Saturday, May 09, 2015


The port that Dani has been looking forward the very most is Santorini, and it lived up to, and probably surpassed her hopes!  What a beautiful site we awoke to, looking up at the high cliffs with the white buildings perched on top.

We began the day bright and early on the first tender boat to shore so we could take a 6-mile hike from Thera to Oia (thanks TripAdvisor and Trevor and Leslie Winn for researching!)  It was neat to walk the usually tourist-filled streets of Thera before there were any tourists, enjoying the small, quiet town.

We made our way through a few small villages, stopping frequently to admire the scenery and take pictures.

After not too long, we were in the middle of the countryside.  There was almost nothing around, other than a caldera filled with ocean water.

And our ship in the distance

One thing that was interesting in the Greek isles, which we first learned on our walk around Santorini, was that there were many small churches dotting the landscape.  They would pop up out of nowhere!

Some had scenic arches that made for good photos.  All were white with blue trim. 

As we approached Oia, the thing we kept saying was, "Wow, there's an amazing picture!"  By the time we arrived in Oia, we concluded that there was no such thing as a bad picture on Santorini.

Views in Oia were simply perfect!  It is difficult to describe just how brilliant the white buildings are in contrast to the cliffs, sky, and water, and with the blue-domed roofs of the churches, it was simply breathtaking!


In Santorini, the homes were built on the side of cliffs, so many of the homes were built on top of a portion of their neighbor's homes.  In this case, a bookstore was built below their neighbor's home, and even below street level!

We walked all the way to the far edge of the island where we could see Oia on the caldera side and on the ocean side.

Lunch with Jim and Mel was unforgettable.  At first, it was memorable for the spectacular view.  Then the food came, and we ate food like we'd never eaten before, starting with a delicious block of baked feta cheese served with roasted peppers!  Wow!!!  The Greek salad was delicious, too.  Then, we had moussaka, a traditional Greek dish with eggplant, ground beef and Bolognese sauce, potatoes, and cheese.  It was simply amazing!!!  Fortunately, we took the advice of our server ("Don't eat too much - it's only lunch time!") and walked out comfortably full - and with enough room for another baklava!

One memorable experience we witnessed was Mr. Kindness (aka Eric Battles) in action, assisting a drunken crew member (it turned out to be the doctor that had helped Eric with an earache the day before!) make it back up to the gondolas - he was trying to walk down the path and was falling all over the place!

The streets of Santorini, winding through the white buildings, were quaint, and though it was pretty busy, especially in Thera, the small-island charm was present everywhere we went.  This day will go down as one of our favorite vacation spots!