A Full Day in Santorini, Greece

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October 19th 2014
Published: October 19th 2014
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The staff at Astra Suites Hotel arranged for us to have a private tour of Santorini by car. Deke was running a little late, but eventually we met our driver, Lefteris. Lefteris is a young, handsome man who said that he enjoys his work, though he was at one time, working two jobs. I mentioned that George, the waiter at The Myconian Ambassador Hotel, was sending home part of his wages to his parents. Lefteris stated that from time to time, he does as well. I have been impressed with the quality of young people here willing to care for their parents monetarily. It has been just the opposite for me; my dad, “The Count,” and my mom, “Mamma S,” have helped me in times of financial troubles. Outside of economic concerns, I think there is something we can learn from the Greeks regarding the way they treat their parents. Lefteris never corrected me while I kept mispronouncing his name. He said that some of his friends call him, “Lefty.” I found out from the staff at Astra Suites that Lefteris’ name is a variation of the Greek word for freedom. Lefteris, I hope you feel internally free as well as politically free.

Our first stop was the ancient ruins of Akrotiri on Thera. According to the brochure, the ruins that were visible to us dated back to 1650-1500 BC. Other finds at the site indicate that this location had been previously inhabited from the Middle Neolithic Period (middle of the 5th millennium BC). The ruins are enclosed in a bioclimatic shelter with light streaming in. Whoever built the structure enclosing the ruins did so with an artistic eye, because the light streaming in from the ceiling casts quite an interesting play of shadows on the ruins. The cities built there were destroyed by earthquakes three times. It appears that its final destruction came with a volcanic eruption. Within the most recent ruins found, archeologists found a very sophisticated sewage system.

Lefteris then took us to the red beach—so named because of the color of the volcanic rock of which it consists. It was very beautiful and probably my favorite place to take pictures of all the places we visited with Lefteris. We also saw a black beach, consisting of mostly black volcanic materials, though Lefteris told us that there were other colors mixed in with the black now, and usually the beach is entirely black.

I was very happy that Lefteris took us to a village called “Megalo Chori” (the big village; I hope I got that right). It was beautiful and quiet; Lefteris told us that many of the villas there are people’s seasonal homes.

We forged ahead to Domaine Sigalas, one of Santorini’s wineries. There we participated in a wine tasting. Most of the wines on Santorini are dry. We ended up buying a sweet, after-dinner wine, Apiliotis, with notes of dark berries. I know that I will enjoy it after a heavy meal in the winter in Salt Lake City.

Our final destination, Oia, is visible from our hotel, Astra Suites. Lefteris told us that there are times that there are thousands of people from the cruise ships in Oia to view the sunset. Deke and I were glad that Lefteris took us there when it was relatively quiet. It is such a beautiful city with little shops and the ruins of an old castle. We could see the area where Astra Suites is located from where we were in Oia. It seems that Astra Suites is located on what people call the “cliff side” of Santorini. I inquired about any celebrity visits and Lefteris told us that Kim Kardashian came and stayed at a cliff side hotel, and as Deke said, managed to personify the ugly American--ah well, trash trashes (Deke’s words). A more positive note, Lefteris said that Lady Gaga stayed in Santorini a little while ago, and was a very quiet guest. On that note, I asked Lefteris if he thought that most Americans behaved themselves when they were in Santorini, and he said yes. He believed that they did. This is good news.

We said good-bye to Lefteris and went back to Astra Suites. Soon after our return, George, the director of the hotel, sent us complimentary champagne and chocolates. It seems that George really understands Deke, my particular husband. Thank you, George.

The day ended with a beautiful sunset over the Aegean. I believe I took some gorgeous pics. Regarding pics, thank you to Travelblog.org for the photography award. I have been trying to show the beauty of the places we have visited.

With my continued study of Aristotle, I have run into some difficult parts for me to understand in Book III of Ethics. However, at the very end of Book III, the following passage struck me:

So then in the man of Perfected Self-Mastery, the appetitive principle must be in accordant with Reason; for what is right is the mark at which both principles aim: that is to say, the man of perfected self-mastery desires what he ought in right manner and at right times, which is exactly what Reason directs. Let this be taken for our account of Perfected Self-Mastery.

Given the great breakfasts served here at Astra Suites, it is sometimes difficult to want what Reason directs. It seems to be that those individuals who have more pleasures from which to choose must work a little harder at Perfected Self-Mastery; however, it behooves those with more advantage to exercise more self-mastery.



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