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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Santorini, Greece

If we needed a place for blue skies and blue seas, Santorini is the place, and we were very pleased to wake to an almost clear sky and calm winds. 

Santorini is the flooded caldera of a collapsed volcanic crater, with thousand foot high cliffs above the sea. In the center of this island circle, a new mountain top is emerging in the form of a new island.

We decided to spend our day just in the town of Fira, at the top of the cliff, on our own.  We had to wait for the excursion groups to leave before we got on to our tender to take us on shore, where we rode the cable car to the top to begin our tour.

I'm temped to just post one pretty picture after another at this point, because that's how this beautiful place presented itself - as Oh, so many pretty pictures. 

We got off the beaten path right away and found the Catholic Cathedral. 







 There were still squalls in the area, but this one gave us only the rainbow, a good sign.








 I loved all of the Lantana I found growing all over the Mediterranean area. ↓


 This was just the prettiest shop we found on the island. 
 We bought an ornament here. 

 We traversed our way across the cliff face, up and down steps, peeking into private terraces.

We checked out some of the many jewelry shops along one of the major arterials. I bought a Greek Key pendant here and we had a nice chat with the owner.  
The Orthodox Cathedral was lovely but did not allow photos.
 This was our view for our late morning coffee and baklava stop.

 What an amazing maze.



We got a good view of the other way up the cliff side.






 Having worked our way across the town what seemed like several times, we decided to go to the archaeological museum. Thera  was a Minoan City, a sister city to Knossos, that is being excavated on another part of this island. 
Pottery dating from 2300-2200 B.C.

 Oven and grill with K-bob holders, 17th century B.C.
 Storage jugs 



More spiral and bird designs.



And wall frescoes like those found in Knossos. 


 This one had blue monkeys, evidence of travel to more exotic places. 

By now we had earned lunch, and we found just what we wanted here. Greek yogurt with fruit, nuts and honey for me, and a big Greek salad for Tom.

 After lunch we explored some more.


 We found the local brew pub. 


 We had pretty much covered the territory, including finding the beginning of the donkey trail.  We checked at the cable car and found a long line, about an hour wait, as all the cruise passengers were heading back to the ships.  

 We decided this would be our way down, even though I knew going down those one thousand feet was going to be painful.


 He's grinning.  He doesn't have my knees. 
 Still a long way to go.
 Make way for the donkeys and mules. 


 I was a little crippled for a few days but we made it, and were on deck for the sail away from this beautiful place. 




10 comments:

  1. Linda, we loved Santorini. Are you on a Celebrity Cruise of the Mediterranean? I didn't like all the dogs lying around.

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  2. What a beautiful, spotlessly clean city.
    The food really looks healthy and appetizing.
    However, I would have rented a donkey for that long, steep hike. That would be brutal on good knees.
    That last picture is stunning.

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  3. I love that Greek Salad your husband ordered. Nice pictures, indeed.

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  4. Nice touch to end this post with a sunset. Building atop the cliff and down the sides must take some knowledge of how to make things safe.

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  5. I think this must be my favorite place so far on your voyage...but those steps..oh my at least it was down and not up! The Orchids were stunning! :)

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  7. Absolutely GORGEOUS!! That is my kind of place. Looks like heaven to me.

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  8. I think this is my favorite place on your trip, and your pictures are simply stunning! The weather seems it was perfect, too. And I would have been in serious pain going down those steps, too. It's easier for me to have gone up them. Down, that's where my old knees don't cooperate. :-)

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  9. Incredibly beautiful! Having never been to the Mediterranean, I'm enjoying visiting vicariously through your posts! Thanks!

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