Saturday, November 19, 2016

Santorini. Sunday, June 12, 2016

After we left Crete, Mike and I spent time up in one of the lounges on the very top of the ship. A bar, actually.  But it had windows all the way around the exterior. It actually looked like it might have been the bridge. But no. It was a bar.  It was quiet, a bit tricky to find, so we found it very relaxing and nice to watch the islands glide by and especially enjoyed being up there on the soft seats, enjoying our soft drinks (and water and virgin pina coladas) watching our approach to the next island and port.

Our second port stop of the day was on the island of Santorini.  We were "non-excursion" passengers, meaning we did not sign up for an organized excursion, but we did get off the ship to just do our own thing. We could have found our way to Oia village to watch the sun set. But we had to be back on board too soon for that. We could have gone out to the volcanic island, but volcano stuff is no big deal to us. And there was another excursion option as well.  But we had done one excursion of the Palace of Knossos that day, so this time was ours to do what we wanted. We had from about 5 to 8 pm.

I wanted to walk around.  Mike did not.  We were tendered over to Thira, but Thira itself was at the top of a cliff.  We could take a cable car or we could walk up some "Walters Wiggles" - type stairs to the top, or ride mules. We opted for the cable car for 5 euro each way.  It was fun!

Of course, there were tons of shops and touristy places at the top of the cable car ride, so we looked though those for a bit, did a little shopping for our Greek T-Shirts, then I left Mike sitting there on a bench. Poor Mike. I wandered and wandered and wandered. Took lots of photos. Loved the views.  And finally I returned to him, finding him almost where I left him. THIS time, he said I was gone a long time and he was getting worried. Oh, I bought a little water-color post card sized print. It's on my shelf at work.

We just needed to  get back to the ship, so we rode the cable car back down.  We were seated for dinner on the WEST side of the ship--right at sunset.  So we did get to see the sun set on the Mediterranean Sea near the village of Oia.  Only we were right under Thira. It was still very pretty. That dinner was very good. I don't remember any of the food, but I know it was all quite tasty. (You need to know that I do not have very discerning taste buds.)  Some meals in the dining room we were seated with English Speakers. Occasionally we ate in the buffet. This time we were in the dining room seated with English speakers, but they they changed tables without asking and we had some Spanish speakers from Argentina to replace them. But they were very nice and polite, trying to include us in the conversation.  It didn't work very well. ha. One night it was a bunch of Greek ladies (mid - twenties and thirties) who had lived all their lives on one Island and were seeing some of the country together. But they just laughed and talked among themselves and didn't try to include us at all. They were too busy having fun together. Or laughing at us. I was never quit sure.

That was our last night on the ship. We had sorting and packing to do to prepare for the next day. Disembarkation was very early the next day...

Here are photos I took on Santorini:

 Approaching Thira in our Tender Boat
 Riding up the Cable car together
 Thira from the cable car
 Shops with lots and lots of stuff. I still regret (just a little) not going back to get that top on the right top rack. White with blue trim. (Like I need another shirt...)

 I saw a lot of this in Greek cities and towns.  Flat roofs with rebar sticking straight out the top. I don't know if they just neglected to cut it off, or if it is left there for future additions. I don't know about those holes in the wall, either.

 Inns, apartments, hotels and restaurants

 I noticed that a lot of folks travel around on 4-wheelers. Maybe it's just tourists.
 Not all buildings are white-washed. This one is pale yellow.

 Here is a good view of the volcano. I believe it's still active. Last big blast was in the 50's. As in the 1950's.  Why would you choose to build your home on an active volcanic site??!!
 On the cliff-side of the town, there were not many roads. Most were sidewalks with no vehicles allowed. This was the end of the motor road.  Behind me is the cable car area of town and ahead of me is more of the town, stretched out over the cliff.
 A pool with a fountain.

 An open gate into a yard with pool. 

 Looking down to the tiny harbor.

 I passed people hiking up walks like this to their apartments or hotel rooms. There was no motor access.  They had to drag their suitcases over the cobbles. One of the sidewalks I wanted to explore was so steep and slick I nearly fell down!  I grabbed the handrail , pulled myself back upright and stuck to the main side walk area after that.
 The following four photos are a series of the mule train coming up the path up the side of the cliff.

 Blue doors stuck into the side of the cliffs near the ocean.
 Stairs, stairs, everywhere. Poor Mike's knees.

I tried to capture the BIG birds soaring overhead. But my camera captured them as teeny tiny white dots in the sky.

It was evening when we left Santorini. It was just as pretty as I expected it to be.  We sailed on to Athens during the night.

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