Saturday, August 29, 2009

One of the most beautiful places on the planet!

So maybe it is a toss up as to which Greek Island is my favorite.
I did love Mykonos, but as soon as we set foot in the town of Oia Santorini, I literally felt like we were in Paradise. I mean, the kind of paradise that has the most stunning views of the sea and the most beautiful walkways filled with white washed walls and blue domed churches. With nothing but sunshine and ocean water as far as the eye can see.
We were not docked in Santorini and so this was the one spot on the trip where we got to take a tender into port. Since we had an excursion booked, we were whisked to a port that was bus accessible. The port at Fira Town is only accessed by Funicular (cable car) system or by mule.

Once our tour bus made it up the side of the island to flat ground high above, this is the view we had of the surrounding smaller Santorini islands.

and these are views of our huge cruise ship which doesn't look quite so large from so high up. In the above picture, far far in the distance you can see the little town of Oia, our first destination of the day.
We made our way by bus to Oia (pronounced ee-ah) out on the northern tip of the main Santorini Island. It is an amazing little village, so beautiful... I could have just stopped and stayed there for a very, very long time.
Walking in from the bus parking lot, the first thing you see is this little hotel (above). A teeny tiny lobby with rooms and patios and amazing views spread out on the hillside below.

It seems, unfortunately, that this was the first day of my illness. I struggled with some flu-like symptoms on this day, but even that could not ruin the gorgeousness of this place.
Grammy and Grampy loved it here as did Joey and Sammy. Everyone loved it here. I cannot imagine anyone not loving it here.

Joey fell in love with the little bookstore below. He bought a book and chatted with the young guy working there. Apparently the sales clerk is from Denver... came to Santorini for a visit and stayed. Another small world story--he had just visited Portland and stayed with a family right up the street by Wilson High School.
While I was frantically searching out a restroom, the boys stopped into this coffee shop and had a snack
It was really difficult to drag everyone out of Oia. Our stay here was way too short.
After Oia, we headed to a winery and tasted some local wines, then finished the tour in the town of Fira (the town located directly above our cruise ship).

Although not nearly as cute as Oia, Fira was in an amazing location, again with boutique hotels and restaurants and shops traversing the steep landscape high above the ocean.
In the picture below you can see some of those boutique hotels and restaurants as well as a glimpse of the port below and the zigzagging mule path.

Below are the hardest working residents of Santorini. The mules will take you back and forth from the Fira port to Fira Town. We did not have the opportunity to take the mules on this trip. Our excursion included a bus ride up and a cable car ride down. Although I think the mule ride would have been fun, it was a bit hot and smelly along their path. But they sure are cute!

Below Grammy and Grampy are really enjoying the "Fun" icular ride back down to the port.

The port was really pretty and this old wooden boat has been around since they filmed the movie 'Summer Lovers' with Daryl Hannah and Peter Gallagher on the island of Santorini way back in the 80's.
Here's Akiko on the tender ride in Santorini with Fira Town in the background (I think that lady to the left is going to be sick :).
My what a beautiful place.


Michael aka already insane said...

Dear Barely Insane,

I am totally insane. Lets go back asap.

kjlubitz said...

I'm game if you are... but this time I want 7 days instead of 7 hours!