To get down to the Old Port (Korfos) from Fira (Thira), you can take the cable car or ride a donkey all the way to the bottom. I don't follow the rules, so instead of hitching a beast of burden and thinking we should save the cable car for the ride back up to Fira...we walked down 600 steps, taking care not to step in any of the steaming piles of donkey poop along the way. There's nothing appealing to me about riding an unruly donkey down very steep stairs. The donkeys seemed overworked and underpaid....trying their hardest to carry the weight of humans up and down this treacherous terrain. They didn't stay in the lines, rather they found the easiest course up the stairs which always seemed to be in the same path I was walking and made for lots of redistribution of poop. I spent a large portion of the trek with my head down, if you know what I mean.
Of course, I took one million pics on the way down. I couldn't help it.
Yo....Santorini is so dreamy.
This is Korfos, the old port...isn't it cool? We chilled out here until it was time for our boat, Odyesseas, to depart.
I guess I could tell you where we were headed. On this day in Santorini, we decided to take a boat tour to Thirassia (Therasia). I'll tell you more about this island shortly.
But first...we stopped at Nea Kameni Island - a small uninhabited Greek island of volcanic origin located in the Aegean Sea. This island formed over the past two millennia by repeated eruptions of dacite lava and ash. You pay two euro to enter the park, climb to the top of the volcano, see the active crater and walk on its rims. Oh...and you nearly die on the way up...its uphill the entire way.
I kinda love this picture. I don't usually do boats. Each boat ride I've taken in the past has left my face green and my stomach queasy. Yet, the water in the Aegean was so calm and still, I felt as though I would be safe. I really liked the colors of the boat on the water, mixed in with the volcanic rock....so beautiful.
All. Up. Hill. Like my daddy would say, when he was a kid he had to walk to school in snow up to his knees and it was uphill both ways...lol. For me, uphill means lots of stopping to catch my breath disguised as stopping for a moment to take a photo. But, as you can see from the pics above...it was really very beautiful. There was something about the all the vibrant blue...the water and the sky...and then the earthy tones from the volcanic rock, the black, brown and rusty orange...it created images that looked as if they were painted and I couldn't get enough of it. The photos with the trails and the ones with where you can see the iconic white buildings in the background are my favorite or even the white clouds. It gives the photo dynamic levels...so many different things to catch your eye.
We hiked all the way to the top...Then it was time to return to the boat and head to our next destination. I was totally obsessed with how clear the water was...someone threw a piece of bread in and I watched the fish go at it for a while.
The Odysseas set off on it course to the other side of the volcano island to the hot springs or Pali Kameni. This is not your ordinary hot springs. In Costa Rica, there were hot springs water parks...you pay admission and you go in to different pools, different temperatures ...one so hot it felt like if I stayed in any longer the pool would turn into Noelle soup...but you take a bus there and walk inside. THIS hot springs required a different mode of transportation. Everyone jumped off the side of the boat into the Aegean Sea and swam about half a mile to the springs because the boats cannot pull up any closer. So you relax in the hot springs, have a mud bath (which I thought was really gross) and swim back. I opted not to jump in so I got pics of everyone else doing it. And then pics of everyone panting and out of breath as they swam back.
When it was time to go, the captain honked the horn several times to alert everyone that they needed to head back. Unfortunately, everyone didn't hear b/c we almost left 2 people, the boat actually started turning and you could hear them in the water yelling for it to stop. They had to be rescued and rushed back via a small canoe so we could keep on our schedule.
After that fiasco, we headed on to Thirassia - an island in the volcanic island group of Santorini in the Greek Cyclades. Thirassia is peaceful and quiet, undisturbed by technology...frozen in the past. Here, there is no cable car to take you to the town...you either hitch a donkey or walk up one million stairs.
You see that trail in the pic below? Well, I decided that after my hike up the volcano, I didn't want to walked the 300+ steps to the little town at the top...we had already ruled out the donkeys...so I opted to stay near the bottom and have some lunch and more gelato.
It was time for us to leave...we boarded Odysseas and headed back to Korfos, caught the cable car back up to Fira and headed to Oia for the sunset. The sunset needs a post all of its own. That'll be coming up soon.
Thanks for reading!
**There's no where to go but everywhere...so get going! ~ GEV