even imagine what it must be like being hit by a car. Even if it’s just a smart, it’s horrifying!!!!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      I was SO close on doing all three of those things! The only thing that stopped me is that I seem to have an EXTREMELY slow reaction when it comes to disaster :p

  • http://www.twofeet-oneworld.com/ Jessi @2feet1world

    Yikes! Great post. I love all your hugely entertaining travel stories – keep them coming! :)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      Haha thanks :) I’m glad you like them! I hope I remember all of them… otherwise it’s back to boring ol’ travel tips for me!

  • http://www.tothedayslikethis.com/ Sammy @ Days Like This

    WOW. First of all, how cheap is it to rent a smart car! That’s a really good price. I guess it turned out not so cheap with the damages etc. Good on you for ‘getting back on the horse (car)’ ;)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      Hahaha, I know. At the time, I was like “Dayum, I’m saving so much money by doing this!” before life reminded me that it never works out like that :p

  • http://www.adelanteblog.com/ Courtney @ Adelante

    Oh no! That’s horrible! But at least it makes for a great story…
    I’m going to Santorini in July – but maybe I won’t rent a Smart Car, considering I’m pretty much the world’s worst driver!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      Hahaha, as long as you’re extremely careful (double, triple checking the emergency brake), Santorini is an amazing place to discover via car! Or moped, if you love biking like I do. The only reason I didn’t rent a moped was because I went during windy season!

  • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

    Oh no! What a story to remember Santorini by. We got a scooter when we were there and it was seriously the slowest thing ever. I have memories of us barely moving along at night on our way back to our hotel. Such a beautiful place love I loved our time there and the sunsets are just amazing.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      HAHAHA, I was seriously considering renting a scooter! But the season that I chose to visit was the windy and non-blue-roofs season! But I imagine that scootering about at night would’ve been a little frightening, considering how much the road curves!

  • http://foodloveandlifeblog.blogspot.com Jennifer Smith

    You seriously have the best stories. Although this one sounds pretty terrifying… haha I am going to Greece in July with a friend! I’d love to pick your brain on what to do in Santorini! (besides drive SmartCars that is… haha)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Mishfish13

      Hahaha, thanks Jen! Yeah, of course! If you have any questions, feel free to email me :) although I will be VERY biased against SmartCars :p

  • http://www.thriftygypsytravels.com Katrina Elisabet

    I feel terrible for laughing, but…. hahaha! That’s hilarious and awful at the same time! Glad you (and the car) were okay and that you didn’t have to sell your soul to get it fixed.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Oh, laugh away! Looking back on it, I can’t believe all that happened in a few weeks. It’s still one of my favorite travel stories to tell.