Our European Trip - 2005 travel blog

Tender Loading from Ship

Thira, Santorini

Christine & Rotterdam

Cable Cars on Santorini

Church on Thira, Sanotrini

Donkeys on Path

Thira from the Ship

Donkey Trail from the Ship

Iain & Sunset from Ship

We ran into our first swell overnight and it kept Christine awake for a while. I was conscious of it, but am told I snored through it all. We woke with the ship at Akotiri on Santorini Island, a staging point for some of the land tours today. We watched the tenders being loaded and taking off for a pier a little distance across the crater of the extinct (we hope) volcano. Apparently the eruption around 1500 BC created such a large tsunami that the Minoan civilization in Crete was wiped out. The ship was in the middle of the caldera, which is now several hundred feet below sea level.

It was fairly bright, but with a slight mist. As the day progressed the sun broke through and it turned out a lovely sunny afternoon and evening.

Breakfast was brought and consumed and we continued to watch the activity alongside. The ship then moved to Theta, the main town on Santorini and we went down and got on the first tender. We went up in a cable car and walked up through the town to get a better view of the town and harbour. As we came back down, we stopped for lunch, then continued downwards through the main square and found an Internet cafe. We had found the ship's satellite connection to be both slow and subject to problems when uploading photos, so we tried this cafe. While it seemed reliable, it was slow, so we only added some to Tuesday and still have to get up to date with the past few days.

We went back up into the town to eventually join the pathway which donkeys use to transport tourist up and down from the town to the pier. We elected to walk down. A test of endurance, as it is quite steep and zig-zags back and forth. It is also a test of dexterity as the donkeys use the same path to both walk on and for other natural purposes!

The towns on Santorini comprise buildings of white and blue which has a very peaceful and cooling effect. The buildings cling to the mountainside and are quite attractive. There seems to be a Church at every turn. Apparently at one time the lords of the island could expropriate property at will, but not if there was a Church on it. Wily islanders built a church on their property to preserve their ownership.

We reached the bottom, hot and tired and had a cool drink and ice cream. We caught a tender back to the ship and got ready for a cocktail party sponsored by our travel agent who also is providing the tour to Ephesus which we are taking tomorrow.

Afterwards we went out on the deck and watched the sun go down. We came back to the room and got ready for dinner. It was another excellent meal and we went to the lounge afterwards to listen to the trio, however, they almost immediately went on a break, so we went out on deck where it was windy and cool, then we retired for the evening.

We are to be up early tomorrow to go on a trip from Kusadasi to Ephesus.

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