Monday, November 2, 2015

Santorini Inspiration

We rose extra early on the day we arrived at Santorini.  The showtime for our excursions was at 0715.  It was kind of nice, though, because we got to see the early morning light over the ship.
That meant we got off the ship wonderfully early and were at the first stop, via our big bus, before the shops were open and swarmed with people.  We started off in Oia (pronounced E-Ya), which is known for it's extraordinarily narrow streets and fantastic sunset views.  Obviously, we were there closer to sun rise, so we had a great bright experience.  This town is the "postcard" view when you think of Greece with the white houses built into the side of the cliff and the blue rooftops of the churches.  It was truly breathtaking.

As you can see from the healthy blowing of the flag, the cool breeze was also breathtaking.  We were lucky to have a few extra layers on and could handle it.  The lady we saw with tiny shorts and a tube top was not having such a good day.  I could see a tube top at the beach, maybe, but on a tour of massive cliffs?  Not so much.  Alas, with international travel there is every type of fashion drama you could imagine.  The tube top was the least of the crazy things we saw that day.

Enough about bad clothing decisions...look at that view!  I think this was the view out into the "caldera" which is the formation created by the volcano, since Santorini and the surrounding smaller islands are all part of one volcano's activity.

We had our normal selfie shots.  B is not good with them, even after lots of practice, so I always end up with the giant face in the camera.  haaaaaaa

Aside from the utterly gorgeous view, there were little details of texture, shape and color that I had to catch for later on when I need a little boost or have a creative block.



No matter the direction you looked, the water and the sky continued to amaze with various shades of blue and gray...



Even though it was still early in the morning, the fresh breeze and sun felt delicious.












Yes, I know...lots of pictures.  But, every five steps down the narrow walkway led to a new opening with a slightly different view.  This one has our ship in it:


We eventually left Oia and moved onto the larger town of Fira, also still up high on the island, but with a view of the other side.  It was some sort of national holiday, so there were banners hanging thorughout the streets. This stop was less about the tour, since our guide pretty much just dropped us off at the end of the street of markets and let us go.  So, I don't know much more than there is a lot of souvenir shopping and a lot of gold.
We had lunch at a little restaurant...with a view, of course.  It was nice to not be rushed off to something else immediately, so we took our time.   Not too much, though, because it was getting really cool in the shade of the umbrellas.


After lunch we shopped a little more in the narrow, jam-packed streets.  That Idea shop looks really cool from the sign, but it was just one of hundreds of junky souvenir shops.  I've seen enough of that stuff to last a lifetime...oh, and here I am writing this while sitting in Venice with views of at least a dozen of the same type of stands.  These have Venetian masks instead of Santorini tote bags, but it's all the same.
The finale to that day's adventures was the gondola ride down the side of the mountain.  We waited in line for a little more than an hour to catch it.  All the while, we got to listen to the naïve and ridiculous conversation of the young newlyweds behind us.  B and I just rolled our eyes and celebrated our cynicism.  The waiting line wound it's way through several streets, so the dynamics of the crowd bringing social norms from all around the world made it interesting, to say the least.
 
My fear of heights stayed at bay during the quick jaunt down the cliffs, probably because I was so relieved to be out of the line and off my feet!  

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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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