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Greek Orthodox Church

The morning was bright and sunny -- but down right blustery with cold winds.  We all got together for a great breakfast at our villa's central area -- we had omelettes with bacon and cheese, a break basket and coffee.  It was good and filling.

We rented a car to scout around the island -- only 30 euros a day, certainly cheaper than hiring a taxi to haul us around!  It was a little 4 door Kia and worked out just fine.  Phil opted to be our driver and I was the designated navigator.  Our first destination was Ia a town north of Fira.  We stopped lots of times along the way for photos.  I got a great one at a church with a blue dome that will most likely be my Christmas card photo this year.

Not every accent color is Blue!
  It just looks Greek!

At one stop we ran into a bunch of dogs and a donkey.  The dogs were barking up a storm and must have pissed off the donkey, as he started braying like crazy.  Phil got a picture of the donkey in full "braying mode."  We thought about riding the donkeys up the hills, but were sure that Scottie's legs would drag all the way. 

In addition to lots of dogs (like we had seen in Athens), Santorini has an abundance of cats.  They are everywhere -- all around our villas, all over the towns, all over the hillsides.  Greece evidently does not believe in pet spaying!

We stopped at a local taverna for a snack and coffee.  I got a local specialty as recommended by the proprietor -- yogurt with honey.

and not every Church is White!
  It was surprisingly good!  The owner also brought us a complimentary shot of a home raised and made grape liquor -- kind of a grappa/ouzo like concoction.  It was very strong.  I am really amazed at the hospitality of the locals here -- that was our second freebie of the trip, and it's only the second time we ate outside our hotel!  There was a dog and cat laying together on the taverna floor -- and about the same time I saw two women walking hand in hand.  I told the group that I was not sure what was going on -- dogs and cats lying together, women walking hand in hand -- where is the world headed?  LOL

We drove back to Fira and visited the museum there.  It has lots of pottery, jewelry, implements and frescoes found at Ancient Thira and Akortiki (digs here).

Black Cat on Santorini
 

Next was a drive up to the highest point on the island -- where a monestary and a military installation are situated.  It was a long, very steep and winding road without guard rails.  The view, however, made it well worth the drive up! 

On the way up to the high point, I had seen a sign for the Boutari Winery.  We stopped in on our way back down the hill, but it appeared to be closed.  I went up to the door just to check and spoke with a woman inside.  It was 3:55 -- and she told me that she was closing down at 4.  I told her we were here from Texas, and really wanted to try her wines.  She told me that we could come in for one quick taste.  Well, we ended up trying four different kinds of wine and staying for about an hour!  Our host's name was Elena.

Tim, Scott and Paul in Santorini
  She is half Greek and half Venezuelan.  She is absolutely gorgeous and has a very fun personality.  She told us about how the grapes are grown here in "baskets" that the growers make out of the grape vines.  They have to be grown that way to protect them from the sun and dry winds here -- otherwise you would just have raisins!  Between the four of us, we about a case of wine from her!  I bought a red port-like wine and an aged dry white -- a Kalliste.  Excellent wines -- now how to I get them home?

Elena had recommended a local restaurant for us to try -- but we could never find it!  As we were running short on time, we went back to the pizza place.  They were thrilled to have us back.  I had a burger stuffed with feta cheese, french fries and another mythos.

Another Church in Ia
  The sister made us nutella crepes again -- gratis.  And then it was time for me to go!  I had to fly back to Athens tonight and we were a ways from the Airport.  We headed back to the villas, and I packed up the wine in my backpack, re-wrapped the art glass -- and headed out.  I bade my good byes to Paul, Scott and Phil (they were staying a couple more days) and jumped in a taxi to the airport. 

I flew Olympic Airlines to Athens.  It was an ATR -- twin engine plane that seated about 60 people.  The flight was right on time -- leaving at 8PM.  It took 40 minutes to get back to Athens -- certainly faster than the 7 hour ferry ride!

I spent the night at the Sofitel at the airport -- clean and convenient.   

 

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Greek Orthodox Church
Greek Orthodox Church
Not every accent color is Blue!
Not every accent color is Blue!
and not every Church is White!
and not every Church is White!
Black Cat on Santorini
Black Cat on Santorini
Tim, Scott and Paul in Santorini
Tim, Scott and Paul in Santorini
Another Church in Ia
Another Church in Ia
View of the Caldera
View of the Caldera
Gates of the Church
Gates of the Church
Dog on the roof!
Dog on the roof!
Lonely sailboat
Lonely sailboat
Greek Blue
Greek Blue
Gate in Fira
Gate in Fira
Scottie at Museum in Fira
Scottie at Museum in Fira
Phil fell asleep at the Museum!
Phil fell asleep at the Museum!
Paul, Tim and Phil in Ia
Paul, Tim and Phil in Ia
Preparing the wine vineyard
Preparing the wine vineyard
Christmas Card Photo 2005!
Christmas Card Photo 2005!
House entryway in Ia
House entryway in Ia
View from peak in Ia
View from peak in Ia
Santorini
photo by: wanderingluster