Saturday, August 23, 2014

Our Day in Santorini, Greece

Today visit Santorini, Greece. This was probably the one place I'd like a "do-over day". We opted for the ship tour.

Our rationale: We'd get off the ship early and have an organized way to get to the top of the caldera. We felt there were limited options available and that coordinating a group event would be too difficult as we had read getting up to the city could involve long wait times. We were wrong about the later part. Probably should have pursued a private group tour with a delayed meeting.
  Of note Santorini is on the top of a caldera. Basically you are sitting in the base of a volcano covered with water and the city is build on the edge. There are a few options you have to get to the top: Cable cars, donkeys/horses, walking  (in donkey doo), or by bus (arranged tour). Not a big deal to cable up if only 2 ships in port.
  Onto what we did: We tendered off early and met on shore.Once our group (herd) assembled we boarded a bus and headed up to the top. Once there we drove to a sleepy town.

It was interesting. We toured as the fog was lifting so our views weren't as spectacular as I had hoped, but we had a good feel of the color of the island and the architecture. I didn't get to see much in the way of people/lifestyles and I have to admit I felt awkward with me and my closest 50+ friends walking through their streets at 8:30 am. Lots of cats around, as seemed to be the way of the land. I enjoyed them and thought they made it peaceful. After we toured the town (walking tour) , we drove to a look out. The fog was so thick we really couldn't see but standing in the fog was fun.
It was also interesting passing other buses and cars with very limited visibility on the side of the cliffs. Then we went to the Pyrgos winery.The vineyards were shrub-like and unique.

Now I hadn't thought this through in my planning. My bad!
Wine and mezes at 9:30am? What was I thinking?
The winery was nice and clean.

After the tour ended we were dropped off in town and found a little cafe
 for some Greek coffee. Greek coffee is a dark roast with a thick sludge at the bottom, which I was starting to enjoy.
We shopped a bit before going down- (although this photo shows the shops at the bottom for those who want souvenir but not actually seeing the city.)
and then rode the cable cars down.
We found the lines down (at 11am) to be quick and no long waits. I can't imagine what 4pm with 3-4 ships in port would be like. We felt it was smooth and efficient. Here was the view going down.
 3 to each side-
Then we tendered and lunched on the ship.

 My husband was in seminar on our days at sea so he never really got a lazy cabin day and we just wanted to relax. We enjoyed seeing our 1991 honeymoon ship "Song of America" now MS Louis Olympia, pull up and share space in our little volcano.

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