Jeff's Blog - Thursday, October 13, 2016 - Santorini

This morning I visited the very beginning of my history lesson at the prehistoric city of Akrotiri. This probably-Minoan settlement from the 3rd millennium BC was as old to the ancient Greeks who founded democracy and formalized philosophy as the ancient Greeks are to us. In its heyday, the town featured 3-story buildings, a drainage system and wall paintings. Remnants of all of these are scantly visible today, some, only in museums. Everything went to hell in the 17th century BC when a major earthquake destroyed the city and the residents fled. Lucky thing, because shortly thereafter the super-volcano blew its top off and left most of the island under the sea. The abandoned town of Akrotiri, high on what was once a hillside but is now a ridge, was buried under the volcanic ash for 3500 years, like Pompeii except twice as old. OK, enough about those old folks.

A view over a red-sand beach was next, followed by the sights of the town of Fira, like a church, lunch, and a museum where more of the wall paintings from Akrotiri are displayed. I rode the cable car down from the town to the port at the foot of the cliffs but was too late for a boat ride to the (hopefully smoldering) central island of the volcano... I'll try again tomorrow, much earlier.

Then, after catching my breath in my hotel room for an hour, I drove to the town of Imerovigli for a view of the sunset without having to fight the crowds at Oia like I did last night. I happened upon a spot with a bell tower and had a beautiful, relaxing sunset followed by a nice dinner, before my harrowing drive back to the hotel on these winding narrow cliff-edge roads of the volcano's ridge.

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