We land at around 9 in the evening. At the airport, immigration check was a wave through at the gates by a policeman who just glanced at the passport cover and it was one of the quickest we’ve ever experienced. Once outside a very pleasant young man was waiting for us to take us to our waiting bus and we reach the hotel by about ten. The restaurant was still open and we had enough time to have a meal before they finally closed the kitchen and retired for the night.
I google Santorini to find out about the island. Santorini aka Thira or Thera is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea and is 120 miles south east of Greece. The current Santorini caldera was formed about 3600 years ago following the Minoan eruption, one of the largest recorded volcanic eruptions. It forms the mouth of the volcanic crater and the rest is submerged under water. Santorini is the largest of this island group and forms the eastern edge of the crater. The other islands in this group, Therasia, Aspronisi and the Kameni group of islands were formed by the lava solidifying after the eruption. Santorini is a small island with a population of around 15000. Apparently we can cover the whole island in a car in a couple of days.
The first day of our holidays are usually spent relaxing, getting over the jet lag and getting to know the area. So that’s what we did today. The beach is just opposite our hotel. The black lava sand, calm waters of the deep blue sea, gentle breeze and warm sunshine in the low twenties made it the perfect weather to sit and gaze into the horizon which extends from the base of the Mountain Mesa Vouno on my left all the way into infinity on my right.
On our walk along the beach front this morning we saw one of the largest Churches in Santorini situated in the main square with it’s white walls and blue domes characteristic of churches in the Island. This church has an impressive bell tower. Unfortunately it was closed and we couldn’t go in.
A relaxing late lunch in one of the pretty restaurants which dot the coast lines followed. With all the ingredients sourced locally and freshly prepared we couldn’t go wrong. One of the smoothies was called Varkala, which got the varkalites in our group quite excited. Four of them actually and their offsprings. It turns out that the owner has named his drinks after all the favourite places that he has visited over the years and so the Indian drink in his menu had to be Varkala. We are lucky that the comedians in the group didn’t burst out into “Of all the gin joints, in all the town, in all the world, she walks into mine”.