Leaving Sun Village early in the morning (about 7am) we drove to the port, parked the hire car in the car park and boarded the ferry for the Island of Santorini. This is a 2 and a half hour trip so Liz and I settled in to our seats and had some sleep!
We seemed to get to Santorini quickly (probably because we slept a lot!) but what a surprise this island is! The whole island appears to have a cliff front around it that is around about 300 metres high!!
Apparently this is THE Greek island that all the rich and famous come to for their holidays
We pulled into a tiny but bustling port and as we walked off our ferry, we met all the hire car companies trying to get our business - it worked! And we drove off in our 25 euro a day hire car to our hotel. Finding the hotel was a challenge as the road it was on was closed for repairs and everyone we asked gave us different directions..... We finally stumbled on it and booked in. It was delightful!! A large bedroom, living area, nice balcony which opened onto the pool area and a view over the plains of the island.
We left the car parked and walked a block back up the hill to the main road. Crossing the street we went up a narrow alley which opened into a maize of narrow alleys jammed full of little shops - fascinating. The last row of these faced onto the water, literally hanging over the cliff edge, with the water 100's of metres below. Needless to say, this row is lined with beautiful restaurants that offer the most amazing views, the constant stream of ocean liners and luxury yachts coming in just add to the wonderful view.
The island has a volcano in what was the middle until the centre section fell into the sea, causing a large ring around 80% of the island. One of God's wonderful creations again.
From this walkway there is steps going down - twisting back and forth, back and forth, a good 20 minutes down and 40 minutes up - or you can take the cable car straight down.
Obviously we walked down to the bottom, but there is a huge business in Donkey or Pony rides up and down so it was a matter of watch where you walk and hold your nose....
At the bottom is the old port, lined with a small ring of shops and restaurants so we stopped and had a lovely coffee on the waters edge. We then set off back up the stairs.... In the blazing sun at approx 5.30pm we arrived at the top drenched in sweat and bright red faced - we got a lot of stares!!
We decided we best take our stinking bodies back to the hotel where I jumped into the pool and Liz checked her emails.
After showers and a doing some readings we set off for dinner. We chose a family owned restaurant hanging over the cliff... Our table sat on its own little platform hanging on the edge of the dizzying high cliff. The meal was sensational together with the view and we sat there until the sun went down (about 9pm) and the lights came on in all the ships far below. I did cause a major problem though when I turned our table lamp off to improve our vision. Suddenly concerned people were trying to fix the lamp and I was informed that this was against EU regulations to not have our lamp on!
Leaving the restaurant we started the slow walk two or three blocks back to our hotel for the night, so ended our first and exciting day in Santorini