We anchored off Santorini at 0900 and were ferried to the foot of the cliff below Fira, the main city. Three choices to get up the cliff — walking, mules, or a cable car. Guess which we picked? Four euros well spent! As our plan was to visit Oia, we found our way to the local bus for the 20 minute ride to the other end of the island. The road was narrow and the bus driver seemed fearless –until we encountered a petrol truck on a tight curve.
Oia is breathtaking, a quintessetial charming but crowded tourist mecca. We wandered through the winding maze of shops and restaurants, on our way to Estiatorio Kyprida that had been recommended by one of Bob’s associates who visited there on her honeymoon in June.
It is the perfect place to view the famous sunset; unfortunately we were only there for lunch (by sunset Galileo would be carrying us to our next island). It was a charming place to eat and chat with the owner. He is a Parisian who moved here to be with the local woman with whom he fell in love five years ago. How romantic is that!
The food is Cypriot, giving us our first taste of that cuisine. We had grilled Halloumi cheese, wonderful mushrooms in lemon and oil, and some tasty meatballs, probably beef and lamb. And, of course, some local white wine. The owner told us that it had been pressed from grapes grown on the slopes below the estiatorio. (He also suggested we could buy some at a local mini-market in a 1.75 liter PLASTIC bottle for around 3 euros. We did, and enjoyed it very much later in the trip. We, in fact, enjoyed a lot of 1.75 liter bottles of white and rose wines in plastic bottles throughout the rest of our stay!)
Afterwards, we met a shopkeeper who had moved from Colorado 25 years ago — it is indeed a small world!
We bought some olive wood souveniers–only after we purchased them did we learn that they come from the area we are visiting next week!
We enjoyed ice cream while we waited for the return bus (eating ice cream is a very popular daily treat and its sooo good). When we found our way back to the foot of the cable car, we had to wait for the tender to take us back to Galileo. Funny thing, the only place with any shade was the ice cream shop. What did we do? Picked a different flavor, of course.
From there we cruised up along the coast, observing the cliffs around us. They are the result of an ancient volcanic crater, called the Caldera, that was breached and filled with seawater around 1600 BC.
We arrived in Ios, our next stop, just as the sun was setting. There was a very nice beach to walk to, but as the sun had dropped we opted to just dip our toes in the sea rather than go for a swim. Dinner was on board and we decided to make it an early night, even though the island has a reputation for being an all night party spot. Some of our sailmates decided otherwise and were not very peppy the next morning….