Wednesday, May 21, 2014


We are renting cars on Santorini and Crete so we can prowl around the islands as much as we want. We've been most concerned about Santorini -- getting from the airport to our hotel, specifically, because on all the maps we've seen, the streets are not named. Some of the larger ones are, but the ones in the town we're staying are unnamed. We mostly just hoped we'd find our way, one way or another. The guy at the Budget Rental booth at the airport, where we'd reserved a car, was hysterical. First, he looked like someone from Central Casting said, "Get me a salty old Greek guy, a real character!" To me he looked like a Greek version of Darby O'Gill:

Quite a bit like this, but more Greek. Same twinkly eyes though.
He had his little shtick, a little performance he put on for everyone, but he was funny and put us at ease and made us laugh. He drew this map for us -- upside down, he was drawing and writing -- and when I told him he could draw very well he said, "And upside down, too! I'm ambidextrous!" So he drew the map for us and gave us all kinds of useful advice, and then after reminding us that there's really just one major road on all of Santorini so we don't have to worry about getting lost, he told us about the Bugs Bunny episode where Bugs sticks his head up and sees people in Vietnamese hats and says, "I shouldn't-a made that left turn at Albuquerque!"

this map got us where we needed to go
We must've gotten the most beat-up car they had. When the other guy walked us out to get the car and was circling the various bits of existing damage on his form, Marc finally laughed and suggested that he just circle the whole car. Not far from the truth!

And so off we went, and we got here with no problem at all. From the air, the island of Santorini looks like a giant backwards C -- because the middle of it blew up in one of the biggest volcanic explosions in history. The explosion is believed to be responsible for wiping out the Minoan civilization on Crete. The ocean poured into the empty space, so it's referred to as the caldera.

We are in the upper half of the island on the caldera side -- Imerovigli. It's just stunning, in every way.
After we dropped our bags off in our room, we stepped off our little patio onto this small sidewalk-type of road that appears to go around the whole curve of the island. To Oia, at the top tip? Looks like it, but we didn't walk quite that far.

our own little patio

around the caldera to our left, away from Oia

Santorini is the island with white buildings and
churches with blue domes

yeah. I could live here. No problem at all.

Or here, I'm not picky.

a little hotel next to ours

This tree is our landmark so we know we're at our place

our view, amazing

pausing along our walk, just to take in the view

that's the curve to the right of our hotel -- Oia is out on that far tip
Just so otherworldly beautiful. Marc is always on the hunt for herbs, which totally cracks me up -- especially since he pronounces it "oregana." So we walked along, he scouted oregana, we saw lizards, we paused to just stare, we walked and walked and walked, and felt like the luckiest people around.

We ate dinner in Imerovigli at a little taverna; the ones that overlook the caldera charge a LOT for dinner, because of the view. Since we have the view all the time, we aren't seeking out those restaurants for dinner. We got Greek salads and calamari, and I got a Mythos beer. Very nice food, fresh, yummy.

my dinner -- I didn't get a shot of Marc's calamari, too bad.

We finished in time to catch the sunset before we turned in:


standing on my patio, this is my view. I KNOW YOU GUYS.

So lucky, so grateful. This morning, after a quick breakfast of pastry and Greek coffee, we headed south along the caldera coast to see the prehistoric city of Akrotiri, a Middle Bronze Age city. People lived in the area from the Neolithic Age (5th millennium BC) but the ruins we visited were from ~1650 BC. The area kept being changed and destroyed by volcanic activity. The site has been excavated beginning in 1967, and it's pretty cool; a building was built over the dig so visitors can see it no matter the weather. It's remarkable:

oops.....those stairs!

these smaller structures were probably for storage

here are the walls of a home. FROM THE MIDDLE BRONZE AGE.

A buncha jars. Amphora.

And beautifully decorated.

I love this stuff. Shoulda been an archaeologist or a paleontologist.

Here's a reconstruction of the site as a whole.

tub. we think.
One thing that struck me is that the only reason we get to see this place is because it was destroyed in the way it was. A volcanic blast, rivers of lava, mountains of ash, preservation. If it hadn't been destroyed we'd probably never have gotten to see it. I love that twist.

After we finished the site we wandered back into the little town of Akrotiri to walk around and to grab some lunch. What a beautiful little village.

yet another church -- cross painted on the mountainside this time

Mediterranean waters

this is the black sand beach. There's also a red sand and a white sand beach.

beautiful church in Akrotiri

We walked up this little alley away from town to see where and how
people live. It's like this. Beautiful, quiet, scenic.
old and new mixed together

yep. could live here, no problem.
back down the hill to lunch!

can't get enough of the wonderful mild feta. Greek salad + me = love.

the little taverna where we had lunch
Tonight we're going into Firostefani for dinner -- something delicious, I have no doubt. Gorgeous sunset again tonight, I have no doubt. More beauty tomorrow, NO DOUBT.


  1. Absolutely breathtaking! I think you should move there. Then I'll come visit. Haha.

    1. Faith, that's a deal! I'll move here if for no other reason than you will visit. :)

  2. Replies
    1. I keep thinking about you -- I picked up a Santorini postcard and next will get you one from Crete!


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