Greece 2008             Journey Day: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18

                                                 Day 04 - September 14 - Santorini
                                                 Morning electrical black outs were scheduled to start at 9:00 AM.  Since coffee is a needed substance in the
                                                 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 base town
                                                 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" marble sidewalks.  
                                                 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.  
                                                Santorini - Apanemo Hotel   Santorini - Apanemo Hotel   Santorini - Apanemo Hotel
                                                            Santorini - Apanemo Hotel        Santorini - Daewoo Topless Car       Santorini - Apanemo Hotel                           
                                                Santorini - Red Beach  Santorini - Red Beach      
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                                                               Santorini - Oai  Santorini - Oai          


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