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By Mark D. Roberts | Saturday, July 21, 2007

Santorini is a collection of islands in the southern Aegean Sea. Technically, it’s called an archipelago, and it is part of Greece. Santorini was formed from an ancient volcano, which, when it blew its top, left a circular group of islands arond a central caldera. (The photo shows part of Oia.)

We visited Santorini for a day as one of the stops on our cruise. It’s a desirable tourist location because of its quaint villages and inviting beaches. One of the villages we visited was Oia (pronounced EE-ah), which lies to the north of the main island. Oia was extraordinarily picturesque, with its multi-colored houses and blue-domed churches.

The main town on Santorini is Fira. In the summer it’s filled with tourists and the usual tourist stops (souvenier stores, jewelry stores, etc.) Fira is perched on one of the cliffs above the ocean. In order to get back to our ship, we walked down a six-hundred-foot pathway, which was both steep and covered, I’m sad to say, with donkey droppings. Most people don’t walk up or down, but ride on donkeys instead. The walk was fine, except for the fact that it was about 100 degrees. (If you look closely in the photo of Fira to the right, you can see the path down which my wife and I walked.)

I didn’t get to one of the beaches. Friends who did said they were glorious. Gotta leave something for my next visit, however.

Topics: European Reflections |

One Response to “Santorini”

  1. HenryH Says:
    July 24th, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    When we visited Thira (or Fira as you put it) in 1981, they hadn’t built the cable car that can save you the long climb. We were also on a tight budget (husband, wife, four sons, backpacking) so my folks didn’t spring for mules/donkeys. We walked up. That was a chore.

    When we stopped there again on the way back to Athens a few weeks later they let us ride up. The image of my father on a tiny donkey with his feet nearly touching the ground is forever etched in my mine. As they say, priceless.

    I hope to be there again in few weeks with my parents, wife and daughter. Backpacking again but the budget isn’t quite as tight. I’m looking forward to it.


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