BELOW :Today we are aboard The King Thira and sailing (under engine power) to see the dormant volcano, Hot Springs, Thirassia island and sunset at the village of Oia, at the northern tip of Santorini.
BELOW :The village of Fira, known for the Cable Car and Donkey transportation methods from the cliff top, down to the old port.
BELOW : A closer view of Fira, where you can see many houses and restaurants along the top edges of the cliff faces.
BELOW :The Caldera area has new cruise ships arriving and leaving each day. Many of the ships anchor close to the old port and passengers are ferried to the old port by local craft. Lifeboats from the cruise ships are also used by some ships to ferry passengers to the old port.
BELOW :This is part of the ‘volcano island’. It is an inactive volcano, and our boat left us at a small inlet, and we walked about 45 min. to highest point on the island.
BELOW :Another cruise ship, called Costa Fascinosa, with a maximum capacity of around 3,800 passengers, with a crew of around 1100. (A sister ship of the infamous Costa Concordia)
BELOW : Visitors to the island are encouraged to ‘leave their mark’ by constructing a unique pile of rocks/stones. They have much less environmental impact on the island than graffiti from a spray can !
BELOW :Wandering back down to rejoin the King Thira (the closest boat to the trekkers) Make a mental note of the couple and their little daughter (about 2 yr old) around the middle of this photo, for a later update.
BELOW :Before we sailed over to Thirassia for lunch, we made a stop in a little inlet of the volcanic island, and jumped into the water. The further up this channel you swam, the hotter the water temperature became. The tour guide said the water temperature reaches 40 degrees c. I didn’t verify it !
BELOW :The island of Thirassia was our lunch stop destination. There was a ‘long and winding road’ which lead up to the village. We contented ourselves with dining at one of the seaside restaurants, and enjoyed another pleasant meal.
BELOW :As you may notice, parking was at a premium at the wharf ! They had a good system though, if you were in vessel 3, then you simply walked over the decks of vessel 2 and vessel 1 to disembark or re-embark.
BELOW :Steve seems to be appreciating ‘the serenity’ again ! I can’t remember now if he was just contemplating the view from the restaurant . . . . .
BELOW :Or . . . Was he contemplating the decision required by the next photo ?
BELOW :A generous serve of a very agreeable homemade Apple Pie. Fortunately for Steve it was MY pie, so he did not have to make a decision about eating any of it. I, of course, was in a quandary !
BELOW :Steve had to return to contemplating the view.
BELOW : We arrived today on the island of Santorini. As soon as the arriving passengers were off the boat, the departing passengers were quick to re-fill the boat, via the ‘back door’ !
BELOW :It may look like Steve and Helen are dining in a paddock, it was indeed the overflow area for this particular restaurant. A very nice meal was shared on this evening.
BELOW :Looking across to the island of Thirassia (which we sail to later for lunch in the little bay visible below the village).
BELOW :Fellow trekkers exploring the differing aspects of the volcano island.
BELOW :On the volcano now and looking back towards cliffs of Fira.
BELOW :A view from near the top of the volcano, showing the ‘moonscape’ look of this part of the island.
BELOW :Another of the sail boats departing from the port, when we returned from lunch.
BELOW :Almost there … Can I look back at the view yet ?
BELOW :The closer to sunset it gets, the more the laneways of Oia start to fill up with tourists. People flock to the various vantage points, be they restaurants, cafes, hotels or rental properties. By the time sunset arrives all vantage points are full to overflowing.
BELOW :However, there is always room for another Bride to wander the streets. The groom is there. If you look closely you can see her holding his hand, and his ear is next to the violinist’s head. Ahhhhhh . .
BELOW :Heading towards the village of Oia. The only way up from the port is a pathway with around 250 steps. Your choices are 1) Travel up in the saddle, on the back of one of the donkeys. 2) Walk up the 250 steps. We chose to ascend powered by ‘shanks’ pony’.
BELOW :Remember the couple with the 2 yr old daughter . . . Well they had a pram, and dad some how managed to ascend the 250 steps and lived to tell the story ! Avoiding Donkeys and Donkey droppings !
BELOW :So . . Sunset does start to show some potential. The island on the left is the volcanic island. The island with the sun setting behind it is Thirassia, where we had lunch.
BELOW :Nice photo of an air-conditioning unit . . . Oh, and look . . . There’s a sunset happening in the background !