It goes like this ... Then elpiso tipote, The fovame tipote, Ime leftheros.
Which can be translated to ... I want/(hope) for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free.
I believe that this quote shall soon be striking fear into the hearts of everyone at "Company X" - I can hardly wait. We'll get a plaque for her office - in Greek of course, – as a friendly reminder.
Anyhoo, back to the task at hand.
We did a bit of souvenier shopping, had breakfast in the port area and basically took it easy while we waited for our departure time to arrive. We spent our last one and a half hours at the Hotel Grotta where Jane read up on Santorini and I wrote a few words in the hotel guestbook.
After having our picture taken with Dimitrius and Nikki (such nice people!), it was off to the ferry. The "Express Olympia" was a polluting, foul-smelling ferry, but at least it didn't sink. We headed off for Santorini, via Ios.
------------------------------------A couple of hours later, belching a thick plume of smoke into the pristine sky, our ferry arrived at Santorini. This had to be one of the best views of the entire trip. The port is located in the middle of the caldera, and the sheer cliff walls surrounding it certainly were top quality eye-candy.
It made you pause and consider the enormity of the volcanic eruption which devastated the entire region thousands of years ago. Apparantly it created a tsunami over 200 metres in height (over 60 stories!), and the tremors could be felt as far away as Sweden.
No skeletal remains, either human or animal (except for 1 pig), have been found at the site of Akrotiri, signifying that the locals had advance warning and fled the island. My bet is the tsunami got them regardless!
The entrance to the harbour was an incredible sight, and perched along the cliff tops were houses, churches, and of course, magnificent hotels.
To our right, maybe 50 yards away, was the volcanic island that had been created by the eruption. Not what I would call a welcoming place, it was completely black with jagged outcrops of rock covering the entire surface.
Once on shore, we located one of the things that Jane had looked forward to seeing for months. It was a sign saying "Walker - Lava Oias" being held in the air by a local taxi driver.
While everyone else scrambled for transportation, we relaxed and enjoyed the breath-taking view. The ride up the cliff face was breath-taking for reasons other than the view, but I suppose that our driver knew the roads well enough to ensure our safety. Yeah - whatever!
We were dropped off at our hotel, and were nearly killed walking down the stairway(?) to the reception area.
We navigated the path to our cave house, one of only six, and were greeted by the most magnificent view overlooking the caldera. After a short introduction to our room by our hostess (including which switches to flip for hot water for showering, and for power to the kitchenette), we took a short walk into town.
Oia is actually shaped in a long line running along the top of the cliff. While on this short excursion, we saw many small markets, restaurants, handicrafts and jewellery stores. We bought some bread, cheese, pastries and beer and returned to the cave house for a quick and easy meal. When we returned, our hostess Pipitsa brought us a bottle of local wine and was eager to offer us tomatoes, eggs, carrots, or anything else we might need.
Tonight will be an early night so that we can have an easy day tomorrow. I'm starting to really like this place.
Oh yeah, almost forgot... we called home and found out that the Leafs are now up 3 games to 2 against Pittsburgh. Going home might be a little less painful - but painful nonetheless .