|Santorini is the island we are visiting and its capitol is Firá...
An 06:30 call to action today, so we had a quick breakfast and went directly to our "tour" muster station. We decided on a Celebrity tour today, a beach tour that is, because we were forewarned that the cruise ship activity for Santorini would be high, and that the cable car system carrying people from Firá down to the Tenders below would be busy. We thought that our "tour" would give us priority....Hah!
Anyway, our muster station, "the Theatre" on board Equinox is pretty respectable in its own right. It is in the forward section of the ship, covering several decks in height and accessible from decks 4 & 5. It holds about 500 people and we have seen a couple of very good acts there.
Today it serves as a muster point for tickets and directions to our waiting tenders. Our tender ride along with about 40 or 50 others was longer than usual but gave us a view of the zig-zag road that traversed the very steep hillside to get from the shore to Firá. Our zig-zag road was some distance further along the cliff lined coast. We caught a modern, big powerful bus that negotiated numerous hairpin turns on its way to Perivolos, a small town located on the southwest corner of this good sized island. Santorini is about 72 sq. km. with about 15k full time residents.
At the top of the zig-zag we got a spectacular view of the ocean, nearby smaller islands and the nautical traffic. We think that our BC ferry system is fairly complex but wow! Here in the Greek Islands there is a never ending array of ferries of every description zinging by. Not to mention cruise ships!
Back to Perivolos and the beach. We arrived at our beach destination about 09:30 and found ourselves at a semi-deserted but well serviced beach. There were palapas, beach chairs and nice boardwalks accessing all of this but there was also a fairly ferocious wind. However, it was sunny and warm so we braved the wind for a while then repaired to the nearby bar/restaurant, and offset the effects of that wind with a wee libation or two.
So what if it was a tad before noon......like 11:00...but who's counting?
By the way Rose managed a dip in the "warmish" water but I abstained as that would have broken my 80 degree rule...Ha!
Our bus returned and ferried us back across the island to Firá where we were deposited to fend for ourselves, with the usual caveat regarding our return to the ship....which waits for no one. Todays limit was 4:30 pm.
In the meantime we seem to have acquired a knack for finding nice little bars and restaurants that really add to our appreciation of our environs, and once again....Lo! A nice little bar with a view of the 4 cruise ships and tenders below.
A nice snack, a cold beer, a couple of photos and we are good to go! Or so we thought....remember all those cruise ships? Well it turns out that a good chunk of the extra 8000 or so additional people on island were now in between us and the access point to the cable car system that would deliver us to our waiting tenders. Whew!
However, it turned out not so bad as we waited only about an hour for the 2 1/2 minute plunge to the slips below.
A bite of late lunch on board, a spa for Rose, a beer for Don followed by a glass blowing demonstration led us to a late dinner. The glass demonstration (on deck 15) was truly amazing, they even raffled of some of their creations but when all of the flatish ones went we gave our kudos and goodbyes.
After dinner we repaired to our stateroom as it was pushing 10 pm and we are still wanting to rid Rose of her somewhat persitant cold.