Thursday, April 23, 2009. Santorini was called Strogili in ancient times. It means "circular" in Greek. It's the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions the planet has ever seen. It left a large caldera, a cauldron like volcanic feature. Some say the island may be the source of the legend of Atlantis.
The tender left us in the port of Skala. We could see the houses perched on the sides of the mountains. Some are cave-like, taking advantage of the natural formations. From there we took a cable car up to Fira, which is the main town on the mountaintop. The view on the way up was awesome.
Once we were in Fira, we had the best panoramic views of the area. We could see our ship by the caldera, and the surrounding areas.
We walked around the streets of Fira, and came across a cultural center, a very interesting building that housed some intriguing paintings and art objects.
We continued our walk, and found the Dominican nuns' monastery. Because I was educated by the French Dominican nuns in Buenos Aires, I went into the chapel.
Next we passed the church of St. John the Baptist and peaked inside.
We decided to take a cab to explore the rest of the island; the driver took us down to Oia, another one of the towns that dot Santorini. In there, he showed us a model of the island, made in a center plaza among some private residences. It was very interesting because it gave us a birds-eye view of the area. We stood on a terrace that had a floor mosaic depicting the Oia seal. There was a great view from there.
Our driver then took us to an out of the way restaurant, on a cove by the water's edge, to have lunch,. We sampled the local food and of course, we drank ouzo. It was an unforgettable experience. Then we went back to the port and bought some local stuff as souvenirs.
Too soon, it was time to board the tender, go back to the boat, and get ready for our next stop, the port of Piraeus and ATHENS.