Monday, 28 September 2009

Part 5 - Santorini

28 September 2009 - 1 October 2009

28 September 2009
Today we were leaving Ios and heading to Santorini, which is said to be the prettiest island. Unfortunately our ferry was 1.5 hours late but we eventually made it. We found a place to stay, it too was up and down another hill but it was okay and I think we paid around 15.00 per night which was good as Santorini is also quite expensive.
That avo we walked through the winding streets of Santorini browsing at the shops and taking in the scenery. Santorini - is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in the southern Aegean Sea. The largest island is known as Th─ôra . Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion.

The township of Thera is positioned on top of a hill. You will see from the photo above that most of the houses and business are actually built on the side of the hill. So that means that the only way up and down to the township are specially built paths. You can either drive up in the car or get a lift with the donkey. The donkey rides were 5 euros each way so we decided to walk down the donkey path to the port and then take a donkey up. They were huge donkey's, I actually think they were mules. I never knew the difference before but mules are actually a cross between donkeys and horses. The locals tried to scam us, they told us that you can't get donkeys at the bottom and that we had to go up and down on a donkey, but that so isn't true so just keep a watch our for that.

This is the donkey path here.

29 September 2009
This morning we got up early and took the cable car down to the port instead of the donkeys as we were going on a boat ride out to the volcano, a tour of the volcano, a stop at Therasia and a stop off at Oia.

The Minoan eruption of Thera was a major catastrophic volcanic eruption which is estimated to have occurred in the mid second millennium BCE. The eruption was one of the largest volcanic events on Earth in recorded history.

We took a boat ride out to the hot pools near the volcano. You can't get that close to the hot pools with the boat so we all had to jump off the side and swim to the hot pools. Luckily I had a new waterproof camera and was able to take it with me to get a pic. You can see our boat in the background.

After our dip we headed for a walk around the volcano. Our tour guide was in a bit of a hurry so we power walked up to the top of the volcano. Volcanic rock is quite different from normal rocks to walk on and can be extremely sharp if you slip and fall (which I didn't for the record:))

<------The volcano from Santorini
Casey and on on the volcano with Santorini in the background -->
After our walk around the volcano we stopped off at the port of Therasia - is a small Greek island west of Santorini in the Cyclades. The population was 268 inhabitants in 2001 . The island is part of the community of Oia . Santorini and Therasia were separated by the Thera eruption.

We only really had time here to have a walk along the port front (as you had to take a donkey up to the top as well) a quick swim and something to eat. It was however worthwhile stopping there as its the only place we saw flags on the windmill.
After Therasia was went over to Oia which is another township in Santorini - Oia remains one of the foremost tourist attractions of the Aegean Sea. The famous Oia sunset, considered by many as one of the most beautiful in the world - to have a look around and watch the famous sunset and we weren't disappointed. It was amazing and looked even better with one of the Greek Island windmills in the picture.

30 September 2009
Today we decided to head to the beach. There were a few to choose from and we choose Perissa Beach. It was nice to have a relaxing day down by the beach for our last day to soak in some more rays and a relaxing massage.
That night decided to check out the Santorini nightlife we headed out around midnight but, as with most other places we found there weren't that many people out. We stayed out for a few hours and had a dance but came home fairly early.

1 Ocotber 2009
Today we spent the morning laxing out by the pool and last minute souvenir shopping before getting back on the ferry to Piraeus Wharf. Unfortunately for us we didn't really time our trip right as we originally planned on getting a night ferry back but they only ran every second day which was annoying so we ended up having to get a ferry at 3.30pm and wasting the rest of the day on the ferry. We did however get aeroplane seats which were nice as the ferry didn't dock until 12am. We stayed that night at Piraeus wharf and then headed to the airport for out 10am flight back to London.

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