Day 26: Santorini, Greece

Posted on Sat 26 May 2012 in Transatlantic Cruise and Europe • 9 min read

Sumner:

Today started out pretty early because we sailed into the caldera of the Santorini volcano this morning. We were allowed on the bow to see the arrival into the area. Because Santorini doesn't have any port remotely big enough to take a cruise ship we had to anchor out in the middle of the caldera (cah-ul-dare-uh) and ride the tenders into the port. Mom didn't like the ride in the tender but it wasn't too long. We met our guide right as we got off the tender and went together to the cable car. It is much like the ski gondolas a home, just not so sophisticated. It was six of them grouped closely together on either end (top or bottom) one goes on the right side and the other on the left and they alternate places. If that confused you that's ok because I've confused myself trying to describe it for you. Anyway once at the top we walked maybe fifty metres or so, if that and then waited as our guide went for her car. We went first to the village where all of the pictures of Santorini are taken. This village is very pretty and has the best views of anywhere on the island. All of the roofs are blue and the rest all of the buildings are white. These homes used to be the homes of the poor while the rich lived on the top of the hill. They are now the most expensive hotels on Santorini. The reason that these homes started out as homes for the poor is because they were caves to begin with and then expanded out on the side of the cliff. It was so serene. We walked all the way to the end and then went to small castle that is now a tourist lookout where you could see almost the entire caldera (the fog obscured some of it), the cruise ship, the old port as well as many other things. While you admire the view I will pause a moment to tell you some about the history and shape of Santorini. A long time ago, as in like three thousand years, Santorini was a large circular volcanic island. Then it blew up so that it went from being a large mountain to  three islands in a few seconds. It blew volcanic material up something like twenty six kilometers or something (16 miles). Regardless it was in the twenties of kilometers which is really high. Santorini is the biggest of the islands and is shaped like the letter C. There is another island in between the ends of the c and one in the center that has come up recently... Only in the last thousand years or so. This middle island is the new vent for the volcanic activity. Kinda like Mt. Saint Hellens has a new small pile of material in the center of the crater Santorini has a new one in he middle of the caldera. Aft driving around seeing all of the other main sites we stopped at a place called Akrotiri (ak-row-tear-ee). Akrotiri is considered the best preserved prehistoric city in the world. It dates back to two thousand BC and some parts are believed to be from three thousand BC. That's four to five thousand years old!!! It was kinda funny because some of the people from our boat, Mrs. Irene and Mr. [NAME], and another couple who they had met who were also from Denver (Mrs. Irene and Mr. [NAME] are from Denver) joined our tour for Akrotiri. Of course they tipped nicely and it wasn't much trouble for Georgia (that was the name of our guide) so we let them come along. Throughout the whole tour we at times had people try to tag along with us because they wanted to hear what Georgia was saying. It must mean that she is a good guide. The city that was uncovered by the archeologists is pretty large. It was probably about one hundred metres by ninety metres (110 yards by 100yards). And all of it was very well preserved considering that it is at least four thousand years old. The walls were intact and still standing, of course they were not complete but you could tell that they were once walls. There was a sewage system and the homes had running water and toilets. Very advanced for the time. We were able to see tubs as well as pots in which they stored goods. All of which were extremely well preserved surprisingly. I can't describe everything that we saw but I will tell you that it was very neat to see such well preserved homes from so long ago. The last thing that we did is go to the black sand beach. This beach has black sand made from the volcanic material. It was like nothing that I have ever seen. Even though it wasn't very hot today, the sand was very hot. I can't imagine what it would be like if it were something like a hundred degrees Fahrenheit (about 37 degrees centigrade). That was about all that we did today but I will tell you about one of the tricks that Jeff, our waiter at dinner gave us. Ok let me back up just a bit and fill you in. We have open seating at dinner, but we like our table a lot and I think that they like us so they let us reserve the table for the whole cruise. Anyway the waiter for the table that we have is Jeff and his assistant is Weda (mom thinks that there is an e at the end instead of an a; I disagree). We have become friends with them and every night Jeff has show us a trick or little puzzle. Today he had a puzzle involving two glasses and a blueberry. One glass was smaller than the other, this one was set upright. The other one was put upside down and the blueberry was put under it inside the cup. Now this wine glass that was upside down was oddly shaped. The opening was smaller than the rest of the glass. The goal of the puzzle was to get the blueberry from under the big glass to the little glass. You could only touch the big glass and it also had to stay upside down. It took me about two seconds to figure it out. All you do is ***** *** ***** ****** *** *** ************ ***** ** **** ** ** ** *** ****** ** *** ***** **** **** ** **** *** ******* ***** *** *** *** ********* ****. I blotted that out so that you can figure it out yourselves if you want. I'll show you once we get home. That was basically the day so I will leave you to wonder what the answer to the puzzle is.
    \~Sumner



