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.
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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
Photos 959 and 973 have a typical background.
Photo 983 is actually an extra-nice walkway. Most are not this
level, straight, or smooth.