Donkey or tram?
14.07.2011 - 15.07.2011
I think the tram for Grandma. Well here is our test the seniors day. At first I was going to sat no way...but then changed my mind. We got a decent start with our Priority Tender Passes and were on shore very quickly. We got the first tram up the hillside. Doris was not impressed. She covered her eyes and was somewhat sweaty; bur once you are on there is no turning back. Okay so the first bit is a little jittery, but really it was quite fun. We had time for Joyce to get a hat, Tracy and I to get lost, and time for a coffee overlooking the caldera. Okay for those who know me, I had an iced Chocolate.
We were watching for Demetrius, but it was his wife Patricia who showed up. Patricia is German, born in Belgium, married a Greek and settled here. Wow! Demetrius took another group and thought Patricia would be great for our family grouping. A short walk away we found a blue air-conditioned van that was just perfect and we were off.
How can one describe the fantastic sights around the island? The humidity is high which means the horizon is a little hazy. Oia is beautiful, so many wonderful surprises around each white washed corner. There are 500 churches on the Island. Many are privately owned. As we passed one that was the church for the Saint Demetrius the lady who owned it was cleaning it. We chatted for a bit through Patricia and then the lady invited us in. It is very beautiful with ornate fixtures, wooden stalls along the sides for the men who sing hymns and various religious paintings on the walls. Patricia put some coins in the box and we lit candles. We lit candles for Jennifer, for Roger's Dad and Uncle Den. I told Patricia to tell her this was the highlight of our trip and for whatever reason I teared up.
We found the car and drove down into the fishing village and up the coast to a black sand beach where the locals go. Basically a few tourists go during the day and the locals arrive about five. There are caves in the coast hillsides where they store their beach stuff during the summer and their boats in the There are other caves in the hillside, but these ones were where their disposed of their dead. They now have traditional cemeteries, but they bury their dead standing up. You see many grapes here, but they grow low to the ground rather than suspended on supports.
We drove up the back of Fira to a house owned by Demetrius and Patricia. She showed us before and after pictures. It was a derelict dump when they got it for 15,000 Euros in 1993. They created a dining area out of the big oven, made skylights out of chimney's, added rooms, plastered walls, made or scavenged furniture and fixtures and made an amazing home. They added a guesthouse next to it. When they needed space to add a clothes washer, they just dug into the hillside. They now rent both places out and have built a new home further on.
We drove up to the winery for another amazing view of the caldera before heading to a family owned taverna. We settled on water, house wine, fried cheese, home fries, tzaziki, flava beans, Santorini Salad, eggplant salad, Imam, which is a stuffed white eggplant, tomato balls and Roger had fried sardines and some bread. Oh my it was all good!
It was now coming up to five hours on the road and time to head back to the ship. The line for the tram was not bad and we were on board in about 20 minutes. Doris had to cover her eyes again, but we made it down safely. You can of course walk up or down, but the donkeys have the right of way, plus they leave slippery deposits along the way. You can ride the donkeys, which looked a little iffy, especially the ones heading back down. They looked well fed and well groomed.