Journey Day: 1
2 3 4
11 12 13
Day 04 - September 14 - Santorini
Morning electrical black outs were
scheduled to start at 9:00 AM. Since coffee is a needed substance in
morning, no hesitated start to the breakfast room. What a view -
overlooking the caldron and watching
the fog bank clear the endless cliffs.
Time to explore the island driving in the Porsche 'wanna-be'. First
stop was the ancient ruins of Akrotiri.
Pre dating Pompeii, these ruins from the 1600 BC were left preserved due to
Santorini's volcano and
tremors. Major excavation didn't start until 1967 and in a twist for
the lead archeologist, one of buildings
fell on him in 1974 causing his death - within the last few years, a same
demise for a tourist due to a collapsed
roof that protected the site. Currently, the site is closed to the
public and undergoing roof and site
renovations. However, well know fresco paintings of a 'boy with
fishes' and young boxers can be seen on
souvenir tote bags, coasters, and T-shirts.
Just around the corner is the infamous Red Beach. A small beach with
blue and white umbrellas setting
under a sheer wall of red lava rock. It's a enjoyable walk over a
small hill to access the small bay.
Looked like the buses of Asian tourists enjoyed it, too.
Beach time was on a several kilometer stretch of black lava leading to the mountain
of Perrisa. Interestingly, the sand continues into the water for
several meters - so, no firm
foundation to stand on. However, not an issue since the cool
waters are very easy to float on.
Like most established beaches, loungers and straw based umbrellas are
available for a small
fee and may have cafe service. Portions of the German economy is spent
along this long beach.
Next drive was to the opposite end of the island to the ultimate postcard
town of Oia. If you have
any poster, brochure, or book of Greek Islands, this town with it's blue
dome churches, white
washed cliff, and mountain side buildings is an icon. Down each set of
painted or pebbled steps,
or around a small cafe or hotel, is a vista that overwhelms. It's
"spectacular and it's real".
Lunch was in a basement "cave" - many of the buildings are built
into the side of the mountain - with
a view and cold air conditioning. Crepes and desserts were a specialty
- mushroom, ham, and
cheese crepe with salad to start and a Black Forest ice cream delight to
finish- layers of chocolate
and vanilla ice cream with liqueur soaked cake and real black
cherries. Following the cool down
and refreshments, time to walk the "caldron view on steroids"
Drove back to the opposite end of the island for the sunset. Joined
others at the end of road
lighthouse. Seems that Santorini will usually have a fog or haze, so the
sunset is not a clear drop into
the horizon; however, it does cause an impressive glow.
Dinner was an off-the-beaten-up-path. A very small dirt and rocky road
leads down to yet another
black beach - Messina. Steep walls enclosed this bay and the
sunset strikes the lighter colored
rock outcroppings. Overlooking was boulder and pebble beach was a remote
cafe - Again, fresh
bread, good salad, Mythos beer, and grilled pork. Many of the small
restaurants are family
arrangements. The older mother at the restaurant was wrapping
silverware when we arrived;
however, during dinner, she plunged into the sea for cool down. Seems
like a nice perk having
a beach side cafe.
Returned to the hotel to enjoy the full moon casting reflections on the caldron
sea, hotel pool,
and floating fog mist. One of the last tasks of the day was some light
laundry - one key lesson
learned is that "cotton bad, wicking synthetics good". Easy
to shower with your laundry, roll up
in a towel (or Sammy towel used by swimmers), hang it up, and it's
clean, dry, and ready to go
to Crete in the morning.
Last Updated: September, 2008