Santorini - I'm In Love
Warning, this is a picture heavy post...
It's other name was also Strongili (Round One). Around that time a colossal volcano erupted which caused the centre of the island to sink. What was left was a caldera with high cliffs on one of which sits the capital Fira. The caldera is now the port area. Among archaeologists there is speculation that this catastrophe destroyed not only the island but also the eventually the Minoan civilization. The myth abounds that the island was part of the mythical lost city of Atlantis. There is also an archaeological site in Akrotiri but it was not possible with our time constraints to go there.
This is the first thing you see as you approach Santorini by sea.
One of the first things that is noticeable everywhere are black sand beaches, lava layered cliffs and earthquake damaged homes that look like they are stuck in the stone cliffs.
That's Fira at the very top.
There have been many other erruptions over time but the most recent large earthquake occured in 1956 killing many residents and destroying most of the houses in Fira and Oia. The residents are remarkably resilient have rebuilt their homes and lives. The volcano, although dormant is not dead and minor tremors are not uncommon.
It is by far the most spectacular of all islands I saw on this trip, although I am certain there are many others I have yet to see. But I truly lost my heart here and could easily see myself living here. For more information on Santorini's Caldera check out this link.
The Cable Car goes up over 1000 feet above sea level!
There are a number of ways to the top from the ports. There is bus service that goes around the back of the island to the top but it is not terribly fast from where our ship was anchored. We were tendered to the port in small fishing boats 20 persons at a time. Hiking to the top is another option but was not one for us. We tossed a coin to see if it was going to be the cable car or donkey. Clara (who is three months pregnant) and Glen decided that donkeys were not the way to go. Being the good sports that we are we agreed with them and took the cable car. I must admit to having some trepidation and closed my eyes a few times in horror as the car seemed to swing just inches from the rock face. I was almost sorry I didn't take the donkey.
Glen and Clara
Once up top the view was simply spectacular and we meandered through the town which is very touristy and a shoppers haven. It is a pedestrian only zone one but nobody told the donkeys.
At one point Steve and I got out of the tourist area to the main town and as I was waiting to cross the road (highly dangerous) a little jeep came flying down the hill and just missed me. I will swear on my life that the driver was Richard Gere. Sorry, no photo, I wasn't quick enough. I found out later from our ships entertainers that indeed, he was on the island. The island is a favourite with the stars and Madonna also has a house there. I can only say, good for her...it is a beautiful place to be.
The Blue Monarch in the background.
He's really way cuter in person, I think Steve was very tired indeed.
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Labels: Grecian Holiday