Good Evening from the Serenade of the Seas as we sail away from our final port of call, Salerno Italy.
The Internet has been down, but here is my post from two days ago, when the ship anchored in the protected harbor of Santorini Island in the Greek Isles. It was more about the beauty and scenery than any other day, not much history here. It’s a volcanic island that was originally round, but half the island collapsed into the water around the volcanic crater, which is still active today.
What is left is a caldera (almost a cliff) that gradually slopes downward to the Sea on the opposite side. The two largest cities are perched on the cliff, Fira (pronounced Fee-ra), and Oia (pronounced ee-ya). We began by tendering, taking a small boat to get to land because there are no cruise ship docks in Santorini, and then we took the cable car up the caldera. Once we were up in Fira, we had an hour to spare before we had to meet our tour guide, so we wandered around and picked up some souvenirs before it got too crowded. We were on the second run of the cable car for the day, but we knew that 5 ships would eventually be in.
To start the tour, we got a view of the most famous of the Blue Domed Churches, and continued on to Oia, where we looked around and got some great photos. A stop at a winery with great views, and a roadside stand selling Santorini’s specialties, such as real sun-dried tomatoes, pickled capers, grown in the volcanic rock of the island, and more!
For lunch, I had Souvlaki with the freshest Tatziki Sauce I have ever had!
Next up was a stop at a black sand beach, where the sand was made from volcanic rock, not clear crystals like most beaches.
Once we got back into Fira, I could barely recognize the area because 5 ships, 2 Royal Carribean, Holland America’s Noordam, a small European line called Etstur, and NCL’s Jade were all dumping passengers onto the island, and the cable cars were bringing them, about 10,000 passengers among those ships, up onto the same street at only 30 at a time. At 2:30, when we thought we would get back on the cable car, we got on line in the brutally hot sun and we were squeezed in like sardines because of the many rude people who can’t wait their turn in line like everyone else. They just have to push, shove, and work their way around the line. After 45 minutes we were so desperate for even the slightest breeze, but we made it onto the cable car and down to the tender to bring us back to the Serenade of the Seas.
Here are the highlights of my photos from Santorini because there is no way I could share all 211 of them!
I will put up a post about today in Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast of Italy, bright and early tomorrow morning!