Day 3: FINALLY Santorini
Santorini Travel Blog› entry 7 of 13 › view all entries
October 21st, 2009 – by: missandrea81
Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion, destroying the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island, and leading to the creation of the current geological caldera.
For today we have booked the excursion, which was 50 Euros/person, but we knew that otherwise we wouldn't get to see much of this beautiful island in such little time. We had to be back on board at 1:00pm to continue on to Mykonos, where we would arrive the same night.
First advantage of booking the excursion was that we were on one of the first tender boats bringing us to the port of Ormos Athinios. The trip took only a few minutes, since those little boats were hauling a$$. haha At the port, our tour guide was already waiting for us. We were group #3. After boarding the bus we drove up the serpentine street climbing ca. 300m (980 ft) to the top of the island. Then we drove on to our first destination, the little village of Oia (pronounced Ea or Ia, depending on where you're from). Famous for a gorgeous sunset, which we were not going to see.
We were dropped of at the bus parking lot and then followed our tour guide to the city square. Here she gave us a brief history of the place and told us where to go for the best views.
This whole time, I'm having a huge grin on my face. Dad is filming and taking way too long to move along, so I told him to meet me at the bus, cause darn it, we don't have much time! In the short hour that we spent here I took at least 80 pictures. Yes, 80! Wherever you look there is gorgeousness. What a beautiful, quiet (if it wasn't for the tourist) place. I assume, if you were here on your own time and could really take the time to explore every alley of this place you/I would end up with 80 more pictures. ;)
We made it all the way to a "scenic view platform" which seemed to be a ruin of some old building or fortification.
So here I am. On top of a volcanic island, or what is it left of it. In the breath-taking village of Oia. *takes deep breath* So worth it! Moving on!
It was already time to catch the bus. I bought my magnet and a large poster to frame along the way. Also the peanuts and pistachios, which I now had to haul around for the rest of the tour. We're back in the bus now, getting ready for the wine tasting. The interesting thing about the wine of Santorini, the Vinsanto (holy wine) is that the grapevine grows very close to the ground with three sprout forming a "basket" in which the grapes are protected from the wind and close to the ground for the little moisture there is.
Bathroom break (my first off the ship), interesting fact about Greece. You're not supposed to throw the TP in the bowl and flush it down. There's a waste basket/bin for that. Yup. I'm going to leave it at that. My one and only bathroom break while on land.
Back to more pleasant things. I tried the dessert wine first. Which was delicious! Made out of raisins, not the fresh grape. Very sweet. Turns out it was a dumb idea to start with the sweet stuff. I had a glass of the white afterwards, which then tasted very dry. The view from the winery was also very nice. A great view of the Nea Kameni in the middle. The uninhabited part of Santorini. Only visited since that's were all the toxic gases escape from the depths of the still active volcano.
The last stop of the tour was the city of Fira, capital of Santorini.
We had about 1 1/2 hours to get down to the shuttles since the last one was leaving at 13:00pm. We started walking down more narrow alleys past all the vendors.
We made it on the cable car 45 minutes later. 6 little compartments for 6 people at a time. But they were fast!! Down at the old harbor we saw one of the cave houses, that are built into the volcanic rock. They keep warm in the winter and cool during summer. We got one of the last shuttles to the our ship and glanced sadly back at Santorini from the upper deck. By now I had taken some 180 pictures and my first memory card of 1GB was almost full.
Bye, bye, Santorini. I'll be back one day!
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