Is the island. Fira is perched 533 steps above the harbor level. It is just one of the Greek islands which are the remains of an old volcano. The caldera is filled with water and deep enough for ships to drop anchor.

From the ship the tops of the mountains and hills on the surrounding islands appeared snow capped. At closer look, the white is all the small villages of whitewashed homes and shops crowning the peaks. Greeks aren’t stupid. Yes, it is uphill to home at the end of a long day of fishing. But It is easily defended as they have learned over multiple millennium of raiding and wars.

The alternate to hiking up the 533 cobblestone steps

there were more steps , this is the end of the donkey ride

there were more steps , this is the end of the donkey ride

would have been the cable car which seemed to be the preference of most of the early visitors.

The traditional alternative is to ride a donkey up the stairs (no one had mentioned the mules – there were almost as many mules as donkeys).

The combined effect of almost 600 animals might explain some of my challenge in hiking up the multiple switchbacks freely littered with manure.

In Fira it becomes apparent that white has multiple shades from cream to snow white. The occasional blue accent is tossed in as a nod to the Greek Flag. I had a nice wander but it became readily apparent that Santorini has much in common with St Maarten’s and St Thomas. Shop after shop with souvenirs, clothing or jewelry. Bars and restaurants filled in the gaps.

more than just white

more than just white

I lasted until it started getting crowded before returning to the ship. Before noon on a day which the last tender was 1930. Part of my discomfort stemmed from having three other ships in port.

And yes, that is Mein Schiff #3, as apposed to 1,2,4, or 5. #6 is currently under construction. A lovely woman who lives just outside of Hamburg mentioned the lack of imagination and that she prefers traveling on other than German Cruise lines. We had a lovely chat about our experiences on Explorer of the Seas last year as she was also on the Barcelona to Suez repositioning cruise.

I also appreciated having plenty of time prior to sun down. Tomorrow we dock in Piraeus. Having been there multiple times before, I will just relax on ship. Hiking while fasting is less than ideal.

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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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One Response to Santorini

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