Santorini remains one of my favorite places in the world. When you see pictures of it, believe what you see -- it's as magical in real life. The buildings are that white, the sea that blue, the air that clear. For once, my teenage disdain is in abeyance and I write honestly about my pleasure. Sadly, I underscore the word very twice in this entry, embarrassing not just because of my grammar but also because I'm not entirely honest about the mule ride. I did not enjoy it! I was scared stiff. My mule kept slamming me against the short wall edging the cobbled, winding pathway up the hill, that wall being the only thing between me and certain death. My shins were bruised and scraped under my white jeans. To this day, I believe those mules are trained to throw tourists over the side of the cliff. "English Schoolgirl in White M&S Jeans and Odd Jumble Sale Sweater Falls to Death on First Trip to Greece." My fear of heights (and mules) was confirmed! As a side note, we were told that Santorini had not changed in aeons, that there were no phones and only one car -- the taxi. Since the island is now a bustling tourist attraction, I'm glad I was there then. Just a glance at my photos makes me LONG to go back.
Heraklion to Santorin
Personal Log: Tenth Day
In the morning as we approached Santorin, four students and a few adults went on to the live volcano. This was probably very interesting for them but for us in the common room, it wasn't much fun missing out on everything. We were supposed to disembark at noon but were delayed by the mules who were working slower than usual. Finally we got on to the small boat and across to the island, and after having had an argument with the mule man, I actually got on the donkey. The journey up was very long but very enjoyable although I am not sure that our party leaders thought much of it! I was surprised at the beauty of the village. It was all white to protect it from the heat, making it very bright. It was just how I had imagined a greek island to be, like something out of Arabian Knights. We spent most of our time shopping and I managed to spend about 3 pounds. The shop keepers were more pleasant than those in Gibraltar and seemed upset if you didn't like their goods. The streets were all cobbled and winding, leading up to a beautiful church at the top of the main street. The inside was really spectacular, making it a pleasure to worship. We walked down the cobbled hill to the bottom, which was tiring, although I don't think I would have enjoyed coming down by mule! In the evening, there was dancing which I left early because I was tired.
0100-0400 Middle Watch
0330 Gears tested. 0410 Pilot on bridge. 0420 Stations.
0400-0800 Morning Watch
0424 Singled up to 2 lines and 1 spring fore and aft. 0433 Stand by below, all ready below. Tug fast forward. 0437 Let go fore and after. 0442 Vessel turning to port. 0447 Vessel completed turn and proceeded out to sea. Let go tug. 0448 Pilot leaves vessel. 0445 Rung full away. 0500 Vessel clear of breakwater and setting a northerly course for Santorin. 0650 Sunrise.