Santorini, Greece


October 10, 2009

Ah, Santorini!  Susan’s experience: the first time she was here, it was okay.  The second time she was here, it was okay.  Third time - it felt like home.  The beauty of this island had begun to sink in.  

The island of Thira, which is the one every one visits, is very dry, which means that there are very few trees present.  But it is a thriving island, with wineries as well as the tourism industry.  Oia Village (pronounced EEE-A), is incredibly picturesque; it is the quintessential personification of the Cyclades group of Greek islands, of which Santorini is a part.  We walked to the far end of the village, and then came back to explore the ruins of the old castle, which we believe was built by the Venetians.  

From Oia, we proceeded to the nearby Domaine Sigalas, a winery Food & Wine Magazine recommended.  We got to sample two of their white wines and their sweet red - a dessert wine - that was wonderful.  On Santorini, the grape vines are mostly grown in a basket shape, which keeps the leaves close to the ground where they can absorb the dew; the basket also acts to protect the developing grapes from the winds that frequent the island.

The last stop on our tour was in Fira Town, the main town on the island of Thira.  Here we went to the Nomikos Foundation, which documents the former town of Akrotiri, built my the Minoans, and buried under volcanic ash.  Apparently the ruins are even better preserved than the ones at Pompeii, even though this village was destroyed 1500 years before Pompeii was.  The major exhibit is reproductions of frescoes taken from the village.  Those frescoes are incredibly beautiful.  The Minoans were very advanced in their amenities of civilization:  they had multi-story buildings as well as an elaborate drainage system.  It would be very interesting to visit the actual archeological site.

When we finished at the Nomikos Foundation, we were on our own, to wander around or go back to the ship.  We decided to have dinner in town, because it was a unique opportunity to enjoy gyros (our favorite) while in Greece.  We had a Greek salad with that, and Mythos beer (of course!).  We then headed for the cable car, which took us down to the dock where we could catch the tender back to the ship.  We had a very enjoyable day with perfect weather.   It would be great to visit again, just to absorb the beauty and peace of the island.

There are additional photos here.

                                                                  Fresco from Akrotiri

© Susan L. Stone 2015