Search for  Santorini  found 7 posts
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Oct 16, 2016, Sunday
Santorini    Greece Santorini
Oct 16, 2016, Sunday
Oct 17, 2016, Monday
Oct 17, 2016, Monday
Oct 18, 2016, Tuesday
Aeolus and Oia    Greece Santorini
Oct 18, 2016, Tuesday
Nov 8, 2016, Tuesday
Nov 8, 2016, Tuesday
Nov 19, 2016, Saturday
Skala and Athinos    Greece Santorini
Nov 19, 2016, Saturday
Nov 20, 2016, Sunday
Santorini Church    Greece Santorini
Nov 20, 2016, Sunday
Nov 21, 2016, Monday
Hiking Fira to Oia    Greece Santorini
Nov 21, 2016, Monday


October 16, 2016   Sunday
Greece   Santorini

Our first night on Santorini island. The hotel, the Petit Palace, is comfortable and the view, as you can see, is stunning. My sole complaint is spotty wifi. Of course you don't come to Santorini for the wifi, you come to perch on the rim of a volcanic caldera and soak in the breathtaking setting.

Petit Palace Hotel      
The Petit Palace, like a lot of Santorini, is built into the side of the cliff.
Paul next to our private pool      

Fira, Firostefani, and Imerovigli

October 17, 2016   Monday
Greece   Santorini

Today we started out by exploring Fira, Santorini island's capital and largest city. It was a blazingly sunny day, the brightness enhanced by the ubiquitous white buildings and reflections off the wine-dark sea.

I am reading the wonderful Fitzgerald translation of the Odyssey and can easily visualize Ulysses' ship sailing the Greek waters, trying to avoid being bashed into the rocky shores. In fact, at the base of the cliff 250m below our hotel is an outline of where a cruise ship sunk in 2007. The giant ship is still there.

Fira's 7000 inhabitants are dwarfed by tourists; the town is covered with hotels and restaurants, many of which cascade down the cliffside to afford views of the caldera and the boats that ply its waters. Yet everyone we've met has been friendly and helpful and most people we've encountered speak English - and their English is certainly better than my Greek. Signage, too, is almost always accompanied by an English translation.

Next, we walked north from Fira along the cliffside path to the two adjacent villages, Firostefani and Imerovigli. While there Paul hiked out to Skaros, a rocky outcrop that once featured a village and a castle.

Hotel breakfast      
Church in Fira      
Church in Fira      
Oia as seen from Fira      
Volcanic islets seen from Fira      
Hotel-covered Fira      
Chapel overlooking caldera in Fira      
Church in Fira      
Windstar ship anchored off Fira

Aeolus and Oia

October 18, 2016   Tuesday
Greece   Santorini

Aeolus, the god of the winds, was in full form today as we set out from the Petit Palace hotel for the distant village of Oia. In addition to facing Aeolus's brisk winds we missed the bus into town so it was an exhausting day. First we retraced yesterday's path to Fira, Firostefani, and then Imerovigli. Then we hiked a path that hugs the cliffside overlooking the caldera. It also involves climbing a couple of hills. Finally the path drops down to Oia, at the northern-most tip of Santorini island. By the end of the day I figure we did 16km.

Oia is a yet another charming hilltop town, a little more polished than Fira - the marble sidewalks are beautiful - but I didn't find Oia all that different from Fira. Oia might be a better place to stay than Fira if only for the fact that Fira is where the cruise ships disembark.

We took the bus back to Fira then walked the rest of the way to the hotel. The ticket taker on the very comfortable bus provided an entertaining nonstop commentary on his need for small change for fares as well as how not to dispose of our bus ticket stubs. All in English, mind you. Then, on the walk back we encountered several groups of donkeys going home for the night. I suppose these are the animals that ferry passengers frim Fira's cruise ship port. Note that the guidebooks discourage using the poor donkeys.

Dinner was excellent Mexican at Senor Zorba, our second visit. Greek cuisine is fine but it is also nice to have a break from it.

Oia at northern tip      
Chapel in Oia      
Donkey traffic jam, Fira

Would Americans stay up late for Canada?

November 8, 2016   Tuesday
US Politics   Santorini

Canadians' reactions to the US election range from ignored to horrified. Some are even hosting election-night dinner parties to watch the returns. As for me, I'm just relieved it's almost over.

While waiting for the returns to come in I'm reviewing my Greece photos in Lightroom, day by day, in chronological order. I'm up to October 13. Reviewing is basic, I assign a star if I think the shot is worth reconsideration. I rarely delete. I should delete more. I'm simultaneously updating my blog posts as I go, fixing a typo, adding a photo.

On October 13 we were in Naxos. Naxos is my favorite of the three islands we visited. While Santorini has brain-thwacking views - see accompanying picture - it is terminally touristy. Hydra is almost too bucolic. Naxos has restaurants and shopping, the island has several towns, beaches if that's your thing, hiking, and ruins. On the other hand, if you want uninterrupted time to write that novel then Hydra is your place.

Skala and Athinos

November 19, 2016   Saturday
Greece   Santorini

Santorini has two ports: Skala (Old Port) and Athinios (Ferry Port). We watched Skala pass as we - passengers of the Blue Star Delos - headed for Athinos. The ports aren't far away, it's like Skala is in town and Athinos is the suburbs. Athinos is newer and can be reached by a (scary) road. They both face the challenge, how to get to the town above.

Cruise ship off Skala      
This French cruise ship is tendering passengers to Skala, the small port to the right of the ship.
Tendering via Skala      
Skala offers three choices to town. Walk, take the cable car, or ride a donkey. Don't ride a donkey; the guidebooks say it's not good for the animals.
Cable car to Skala      
Cable car to Skala      

Athinos is the ferry port for Santorini. It isn't pretty, it's a transport hub and not a place to hang out. So as soon as we walked off the ferry we found a bus, got in, and rode up the cliff side. The bus driver collected the fare later.

If you look to the lower left you can see the road starting up the cliff, then a series of switchbacks. Just to the right of the light pole you can see a bus on its way up.

Hotel-room sunset      

This view is why one comes to Santorini.

If you look to the lower left, sticking out of the cliff-face, you can see a bit of road to Athinos port. Then, if you look to the lower right, the buoys in the water outline where the MS Sea Diamond cruise ship sank, in 2007. The ship is still there, waiting to be salvaged. Or not.

Santorini Church

November 20, 2016   Sunday
Greece   Santorini

The town of Fira is about as touristy as a town can be. Still, it has its charms.

Cathedral in Fira

Hiking Fira to Oia

November 21, 2016   Monday
Greece   Santorini

Our second day on Santorini we hiked from our hotel to the northernmost tip of the island where the town of Oia is located. A warm sunny day though really windy. At times I wondered if I'd be blown off the trail and into the sea far below.

The trail follows the edge of the caldera and involves a couple of decent climbs.

The path north from Imerovigli      
This is the path we saw as we left the Fira - Firostefani - Imerovigli area.
Looking back to Fira      
On the trail to Oia if you look back and east you'll see parts of the island that are flat and sparsely populated. What a contrast with the caldera edge.
A large chapel along our path      
The path to Oia      
Far in the distance you can see our goal, the town of Oia.
How we got here      
Looking back towards Fira you can see the trail winding over the hill and coming down to those white buildings, which is also where the road briefly touches the trail.
The trail down to Oia      
Once we climbed the last hill, the trail headed down into the town of Oia.
The beginning and the end      
If you look to the right of Paul's knee you'll see the cruise ship Windstar anchored just off Fira. This is about where we started today's hike.
We made our goal. We explored the town, ate, then caught a bus back to Fira.