Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The trip: Part 11 (Last day in Santorini)

Day 11
On our last day in Santorini, we walked to Fira to check out the archeological museum, which houses artifacts of the island's prehistoric settlement.

A big volcanic eruption in the 15th or 16th century B.C. covered the island in a layer of ash and destroyed the civilization, which included complexes of multi-story buildings and the oldest known running water system. In 1967 archeologists began excavating the site, called Akrotiri, and found it had been remarkably preserved, much like Pompeii. They found stunning pottery and amazing frescoes still beautifully intact. Amazing.

The museum was small but really well-designed. Very sparse, so the artifacts really stood out.

Just outside the museum is Fira's Orthodox Cathedral, which is all white and lovely.

Then we wandered around Fira and did some souvenir shopping and ate lunch at Naoussa. Best spaghetti I've ever had. And as we were sitting at our balcony table, the donkeys came by.

After lunch we wandered around some more, taking lots of photos before our flight out.

We saw lots of people taking wedding photos during our stay in Santorini, and most of them were doing silly, awkward poses on the cliff. Like this (imagine me in a flowing white veil):

This is an olive tree. They were everywhere in Greece. On the way to Delphi we saw miles of olive trees. They are a beautiful silvery green.

This is one of the tiny lizards that were constantly crossing our path in Santorini.

We were eager for our next destination but so glad to have experienced Santorini, which was uniquely beautiful and fascinating.

We flew back into Athens that night and were exhausted by the time we got to the Electra Palace Hotel. So we ordered room service pizza and enjoyed the view from our balcony.


kc said...

The Electra Palace was a gorgeous hotel. The suite there was the nicest room on the whole trip — lovely wood furnishings, and spacious, with the beautiful balcony and THAT VIEW. I remember thinking, "We don't really need to go out because this is surely the most beautiful place in Athens to be right now."

kc said...

And the small museum in Fira was very nice. I find those frescoes so strangely pleasing and touching. And the daily objects, like the intact mugs and the skillets they cooked with, have an eerie, wonderful quality.

I love the big museums we went to, but it was easy to feel overwhelmed in them. You felt like you had to keep rushing to the next thing.

Wish we had discovered the vinsanto earlier in our stay. That small sip in the souvenir liquor store has made me crave it.