The most beautiful place I've seen

Santorini Travel Blog

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I originally thought the cliffs were snow capped!

Santorini is a ring of islands in the Agean Sea and what was left after a volcano blew up in 1628 B.C.  Now I have no idea how the explosion can be dated so exactly but I have been told that the resulting tsunami and ash clouds were enough to destroy not only this area but also the Minoan civilization on nearby Crete.

As the Prinsendam sailed into the center of this ring of islands, each island looked  snow-capped but it was just the whitewashed houses clinging to the tops of the cliffs that made it appear that way. 

The only possible ways for us to reach Thira (the main town at the top of the cliffs and the one with the most tourist books and museums) was to either ride a donkey up the cliff on a narrow path, walk up the cliff on a narrow path while dodging what the donkeys left behind or riding in a cable car.

Our ship is far, far below
  My feet still hurt from wandering around Athens yesterday so I was glad to take the cable car.

The town is the spectacular picture-postcard version of what Greek villages should look like and it's one of those places where you can't take a bad photo.  It is beautiful everywhere you look.  There is the view of the houses, the winding streets (about 3 of them), the cafes perched on the brow of the cliffs, the local artwork and of course the lovely shops.  The lovely shops got me for a few things - soap made from olive oil seemed like a good idea when it came with a plaster copy of an ancient statue and so did the bookstore.

We had lunch at one of the cafes and drank Mythos beer with our fresh fish while we looked down the cliffside and watched our ship repositioning itself  below us.
Main street
  The water here is so deep that the ship can't anchor and the weather was windy enough to blow the Prinsendam around.  By the way, the center of the old volcano is still there.  I think someone told me that the sands of the center island are still warm and that you need to wear shoes there to protect your feet from the heat.

My favorite part of Thira had to be the museums.  We saw two:  the Old Archaeological and the New Prehistoric Museums.  (I had a little trouble with the Old and New designations; it did seem strange.)  The Prehistoric Museum has remains from the town Akrotiri which was destroyed by the 1628 BC explosion.  It was destroyed while also being preserved (in lava and ash) and about half of this Bronze Age settlement has been uncovered.  The museum displays some magnificent pottery, tools, weapons and frescoes.  I have a copy of one of these fresco fragments in my family room at home and it was thrilling to see the original.

We sailed out of Santorini at 11pm and I sat on the verandah as we departed.  I watched the town's lights glowing over the tops of the cliffs and reflecting into the water around another cruise ship that was still anchored.  Day or night, this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

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I originally thought the cliffs we…
I originally thought the cliffs w…
Our ship is far, far below
Our ship is far, far below
Main street
Main street
Thira perched on the cliffs of San…
Thira perched on the cliffs of Sa…
One of two streets through Thira
One of two streets through Thira
Flowers everywhere
Flowers everywhere
On our way to the first museum
On our way to the first museum
Anyone who knows me knows there wi…
Anyone who knows me knows there w…
This is my favorite
This is my favorite
But you have to admit that this is…
But you have to admit that this i…
Lunch with a view
Lunch with a view
Overlooking the ship
Overlooking the ship
But Mythos beer and lunch are righ…
But Mythos beer and lunch are rig…
Another view - this one on the way…
Another view - this one on the wa…
The other museum
The other museum
Were eating yet again
We're eating yet again
Looking back up at Thira on the to…
Looking back up at Thira on the t…
In the tender on the way back to t…
In the tender on the way back to …
Night time and sailing away
Night time and sailing away
Santorini
photo by: wanderingluster