Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Santorini, Greece Day 5

I woke up at 6:30 am this morning. Partly from this nasty cold I started in on a few days ago. I looked out the window to see where we were at. I saw these sheer cliff walls and what looked like snow on top. As I looked closer, I noticed they were HOUSES, not snow. WOWEE!
What I learned today is that Santorini is one of the Greek Islands– probably the most expensive real estate in Europe. It is actually the top edge of a volcanic crater– the center of the crater under water. The water is so deep by the sheer cliff walls, that the ship has to anchor further away and tender boats take you from the ship to the island. There is one spot on the island where cars can come down to the shore– that is where they took us. On the way home, you can either take a cable car (like a ski lift), ride the donkeys, or walk down the steps leading down the cliff walls. The towns on Santorini are built on top of the cliffs or crater top. It is all volcanic soil–lava rock, pumice stone, etc. There is hardly anything green growing due to lack of water. They catch water in cisterns during the rainy months and rely on the fog that settles on the city almost everyday for the moisture to soak into the pumice that holds the moisture so well. Their electricity is generated from diesel fuel generators. All their food and products are imported. They do grow grapes, tomatoes, and one other thing I can’t think of right now.
The homes are built right inside the volcano wall. They just cut out some space and put a door over the front of the opening. There are quite a few homes on top that are normal homes. Almost all homes are white stucco with blue roofs. There were a few places that were a light yellow/cream color, a light peach color, and even a couple of light blue. It is 98% Greek Orthodox and 2% Roman Catholic. Almost every family builds their own church if they have the property. In the town of Profit (population 240) there are 40 churches. All churches are white with blue roofs. The blue symbolizes the sky or the place in which God lives. Their main industry is tourism, of course. The wind blows all the time. It was an interesting place. Very beautiful in some respects, but rather bland in others– with no greenery. I don’t think we saw any grass, for example.
We visited the city of La which is on the tip of the island. There were some beautiful homes there and a gorgeous view. Then we went to the highest point on the island for some really pretty pictures and an amazing view of the island and those surrounding it. We stopped at a restaurant for an appetizer plate of Greek foods. Some were good, some were not so good. They had these pitchers on the table of what looked like apple or white grape juice. We were a little scared to try it. Some guy took a sip and told us it was apple juice, so Joni tried it, well, let’s just say it wasn’t and now she’s wondering if she needs to see the Bishop. ;o) From there we went to the main city of Fila. We shopped around a little bit, then took the cable car back home, joking about Joni’s drinking problem for the rest of the day.
I came back to the cabin and crashed. This cold is a little miserable, so I needed to try and rest it off a little bit. It helped a little. Dinner tonight was formal. I made it there, but really, I’m not hungry and don’t care if I eat. Pretty good for being on a cruise, huh? I set a goal to not gain weight on this cruise as I really can’t afford any more, so I guess I got my wish. ;o)
We get to sleep in in the morning as we won’t be to Corfu, Greece until noon. Our excursion is at 1:00 pm. Corfu is another Grecian Island, but supposedly more green and lush. It is also a much bigger island. Should be a fun day, then it will be at sea and back home. Truthfully, I am right about to the time that I am ready to be home. I’m only good for 7 days max, so I’m starting to feel it. Especially when I read my note from Whit about Jadon chopping his finger nearly off and her having a bad glucose test. Although I don’t miss laundry and mopping too much, I sure miss my family.
Until tomorrow.....

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