Hannah:
We had to up early this morning. It was around 6:45am. Why??? Because you could go onto the bow and watch us sail into the island of Santorini. It was awesome because the water we were sailing on was the middle of the volcano. I think I told you that I mad friends with Officer Mark. (He is REALLY nice to me.) And I got the privallege to have the honor of getting to ring the wake up bell to wake up the town of Santorini. It was SO fun!!! After I had wrung the bell, I got to have some hot chocolate. After seeing us come into port, All of us went to breakfast. When we FINALLY got off the boat, Sumner and I sat in the back. We were infront of two workers, and they were a little noisy. It took us a while to get off the tender boat. We did not get to ride the donkeys. Boohoo. But I heard it would have been REALLY scary. But the cable car was not TOO scary. After we got into our car, we headed to Ia. (Ee-uh) Have you ever seen any pictures of the blue and white dome houses hanging off the side of a cliff? Well if you have, I went there! It was absolutely gorgeous. I mean, the view was spectacular. Here is a little history I learned.

"Long ago and long after Santorini had blown up, people ame and settled on the islands of Santorini. Apparently, the poor lived in caves on the side of the mountian in ia. And the rich made a wall apart from the poor for their avenue." Now, those houses that the poor people had built are now some of the finest and most expensive hotels, apartments and houses. (I mean ranking from \$500 to \$1,500 PER NIGHT!!!) I mean seriously!!! we traveled around the area of ia for quite a while until we finally decided to go to another town called Fira. It was yet another town with "cliff dwellings". We also went to this ruined village from the 1700's BC. (Emphesis on BC) And their were still pots and jars in tack! there even was plaster from the walls that were still on the walls! And the ORIGINAL toilet was still there!! They were so civilized that they even had a COMPLEX and RUNNING sewage system. Our tours guides name was Georgia. When we got back to the entrance to the cable car, Georgia dropped us off. We got on and off the cable car fine and without any difficulties. When we got on the tender boat, we thought it would be a long wait for more people to come. It did not take long. Only about 5 minutes or so. The cliffs that make the edge of the volcano "hole" look like the Western Slopes (the cliffs near Grand Junction. If you don't know what I mean, look online or ask your parents)in Colorado. I have pictures and if you don't take pictures of the water, it looks like you are looking at Colorado land. When we got back to the boat, Sumner and I went directly to blogging. Instead we were naughty and played ping pong with mom instead. (That is why I am staying up late to do the blog (: ) Mom then came and asked if we wanted a snack. (AKA ice cream and cookies. 'note: I was good and only had a cookie instead of ice cream) After our "snack" I went swimming with my friend Lucy. (The girl from Australia) Soon Sumner and his frien Angus (Angus is Lucy's older brother) we played Marco-pollo until these creepy men in speedos came and "kicked" us out of the pool. anyway, it did not matter because we had to get ready for dinner as well. At dinner, we had two people do tricks. One was one of the bar drink guys. He did a trick with about five cards with numbers from 1-63. Though some of the card had 1-32 or 3-47. But the were in numerical order. It wsa cool how he did it. (sorry I did not give all of the details. It is REALLY hard to explain in words.) And Jeff did two or three tricks. The first was REALLY cool. (Yet again I might have to show you instead of write) (I will do my best at explaining to you guys) You had two cups. (Both roundish) one was right side up and the other was upside down with a blue berry inside. You had to transfer the blueberry from the upside down cup to the right side up cup with out touching the blueberry. The only thing you could touch was the upside down cup. Also, the upside down cup HAS to stay upside down. It can not be flipped over. Try it out and see if you did it! After dinner I went to Club HAL. It was spy night so we made WANTED posters.

Name: Mariel of the rings. (Named after my two favorite books)

Achievements: Stole the Lincoln Memorial, Sabatoged the NASA space station, blew up the Westminster Abby, and Sunk the President of the USA's private barge.

Disguises: violing player at Carnegie Hall, Owner of the Steinway & Bros. Pianos, Busker on the New York streets, and TV fasion model.

Yeah. I am really EVIL!!! After Club HAL, all of us went for an after dinner dessert. I got ice cream but did not finish all of it. After we got ice cream, we played ping pong with Ethan and his family for about 30 minutes. Sumner and I then went to the Philipino Crew Show. It was cool. (You see, on the other part of the cruise, we sa it. I just wanted to go again.) It was as good as it could get for people who get up REALLY early and go to bed REALLY late. I am now sitting in bed trying to finish the blog while everyone else is sleeping. FYI, it is 12:30am. That means I have stayed up REALLY late again and I must now depart from you for a while.

-Hannah-