LISTEN RECOVERY: David Dolnick: Greece journey letter. part 3

Hi Friends,

Hope everyone is having a great weekend – here is my last update from Santorini. Next stop – Cairo!

The biggest museum on the island is in Fira and it features the ancient ruins of Akrotiri. We have been told it is the MUST-SEE museum on the entire island and, much like the island, it is small. We got through the one-room museum for 3 Euros and 40 minutes of our time. One interesting point is that the museum is directly next to a large Orthodox Church. One of the first things you read when you walk into the museum is that the island has been around 1.5 million years. Kinda strange that next door they preach that the world’s been around for only 6,000 years. With Christianity as abundant as gyros, I’m surprised they allowed this type of exhibit to exist (please note: just a comment on a literal interpretation of the bible; I know the church has changed its view on this over the past 150 years, and this is not meant to be a theological debate).

Speaking of gyros – I continue to eat them, and they continue to be cheap and wonderful (I’m at least at 6 — hope you took the over). The latest one replaced tzatziki with a mustard sauce – surprisingly, it was magnificent.

We took a crazy trip on a boat where we visited the only local active volcano. Great views as we trekked up to the top of the crater. Following that we took a boat to some hot springs where the water was brown from mud and sulfur. Many of us (including B and I) jumped in the water and swam to the mud (you can see pics of jumpers from another boat). We were told of the healing properties of the mud and put it all over our body. You can see in the pictures some of the girls swimming back still had mud on their face. The mud did not cure my sunburns (and for the record, just because I was born in San Diego and have olive skin does not mean I’m immune to sunburns, even though I’ve told many of y’all that for a while now). The boat tour also took us to the island of Thirasia, just off the coast of Santorini (they used to be connected but some of the land sank during one of the volcanic eruptions many thousands of years ago). I think more people live in my apartment complex than live on Thirasia, but in any case, another beautiful island town and I’ve attached some pics. (Taking these similar pics over and over has not gotten old, although I’m sure you’re over looking at the same thing many times so I’ll try to keep attaching them to a minimum.)

On the boat there were a bunch of sorority girls (22 of them to be precise, and how do I know that? They counted out their numbers to make sure all were accounted for). Guys – not nearly as cool as it sounds. Surprisingly, lots and lots of college-age groups of American girls lounging with their friends on the island. These ones were especially annoying – many that I have seen in smaller groups seem the exact opposite. These girls: Loud, obnoxious, unintelligent sounding and trying to be cool, mixing some of the weakest drinks I’ve ever seen. One liter of cola mixed with one shot of Crown Royal is beyond rookie and gave me a good idea of who I was dealing with, especially when they wondered if they were making it too strong? When I’m abroad I try to give a great (not just good) impression of being an American. It was disappointing seeing the people that we have to make up for.

During a shopping day Bronwyn got a new dress and I got a killer wood carving from this guy Ernesto. The carving is packed away so I don’t have a picture of it, but I highly recommend you check out his link (www.ernesto.gr). His MC Escher wood carvings are amazing but pricey. This trip will be long and there are three more countries to see (for those of you keeping score its – Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey – in that order) so it wasn’t time to go crazy, especially in Euros.

Brining my camelback (backpack equipped with a “hydration pack”) and about 40 granola bars was a brilliant idea; saving tons of money on bottled water and snacks. The water in Oia is ok to drink from the tap, which is perfect. Later in Cairo, we won’t be able to do this – so we came equipped with an ultraviolet water sterilizer which I hope will do the trick.

We also had another day at Kamari Beach – FABULOUS. This time it was a Friday and you could tell the place was picking up a bit. In addition June 1st is Monday, marking the start of the European summer vacation season (as well as the price hikes).

No Starbucks or McDonalds on this island – thank god.

Thanks to a recommendation we ate at 1800 restaurant in Oia (http://www.oia-1800.com/) – AWESOME new-age Greek food. Many animals (dogs and cats) are a part of the dining experience in Santorini (as hosts – NOT food). You can see the picture of the cat at 1800 begging for food and you could tell, based on her timing, she’s got it down to a science.

Another restaurant we ate at was Katrina on the Ammoudi Port, just steps from the dock. The cheapest fish dish was 50 Euros and that was just red snapper. Wanting to save our cash for shopping, we stuck with heavy appetizers instead: AMAZNG fried tomatoes (as pictured), bread, tzatziki and shrimp.

For our last night on the island we’ve moved to a new hotel ,as Aris Caves could not accommodate us for the entire stay. The hotel is at Perissa Beach (Hotel Zorzis) and is very nice– clean, pool, TV and Internet. Many of the hotels on the island seem to offer free in room Internet – as if island life can get any better?

One of the final things we did in Oia before we left was to watch the sunset from a pool bar – a very posh pool overlooking the sunset and western cliffs of the island. A little bummed we didn’t find this until our last night there, but we’re glad we got one awesome sunset in. It was really after this point (and maybe the accompanying bottle of wine) that we realized how magical this island is. I really hope you all have the chance to visit sometime.

So I am off to Cairo. I can’t tell you how excited I am to visit. If Santorini is the appetizer, I can’t even imagine what Mama Africa has in store for us!

Enjoy your weekend!

David Dolnick

Listen Recovery

A local chilling out on Thirasia

AWESOME Fried Tomatoes

Pool Bar Oia

Pool Bar Oia 2

Ancient Thira Museum

Jumping into water headed to Healing Mud

Swimming back with Mud


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