Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Santorini, Greece

Thursday morning our cruise ship docked in Santorini. We were to disembark here and not continue with the rest of the people on the ship back to Athens. Unfortunately, those who are disembarking the ship are the last to get off the ship so we had to wait for many hours while all the tour group folks got off first and then finally we were able to get off. It was a great feeling to say goodbye to the cruise ship!

We were staying at Kamari beach which was on the other side of the island from where the cruise ship dropped us off. A bus took us on a very harrowing drive up the side of the mountain to the other side of the island. Even Jack was nervous as he kept saying "that's a long fall" as we were both glued to the windows with our fists clenched. 

Switchbacks with no guardrails and roads barely big enough
for the busses all the way up the mountain
I was very happy with Kamari beach. Not only was it very beautiful, but it was also very kid friendly.

The main drag was car free and had lots of little shops and restaurants
The black sand beach was picturesque
Still too early in the season for large crowds
Testing out the water

"I want to swim!"

We found a couple of great restaurants right on the beach
Friday was our only "whole" day in Santorini so we took advantage of it and signed up for the all day excursion to see the volcano and the city of Oia.

Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion...possibly the largest explosion in recorded history. We got the impression that the people of Santorini believe that this island is the site of the lost city of Atlantis. When the volcano exploded, a major part of the island sunk right into the ocean leaving the main part of the island as well as several small islands dotted around the edge.

Ready for our volcano adventure

Our first stop was the volcano island

Drastic change in scenery

Ready to hike up the volcano
It was quite a hike to the crater of the volcano...took about an hour an a half to get up and back

Looking in to the volcano

View of the main island of Santorini from the volcano

Walking down to our boat
Our next stop was the hot springs of Palea Kameni. The boat stopped several hundred feet from the hot springs and we had to jump in the 16 degree (celsius) water and swim to the warm water.  It was quite a shock!
Jack did not like the cold water

The warm water couldn't come fast enough!

Looking back at the boat

Ahhh, warm water!

The murky waters are known for their healing properties...
and staining bathing suits red

The brave souls who made it through the cold water

Glad I didn't need to use the bathroom!

Some sort of shop set up next to the springs

Not excited about swimming back to the boat

Jack did not want to get in the cold water!
After the hot springs, the boat took us to the island of Thirassia for a 2 hour lunch break.
Walking in to town
This was a very undeveloped little island. There were just a handful of tiny restaurants and not much else

Throwing rocks in the water to pass time

Quick cat nap to pass the time

The "swimming place"
After lunch the boat stopped at the port of the old town of Oia.
The port with the old town above

Quick snack on the water

The town of Oia is very romantic, but not very kid friendly
We had to walk all the way up to the old city
It was a long walk!
Hard to believe we started down at the water

Still more climbing to go

Finally starting to enter the village

Luke made it all the way with Jack on his back

Ready to be done climbing!

The village of Oia
We walked around the city while Jack napped.


Finally awake
Jack woke just in time to watch the sunset with us
And hundreds of other tourists who lined the walls and crowded the streets

Funny faces

The sunset at Oia was beautiful, but touristy. I think I would rather enjoy a sunset relaxing on the beach next time.

Saturday morning we had to leave Santorini and head off to the island of Naxos.
Jack waiting for our boat at the port

Inside of the boat was similar to an airplane
Photo by Jack

No comments:

Post a Comment