Crete – Rethimnon

Last full day in Greece.

Morning sunrise, breakfast on the patio and a long swim (okay- a long float) and lunch.

Then a wander around the old town and port and Fortezza Fortress in the heat.

A cooling float and some fun snorkeling, then dinner on the patio while listenng to the water and enjoying the sunset reflected on the horizon.

Now we each have a book to read while we put off packing for Rome.

Akratiri

Last day in Santorini. Got up early and packed up, ate the last of of the yogurt, then tidied up before heading to the bus stop. Two very comfortable but slow buses later we arrived at Akratiri, an ancient city buried by the volcano. It has been an active archeological site since 1967. An impressive cover has been built over it, which not only protects the site, but keeps the visitors cool and shaded.

It is hard to express how big it is – the pictures don’t do it justice.

Now for an ice coffee and elevenses before heading out to the Red Beach.

Volcano Tour

After a nice sleep, breakfast from the amazing 24 hour bakery around the corner and a couple of hours on the beach, we took the bus back to Fira for our volcano and hot springs tour.

Had 40 minutes so decided to walk down to the old port to get to the tour ship. Long. Hot. Smelly. Dangerous  (I hurt my hip and Jacob busted his knee – we are fine but achy). But in a strange way, we are glad we did it. 

Made it down in time to get our boat. Loved being out on the water and swimming up the hot springs inlet. Tried slathering on the Volcanic mud so I am sure I look 10 years younger. Right?

Did not make it up to the magma area but we did hike most of the volcano area before being stopped by a narrow path of over a chasm. Nope. That is not going to happen! 

Back to Piressa and dinner on our patio,  followed by a swim (all on our on) in the lovely pool at our pension.

Delphi

Such a quick overnight from Athens but what a jewel! Comfortable American style hotel, adorable town high in the mountains and a great site and world class museum. Harrowing bus ride but you can’t have everything!
More pictures to follow!

Santorini – Oia (eee-ah)

After reading all the hype, and knowing it was a favorite of so many people, we were initially disapointed in Santorini. Part of that, I see now, is that we are doing through budget versionbecause it isn’t our only destination. I know if I ever come back, I won’t do it on the cheap but for now, we are focusing on the amazing parts.
We are on the beach side of the island in a town called Perissa. We are staying about a 5 minute walk from the beach and a 20 minute walk from a wonderfully sheltered harbor beach where we rented chairs and a grass umbrella and spent a long, glorious six hours swimming, drying off, eating, drinking and repeating as desired. It was our planned break day and boy did we need it.
After that we should have gone for a nap but didn’t.
Instead we took the bus to Fira aka Thira aka the original name of the island,
Santorini. It spans from down at the port/sea level, all the way to the top of the caldera. We wandered a bit, bought tickets for the volcano tour for the next day and then had a quick gyro before catching the bus to Oia.
Oia is where I would stay if I come back. It’s really what you probably picture when I say Santorini. Words can’t do it justice, but we had a combination of breathtakingly beautiful scenery and a perfect windy day.

Athens … again

Keep forgetting to post on WordPress instead of Facebook so have to do catch up.
Last day in Athens was by far our favorite day. We got back from a whirlwind too days in Hydra (not enough) and Delphi (just right) and were picked up by my friends Dennis (Dionysios really but after 35+years it’s hard to change) and his wonderful spouse Jim. They took us back to their lovely apartment to hang out for a bit, then on a personalized food and sites tour of the Plaza neighborhood, St Irene’s and Monostiriki.
Here are some pictures more to follow!

Lightening our load

We thought our backpacks were as light as possible, but now that we are in the Mediterranean, we realize we don’t need about ten pounds of jackets, sweaters and misc stuff that seemed essential in London ( where we already left about ten pounds!).
Shipped a box back to London to wait for our arrival at end of August. Best $50 we could have spent!
(It beats the donkey luggage service!)

Hydra – continued

Blissful day. Perfect weather. Amazing beach side taverna and not crowded at all. Water was cold but not as cold as Tahoe and after a bit we got used to it. We swam and sunned and ate and drank tea and mango juice. Met a Greek family from New Jersey who bought a house here. I can understand why!
A shower, a siesta and then dinner under the arbor downstairs.

Hydra

Another crazy early start (cheapest seats are always early!) To get the ferry to Hydra (pronounced ee-drah). Arrived in paradise at 940am. The pension allowed us to drop our bags so we could head right to the beach.
We may never leave.
Except to eat.
Then back into the water!