Santorini. Wow. Santorini was definitely a highlight of the trip for both of us. We started the day with a boat ride to the volcano, where we hiked to the top. It was quite a hike, but the views made it so worth it. All around us, the rock was dark lava grey, with red where there is iron, and yellow where there is copper. And it smelled like sulfur. There wasn’t a big crater at the top, where we could look in and see molten lava or chuck in a beautiful maiden or anything, but there were multiple faults/craters along the way where the stinky steam escaped. From the top of the volcano, we saw the next island over, where we would be swimming in the hot springs!
We hopped back into the boat for a few minutes, then they stopped outside a little inlet and told us to jump in. They said to wear life jackets if we couldn’t swim, but my doggie-paddling worked just fine, thank you. And the cute Greek boy in the wetsuit was our lifeguard. We swam 50 meters or so into the inlet, as the water got progressively warmer and greener. The rocks nearby the water were red (from the sulfur?) and there were bubbles where the springs came in. The water wasn’t really hot, from mixing with the cold ocean water, I suppose, but the guide told us there was about a 10 degree difference. Anyway, it was a fun experience, to swim in volcanic hot springs, in the Mediterranean Sea!
After changing into not-wet, not-sulfury clothes, we took a tender boat to the port, where we caught a cable car up the side of the cliff, to Fira. Fira is absolutely gorgeous – the city and the views. We just wandered around, through the touristy shopping areas and the residential areas, and found a little café with a view, away from the crowds. We had a very Santorini lunch that was wonderful. After wandering around for a few hours, we paused behind an outdoor bar that was set into the cliff, everything white with ocean blue accents, and contrasting orange flowers. I said to Ryan, “They really know how to do beautiful here, don’t they?” which is, of course, exactly what he had been thinking. We were already talking about how we’d love to come back and stay just in Santorini for a week! (Stephie – we found the perfect place to finish your senior pictures!)
Well, it may be bedtime. Tomorrow we have a nine hour tour of Sorrento and Pompeii, so we should get some rest. Hope you are all well, thanks for the comments, looking forward to seeing you!