We took the fast ferry to Santorini, my absolute
favorite island. The speedy catamaran docks at the "new"
port, which is good since you can travel from there by taxi up to the
main town of Fira - or Thera, depending on which designation the Greeks
choose to use, as is the case with many names. (One definitely
understands why the expression "It's all Greek to me" came
about after seeing so many different names and alphabets referring to
the same place.) The "old" port lies on the other side
of town and is accessible only by cable car or the traditional donkey
ride up nearly 600 steps.
We stayed at the Hotel Astir Thira which was a stone's
throw from all the activity in town. We took WAY too many pictures in
our brief three days there. I have a whole collection of just
picturesque doorways! Santorini is what remains of one of the
largest volcanic eruptions on earth. Originally one island, it is now a
caldera made up of the crescent shaped main island and several smaller
islands of volcanic ash. Many conjecture that it is the site of the lost
city of Atlantis, now lying at the bottom of the sea. Thira faces
the center of the caldera and Oia is another charming city to the east
on Santorini. We took a delightful sunset dinner cruise around the
area, stopping to swim a couple times in the fluctuating currents of
warmer water created by the still active volcano.
Santorini has a white beach, a red beach (each created
by erosion of the volcanic residue), picture perfect sights, great food,
wineries and shops -
a perfect place to visit.