May 15, 2024

May 13 - Santorini, Greece

Santorini is a tender port. We are one of four major cruise ships visiting today. Being the largest we hold our position closer to the tender terminal for the stairs and cable car to Fira than the other ships.

Initially I had no plans for Santorini. With about 12,000 visitors the lines for the cable car up the hill to the city will be very long. Climbing the path with it's 800 or so steps is not even worth a mention.

Several days ago a shore excursion employee told me that the shuttle bus to do Fira on our own would drop us off at the city center, and that the area there was flat and easy walking. I booked it. What a mistake.

The bus did not let us off at the center of town, but a long ways out of town on the opposite side from the cable car. The walking was some of the worst I ever encountered, not cobblestones, but randomly round stones about the size of baseballs, but only half submerged in concrete. Foot stability was non existant.

There were several of us on the bus that had difficulty. The tour guide was very accomodating and after taking the rest of the group the rest to the top, led us to a local restaurant that would provide us refuge until it was time to return to the  bus. 

Of course I had to try the local saganaki. It was OK but not as good as in previous ports. The table overlooking the street was good for us in that we could watch the street activity, and good for the restaurant in that we made the restaurant look more busy. A win for everyone.

Santorini is well known for its charm. Personally I don't quite get it. Nearly everything must be imported including drinking water. There are grapes that grow here and several wineries bottle a local wine.  The grape vines grow only to a few inches above the ground, and get thier water from the morning dew. The economy is almost all tourism, and many of the workers must travel to the island daily to serve the tourists. Lots of stores, but nothing locally made.

With very little rain, everything is very dirty and dusty. Yes, I was  unimpressed.

The fair amount of polution in the air did result in a bright red sunset.

Tomorrow we head to Piraeus, (Athens) Greece. 

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