May 30, 2019
This was our first visit to Santorini and wow, did we love it. Here is our approach this morning.
We have enjoyed every port in Greece on this cruise and in the past. This is a tender port and because we knew that the cable car can have long lines, and walking up the donkey paths is slippery (you know why!), we decided to do a planned tour. Our guide was Amadeus. What a character he was!
Santorini was formed from one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in history which occurred around 1600 BC. The beautiful villages on top of steep cliffs offer some of the most stunning scenery in Greece. It is an island in the southern Aegean Sea about 120 miles southeast of the Greek mainland. The population is about 16000 and about 5000 donkeys. Amadeus made a point of telling us how stubborn and stupid donkeys are!
He also talked a lot about Greece’s financial problems. They have a lot of tourism to Santorini which also has its down side as the towns can be quite crowded. He was quite funny but also sad as he described the financial conditions here. Norm said it was like a Greek tragedy.
One of the surprising things he told us is that marble is prevalent here but there is no market for it anymore, so people pave their driveways with marble because it is cheaper than cement!
Another thing he pointed out and that we noticed is that all of the grapevines are small and close to the ground because of the fierce winds. The tree below shows how fierce it can be.
We first traveled to the highest peak for a photo stop to capture the fabulous scenery.
We went on to the village of Oia which is built on a dramatically steep slope of a caldera that formed after the volcanic eruption. Many of the dwellings are nestled in niches hewn out of the volcanic rock. There are caves here used for wine, too.
The beautiful landscapes of blue and white buildings are just stunning to look at and I couldn’t stop taking photos. There are many small chapels that families build for the surrounding neighbors.
We had free time here to wander around the town and go into the shops and galleries. Many unique items were on display here.
We went on to Fira, the island’s other village. Here we had as long as we wanted to spend. Great shops.. The last tender back to the ship was at 5:30 but the crowds for the cable car are long, so we walked all through the town and had a lunch overlooking the sea. Very wonderful and relaxing. Then we took the cable car down to the tender port and went back to the ship. Wonderful day!
We love Greece – we will be back with more time to spend. Tomorrow on to Athens.