We had just arrived in Santorini when I posted last week. We took a ferry from Mykonos, with quick drop-offs and pick-ups along the way. No chance to set foot on the other islands in the Cyclades.
They’re called the Cyclades because they encircle the ancient, sacred island of Delos, the one I wrote about last week. Wikipedia tells me the islands—with the exception of Santorini and one called Milos—“are peaks of a submerged mountainous terrain.” Milos and Santorini are volcanic islands.
And the volcano part of Santorini is another big thing that captured my imagination. The island itself is pretty big, it was about a forty-five minute drive from where our ferry docked to the town of Oia. The whitewashed roofs of Oia looked like snow-capped peaks from the ferry port. It wasn’t until we got closer that we realized it was a town—and our ultimate destination.
But apparently, the island was much bigger about 3,600 years ago. That’s when it was decimated by a volcanic eruption, which created the caldera central to Santorini. I was super psyched to gaze upon the waters of the caldera for three solid days. I have wanted to see Crater Lake, a caldera lake in Oregon, for as long as I can remember. (Yes, I’m a geology nerd, too). But it’s pretty remote. Even when I was living in Los Angeles, it was definitely too far for a day trip. And I was never able to convince anyone to make a long weekend of it. Though, honestly, I never tried too hard at that.
Luckily, there was a lot more to see in Santorini than just the caldera, and lots more to do. ‘Cause I feel fairly confident in writing that Stacey and Zoe were not as fired up over the caldera (pun intended) as I was.
We took a sunset cruise on Stacey’s birthday, which took us all around the caldera and the adjacent waters of the Aegean Sea. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a quick swim. But it was indeed quick, because the water was too cool to stay in for too long. We went to a tasting at one of the wineries on Santorini. The wines were fantastic, and they were paired with some incredible dishes. My travel companions have some better shots of our meal at the winery—all I have is a few pictures of the little beggar kittens who kept asking for their own tasting, especially of the seafood dishes.
And the food. Everywhere we went in Greece. I don’t consider myself a foodie, and I don’t think I’ve ever posted about my meals (maybe I’ve mentioned the shepherd’s pie at Kitty O’Sheas in Chicago). But I can say I had some of the tastiest octopus ever in Greece. And I’m also now a big fan of moussaka, having tried it for the first time last week. (Looking at pictures and recipes online, there are definite similarities to shepherd’s pie. Guess I’m consistent.)
So I’m back in NOLA now, and very happy to be home. And also exceedingly grateful to have been able to make that trip, and to have those memories of Ελλάδα (that’s Greece written in Greek). 🙂 🇬🇷