Going Home

We are nearing the end of our time in Santorini. Looking forward to getting home; however, there is a sadness about facing the end of the time here. Now I have to start thinking about my cataract surgery, arranging for wifi etc. having cut the cable when we left and getting a new clothes washer; ours failed the day before we left.On this trip we have seen some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet and we have seen some of the the most beautiful and celebrated works of art created by man. Recognizing that and having said that, I believe that the most memorable part of our time here has been the people. Seeing Jim in Rome was great as well as seeing Tina’s cousins in Kalamata. We had great tour guides. We had conversations with young professionals and students at all stops. All wait staff, hotel workers and cab drivers were talkative and fun.Got to the hotel about 1:00 am. Caught a few hours sleep and back to the airport. Through check in, security, immigration, a second security: whew! Bought passes for the lounge to relax a little before our flight.

Eight flights, two bus trips, and eight different hotels – do I get an award?

And away we go.

Well, we made it home. Back to Panera for breakfast.


Caught the 7:00 am flight to Santorini from Athens. Short flight and packed with people.The first thing that strick me was the difference in architecture. Here the buildings are square flat roofed and painted white. The island appears to be much more densely built up than the Kalamata area. The scenery is spectacular.

It is interesting that the tap water is not drinkable here. In contrast the water in the small village of Pidima is potable and quite good. On this island I imagine that water is a premium commodity since there is a dense population and no obvious source of water. I believe that there is a desalinization plant here and that there is a supplemental supply from water being brought here by tanker ship. I understand that the desalinization plant uses reverse osmosis. I worked at a plant on St. Thomas, USVI, that used waste heat from the Power Plant in a distillation process. I believe power is supplied by some small gas turbines. Like St. Thomas, reliability is probably a big issue.

Lots of steps.Not too happy with the room we reserved. Changing to one with a private pool and deck. Good way to celebrate our 25th Anniversary.Great sunsets here.

A couple of side comments. Santorini is a magical place. The beauty is everywhere and spectacular. But, prices are high. Like NYC one needs to think of dollars as if they were quarters. We were chatting with a waiter about the relative prices between Kalamata and Santorini. His comment was that pricing here is much less than Mikonos. But, Mikonos is quite a party place. Probably like spring break in Florida. Probably not for old guys like me.

My other side comment: I am enjoying the book I brought, the Calvin book. Slow read and I understand at most ten percent but, my friend Charles’s style is such that it brings back memories of him. It is the right read for me at this time.

Got a different room at the hotel – spectacular:

Tipping: yes I understand that tipping is not the thing to do in Europe. The only place where they are pushy about tips is here in Santorini. In other places we have visited on this trip, tips have not been mentioned. Even so, if it’s a young person I will generally leave something to their delight or their steadfast refusal. I guess I have a character flaw because I generally will not tip the pushy guys here.

Lots of Brides here. I can certainly understand why there are so many Brides having photos taken here in Santorini, it is indescribably beautiful. However, they seem to risk death and permanent injury. Just walking the narrow steep steps in high heels and full gowns risks having to spend the honeymoon in a cast. One wrong step on one of the precarious perches they ascend could make for a very short wedded life.

Sunday morning and we are experiencing high winds. I believe that the wind is magnified by the fact that we are near the crest of a very steep part of the caldera. We were thinking about renting a car and exploring today. I don’t think that would be a good thing to do today as the weather is so very ugly. Hope there are no brides taking pictures today. Also hope we do not have flight problems tomorrow as the wind is supposed to continue. Noticed that a cruise ship sailed into and out of the harbor. It certainly would not be fun to visit today; I doubt that the tenders could ferry people to the dock.

Finally got some sun and got a picture of Tina and me.

We took a bus to the little town at the end of the island, Oia. Twisting road along a high bluff, minimal guard rails. Tina hates these types of roads but seems to find them often.

Last days in Kalamata

Kalamata is truly a gem of a place to visit. It is a well developed destination with all the facilities for a pleasant visit but seems to be ignored by vast crowds. That will probably change now that cruise ships are visiting the city. My opinion is influenced by the tremendous hospitality of Tina’s family. But, €40 for a penthouse apartment with a huge balcony overlooking the harbor surely cannot be matched many places. We are steps away from great shops, great restaurants, great cafes, and bakeries that are good beyond description. Although, our experience with the restaurants is limited due to the tremendous hospitality of Tina’s family.Could not get an extra night in our penthouse apartment. So we checked into a hotel close by; fancier but not as cozy an no view of the sea. This room like the one at the Horizon Blu has a glassed in shower. There is a shade that can be drawn for privacy; however, I don’t see the point of the glass. Maybe it’s a European thing. I truly doubt that Tina wants to watch me shower.Had a pretty low key day. Went to the beach and had lunch at a small cafe.We will be meeting Ioannis and Kiki this evening to say our goodbyes. They have made this visit to Greece truly remarkable. It was sad to say goodbye. However, our time here has made us want to come back to Kalamata. Had dinner with Ioannes and Kiki’s family. I would add another picture but I now have too many of eating.Tomorrow we will be back on the bus to Athens for the night and then on to Santorini.Ioannis and Kiki met us with Piniaotis to take us to the bus. Ioannis gave me a komboloi (set of worry beads) as a parting gift. Kiki gave Tina one along with some food gifts and treats for the trip.Made it back to Athens without a hitch. Took the express bus, much better, only three hours. Staying at the same hotel, the Attalos. Even have the same room with the wonderful view of the Acropolis.