Santorini - Day 1
Sep 27, 2011
|Monday 26th September Cont....
Considering the weather was a bit rough, we had a smooth trip on e ferry so after a couple of stops at other ports, we arrived in Santorini about an hour late. Mad running around to find the public bus to take us up to the town. What an unbelievable place...the town is sparkling white (even in the twilight) and built on the top of the cliffs.
We arrived at our hotel after a bit of running around, settled in and then went out for some dinner. We are staying a Pension Petros...close to town, very clean however rather small compared to our last hotel. Erica who was on our boat is also here so I sent her an email to organize where we were going to meet tomorrow. We can see her hotel from ours so meeti g up won't be too hard. Then, it was off to bed.
Tuesday 27th September
We met Erica at her hotel at 9.30 and the owner organized for a car to be delivered to the hotel. We had a coffee (FOC) while we waited. Car arrived, paperwork done, existing dents checked and we were off. No fuel in the tank (red light was on) however this seems to be the go in the islands. We had the same thing on Kithnos. First stop was the petrol station....fuel is €1.70 per litre and as the island is quite small we put €10 in. We then set off for the Ancient City of Thira. The road up is almost vertical....hairpin turns all the way up...quite unnerving. It was worth the trip up...the site is really interesting. Once again, set on the top of what appears to be barren, sheer cliffs, there was a reasonable sized town. It is unbelievable that the original town was here from the 8th century BC. We certainly got our exercise for the day...steps, steps and more steps...those Ancient Greeks must have been very fit. We spent a couple of hours exploring before heading off down the exciting hill to Kamari,one of the black beaches. We had a lovely lunch overlooking the sea before jumping in the car and heading back to Fira. We wanted to go through the museum and weren't sure whether it closed at 3pm or 8pm.
We arrived about 2.40 so were happy to find the museum was open until 8pm and bonus, it was free entry even though as sign at the entrance said it was €2. The attendant gave us our ticket (noted free ticket) and off we went. Once again, there was some wonderful ancient artifacts, some dating from 2300BC. Some of the jugs and bowls were found intact which is just amazing. They think this was because people fled when one of the eruptions was imminent. I took a few photos so we have some memories of them. They have also excavated some wall paintings from the ancient city of Akrotiri and I took a few photos of them as well.
Back to the car and off to the Red Beach and hopefully a look at the archaeological site at Akotiri. Erica's research shows this site has been closed for 5 years so it's unlikely we will be able to but it's worth a try. Well, we found the red beach however decided not to walk down and have a swim...we were feeling a bit walked out by then. We found the archaeological site at Akotiri and Erika was right, we couldn't go in. It's a shames it is supposed to have a lot of intact artifacts and buildings.
Off again, this time to the beach at Perissa, at the bottom of the Ancient City of Thira on the other side from Kamari. We paddled for a while but wimped out on a swim...the water was a little cool and the bar called. We had a drink and then set off for Oia to watch the sunset. Skipper Dave had given us some directions for the best spot to watch where there wouldn't be so many tourists...we didn't manage to find the spot however stopped at a cafe overlooking the water. The sunset wasn't that spectacular but we had a nice drink and chat with the proprietor. Since we departed on our sailing trip, we've wondered why there are so many partially completed houses on the islands...we finally got an answer. It costs a lot to obtain a building licence and as long as you start building, you keep your licence. If you don't start building within a certain time, your licence is cancelled. A lot of people can't afford to complete the building process so leave the houses unfinished until they can afford to complete them. If they leave it too long though, the building degrades. Our host had an opinion about everything - the European Union, future of the USA, Australia, the impact of China Nd India on the rest of the world...and so on. He was very interesting.
We dropped in to a cafe on the way back to Fira for dinner. Pete and Erica went to the loo. We checked the menu and they only had cold foods so we decided we didn't want to eat there. The waitress asked us what we wanted and I said there wasn't anything we wanted so we wouldn't be eating there. She put the hard word on that as we'd used the loos, we'd better buy something. We had a drink and left.
We found another restaurant closer to Fira and had a nice meal and good chat before heading home. Erica did a great job driving and we said our farewells before going in our different directions home. It was a good day and we made full use of it and the car hire.