i really intended to write about greece much earlier in the week, but alas! work got in the way. happily the office is closed today, so i have time to tell you about one of the most beautiful places in the world: santorini, greece.
santorini is a small island about an eight-hour ferry journey from athens (we know first-hand; we took the boat on the way out). over 3,600 years ago, during the height of minoan civilization, a volcano erupted and changed the island forever. it's now a long crescent dotted with a couple of smaller islands on the outskirts. if atlantis ever truly existed, it's thought to have been on santorini. and it's easy to believe; we spent much of the time like this:
the water is an amazing blue; the island is dry and scraggily and mountainous and flat all at the same time. there's lots of exploring and hiking to be done. and we pretty much did it all.
home base was fira, the main town on the west coast center. fira's a bit touristy but has lots of wonderful restaurants and if you poke around a bit, you can find things other than jewelry and souvenir shops:
greece is also, apparently, known for its profusion of cats. there are cats EVERYWHERE.
while fewer, there are also dogs hanging out all over the place!
friendly animals poking their noses at you every few minutes? you know that's bliss for me!
one of our big adventures was a 2.5 hour hike from fira to oia, a small town on the very tip of the island's crescent. there's a path that winds up the edge of the coast and oh man was it beautiful.
that last photo that looks like a model town? oh no. that's real.
we also decided to take a "sunset cruise" on an extremely windy evening. which meant no one could sit on the lower deck of the boat without getting drenched by gallons of water! but neither bryan nor i easily become seasick, so the ride was fun. first stop was a volcanic island hike.
followed by a swim from the boat to a "hot spring" (lukewarm, brrrr!), and then a glide over to the prime location to watch the famous santorini sunset.
i have never seen a more amazing sunset; my photos can't come close to capturing the colors. here's a peek from a rooftop restaurant another night to give you a better idea:
i know that's a lot of photos so i'll let you digest it all for now, plan your own trip to santorini, and i'll be back to post "greece: part 2" over the weekend!