Santorini famous for picturesque houses, beautiful views, ancient Minoan civilisation, the sweet wine (vinsanto), and oddly vampires....not sure why.
Roubeti Village is awesome, our hosts and their friends welcomed us. Our room is in an old wine cave, beautiful turqoise pool, with the wonderful views. It's quite windy during the spring season and not quite what we expected, never the less we too full advantage of the sunshine lazing by the pool swimming in its azure water and enjoying the view down the hill to the sea.
Fira, also known as Thira, is the main town on the island.
With its gorgeous whitewashed villas and restaurants and tourists... ..lots of them. Archeological museum had many treasures discovered from pre-Grecian times. Then with ice creams in hand we wandered amongst the myriad of tourist & jewellery shops.
We had lunch overlooking the caldera, for the word caldera is used to describe the centre of a volcano, and it is how the locals refer to the Lee ward side of the island. The Caldera is the volcano that blew many years ago, around 16th BCE. It ended the contemporary Minoan civilisation on this island. The volcano blew to far as Iceland and USA. Now the caldera is under the water and has smaller volcanoes are inside. So the island forms a large side of the old volcano. As we ruminated on this history we ate freshly caught grilled seafood.....joy!
Akrotiri - a minoan settlement
After a volcanic eruption in 1627BCE there are houses and frescos all buried underneath the ash.
Discovered and excavated by the famous Professor Spyridon Marinatos, who later also mysteriously died on the site. At this time of writing, only 3% of the estimated city has been unearthed. What they found was a city made up of wealthy families, no signs of poor or second class citizens. All houses were beautifully decorated with frescos and inlays, some three stories high. They had running water and flushing toilets on the second floor!
Ironically our tour guide told us these were excavated in the 60's when the island still didn't have indoor toilets.
Theory is that because this island was called circle by the Greeks (as Atlantis was) it was the legendary lost city of Atlantis. Right time, right name, and the volcano could explain the myth of it going under the sea. It was also an advanced society, who had very wealthy upper class, and they said had too much hubris. So the gods punished them. Amazing, so glad we did a tour with an archeologist.
Afterwards we went to the old port there and had lunch at the Cave of Nicholas along a rocky shoreline. Originally it was carved by a fisherman as a local hangout drinking spot away from their wives, and When the archeologists came to nearby Akrotiri, nocholas and his wife started serving homemade Greek food as well as drinks and now it's famous. Still run by the family, now their children and the food is delicious! We had a huge seafood platter! Sitting right by the water, just outside the cave.
Santorini is famous for its wines. Yum.
Dive 1 25-30m and we saw some great nudiebranches, rainbow wrasses, lobster and Black Sea coral. Like foam you can squish it!
Dive 2 6-15m deep a wreck near the hot springs. The water was so cold I had two wetsuits on 20degrees today! Ahh! Plus a head warmer. More coral, creatures and I got to swim through a wreck! Woo hoo!
Dive 3 from beach coral shelf. Amazing my favourite dive! Fishmonger coral and a Ancient Greek amphora that was sitting on the rock shelf covered in coral and seaweed! Saw an eel, and more. Exhausted got back and had an early dinner with Greg at our favourite place. Then stayed up with Stefania and sarnaasis and other guests enjoying e BBQ with them. Yummy greek cheese in foil on coals with capsicum, pork steaks, and bread. Fantastic.
It was time to move onwards to Romania - and a month of tracking down Vlad the Impaler and experiencing europe at it's most medieval!