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Santorini, Greece. Today our tour took us to the Mountain of Profitis Ilias for great views of Santorini Island. We then went to Oia Village, which is a picturesque town with blue-domed churches, really narrow cobblestone streets lined small houses and tiny shops. These tiny streets are really goat paths, again with no straight or level sections. It's hard to describe, but it is unlike anything else I have seen. Most of these streets are only for walking, so maybe a better terminology is walking path. It boggles my mind that supplies for hotels and cafes, as well as for houses, need to be brought along these rough, tiny, walking paths. It would be so difficult to describe to someone how to get to your business or residence, with the many turns, Y's, and intersections of paths. The village is really beautiful and quaint, but not practical (for American lifestyles). Our bus then took us to the town of Fira, where we walked around and bought postcards. We took a cable car down to the dock because the town is hundreds of feet of elevation.

There are three mountain peaks on this island. 3,500 years ago volcanoes filled in between the three peaks. This is the only volcanic island in southeast Europe. The last volcanic eruption was in 1956. It was small, but still destroyed buildings, many of which have not been rebuilt. This island receives almost no rain, so plants get their water from mist at night. Eighty percent of the residents work for the tourism industry.

Other information about Santorini, Greece:
The cable car facility is totally inadequate to handle thousands of people from multiple cruise ships. There were five cruise ships here today. Our guide said he has seen seven, so there could be 10,000-14,000 people wanting to take the cable car. That's not possible, so there is long waiting for the cable car. We waited in a long line, in the sun, for about an hour. There was another twenty minutes in the sun while waiting for the tender. We had to use Santorini tenders instead of the ship's tenders because of the local boatman's union. Several people, including myself, stated that we have no interest in coming back to Santorini. The inadequate cable car facilities and the boatman's union are hurting the tourist industry, which is so important for the island because 80% of the people work for the tourist industry.

Photo 880 is taken on Santorini Island, Greece.
Photo 950 is a typical scene with white buildings and churches with blue domes.
Photos 959 and 973 have a typical background.
Photo 983 is actually an extra-nice walkway. Most are not this level, straight, or smooth.

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