Monday, July 13, 2009


Ugh - I hurt this morning. The walking yesterday was a little bit much for me. I'm not sure how far we walked; but, half of it was an uphill incline. The muscles in my legs, back and side hurt quite a bit this morning. Oh well.

Today we are anchored at Santorini, Greece. It is a very lovely place with buildings that look like they are made of sugar cubes.

OK, the tour Panoramic Santorini is NOT easy as the description indicated. Certainly, the first half of the tour was quite nice. We drove from the port up a winding, winding, winding road to get to the top. We stopped at the top of the highest point on the island. There is an old monastery at the top. We stopped to view the overall island. This was just a quick 10 minute stop.

We then drove to a winery for a tasting - along with bread, cheese, olives and local tomatoes. This was a 40 minute stop and we had plenty of time to view the very nice countryside.

Next, we drove around much of the island which is about 55 sq kilometers - I don't know the conversion. The downtown of the capitol is very busy.

After seeing a bit of the capitol, we drove north and visited a small city (we would call it a village) at the north tip of the island. This is where things went downhill - or I guess I should say UPHILL!!

Where the bus dropped us off was mostly gravel and when "paved", it was stones - very rough to get through with the concentrator which is on a couple roller blade wheels. Then...we made a left turn and it looked to me like the never-ending stairway up to h*#l. I decided to give a go. I made it about half way.

Jill and her mom made to the top of the n-e-s-t-h when they learned that wasn't the end - there was yet another stairway to climb. They decided not to continue.

I had stopped by a nice little restaurant called Blue Sky. The owner or a worker (I don't know) saw me and offered a seat under an umbrella in a little courtyard next to their kitchen. As I sat, he brought me a bottle of cold water and wouldn't take payment. One of the nicest gestures I've experienced in a long time.

When Jill and Dee got back to me, they told me about the continuing climb and that the guide was not bringing the group back the same way. So, since we were at a spot where we knew how to return to the bus, we headed out back to the bus - the walk wasn't too far. I got on the bus which too warm for them. They found a place to sit in a little shade.

So, I contemplate this excursion and wonder why on earth they have it rated as "easy". Not even close. This was almost as difficult as yesterday.

The kids went on a short sail to another side of the island. They did a 45 minute hike to a volcano rim. They saw steam holes from the volcano which is apparently still considered to be active. They also sailed within a short swim to some hot springs. When they got back, the headed back up the hill/cliffs on a trolley and took a bus to a black sand beach on another side of the island.

We all met up for dinner. Tonight was "turkey & dressing" - so I ordered my first entree of the trip. Our waiter had also saved me wedding soup from last night. I think I ate more food at one meal than I have in about 3 weeks. Jill and Arielle both got the turkey. Dee got a steak that she said was very good. Brett, of course, to seafood - tonight was sauteed scallops and another seafood that had an unusual name but Brett said it was lobster as far as he was concerned.

The island is volcanic - created and changed by a volcano and related earthquakes. I wouldn't call particularly "pretty". It is quite interesting. Dee and I were just looking at the cliffs with the bright setting sun and it has many layers of different colors - gray, red, black, white. Also, the buildings are the quaint and most interesting feature. They grow grapes, cherry tomatoes, grains and a few other lesser crops. Obviously, they have a significant wine industry. I found the island interesting but inconsistent. I might have enjoyed myself even more if we hadn't gotten so tired from the excursion.

No real entertainment tonight since large numbers of passengers are still on shore. We sail at 8:45.

Take care and be well. - JimA

Sent via Blackberry. Please excuse short answers and typos.

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