Thursday, July 28, 2011

Escape to the Greek Islands

Travel days always seem to go on forever.  At 4:00 am, we sprung out of bed to be chauffeured by Jeremie and Ingeborg to the Geneva airport.  Flying within European Union countries is simple as passport controls are no longer used.  The empty stands that once held glaring border officials are now firmly shut as passengers stream by.  However, airport security manages to continue being a pain as we again found ourselves chugging liter bottles full of water so they would not be confiscated.

The flight from Geneva to Mykonos was stunning. Taking off with views of the Alps, we were later treated to the contours of Italy, Greece and the Greek Islands.  Sparkling blue water extended forever.  White caps, seen from the airplane window, gave an indication of the potential winds to come...

Arriving at Mykonos, we had lots of time to burn before our ferry departed for Santorini so we wandered the narrow streets.  At noon, residents and tourists were just beginning to stir, leaving the narrow streets mostly empty.  Twists and turns in the city maze made it easy to get lost and each corner brought visual delights.

From Greek Trip - Mykonos

The travel day was still not over as we began waiting for the 4:00 pm ferry.  We spent a good portion of time sitting in this cafe sampling the not-so-pleasant Greek coffee and listening to the wind hammer the sides of the cafe.

From Greek Trip - Mykonos

Only 15 minutes late, the catamaran-type high speed boat cut through the choppy seas for the "old" harbor.  Bumping elbows with wheelie-bag tourists (does anyone remember the lessons of walking in lines from grade school?), we finally boarded and began the two-hour trip to Santorini.

Santorini was once a massive island that blew its top - a theory is that this explosion helped bring the end of the Minoan civilization.  Today, the ocean water fills the volcano's caldera.  First impressions are spectacular. The harbor is at the base of steep cliffs - imagine being inside the volcano - and a road zigzags up to the rim.

From Greek Trip - Santorini
Sailboat inside the caldera

"One, two, we go!" were the last words we heard as mobs of Greeks descended upon us holding photos of their domantias.  The calls of balcony views, a swimming pool and quick access to town won us over.

From Greek Trip - Santorini

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