Thursday, July 28, 2011

Exploring Santorini

"Where do you live?"
"You must be used to scooters then.  But the people there - they are crazy! They drive everywhere," exclaimed the scooter-rental guy as his arms made giant back and forth motions.

With this exchange, my driver's license was collected and I zipped away to pick up Krista so that we could find out what this volcanic island had to offer.  Scooter rental places abound on the islands.  A person can relatively inexpensively rent a small (80cc) scooter for the day.  Larger scooters are also available but these leaf-blower sounding machines do the job just fine.  For those with two-wheeled phobias, plenty of knobby tired 4-wheelers may be rented.

Krista and I quickly put our little Vitality to the test by forcing it up insanely steep switchbacks (these roads would make a Taiwanese surveyor proud) to Ancient Thira.  Perched on the southeastern side of Santorini, these ruins are the remains of an area first settled in the 9th century BC.  We wandered in and out of homes, an agora, a theatre, up a hill to the gymnasium and enjoyed stone columns throughout. I am always amazed when looking at stone carvings centuries of years old.


From Greek Ruins

great seats for a show - ancient amphitheatre

From Greek Ruins

After our culture stop, it was time to explore black and red beaches.  Santorini's past includes violent eruptions and it is easy to see the remnants of a mighty volcano.  The beaches were formed of volcanic rock.  Some are more pebbly but in other places the ocean has worn the rock down into sand.

From Greek Trip - Santorini

Overlooking the volcanic crater of Santorini - the scooter finally rests.

From Greek Trip - Santorini

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