Santorini
Greek Islands Cruise
Around 1450 BC, a massive volcanic eruption destroyed the
advanced Greek civilization on what is now called Santorini
(Thira).  This left a huge gap where most of the island used to
be, plus a claim that Santorini was Atlantis.  A devastating
1956 earthquake nearly finished the job of wiping out the
island's main village of Thira, shown above.  Now partially
rebuilt, Thira still clings to its clifftop perch.
Of course ships arrive at Santorini's small harbor area, at
the foot of Thira.  A tourist must gain altitude.
There are two primary options for reaching the village of
Thira.  One is a tram.  Boring.  The adventurous tourist is
expected to choose the mule ride.  So I had my first (and
probably last) mule experience, desperately hanging onto
the saddle with my left hand, while trying to film this event
holding the camcorder in my other hand.  I strongly
recommend that you watch the video for this dizzy segment
alone, both the pictures and my expressions of growing
discomfort.  Survived, but took the tram back down.
Now you are looking from the finish line downwards, over
the twisting mule trail, to the Santorini harbor far below.  
Mules are often ridden by Thira locals to navigate the steep
hills of their village.  Thira is home for many Greeks, but
also a popular tourist spot, and a magnificent photography
platform.
Professionals take days to get the perfect Santorini picture.  
I had about an hour, after recovering from the mule ride.
My attempt at a classic Santorini art shot, with white
awnings over restaurant tourist tables in the foreground.
Quite a view!  I doubt there is anything else like Santorini.
Living here with a volcano and earthquakes seems more risky
in this wider shot of Thira's precarious location on the
Santorini cliffs.  There is also an archaeological site on a
different part of the island if you don't care for heights.  I
really enjoyed the comfortable tram ride back down to my
waiting, mule-free, cruise ship.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip to Greece
by clicking on:
I Follow Apollo