A Day on Thera
Sunday May 11
John Henry- Today we traveled from Crete to Santorini via a catamaran named the Flyingcat 4. It only took about an hour and a half to get from Heraklion to Santorini and the boat ride was pretty enjoyable. Once we arrived on the island we took a bus from the port up the side of the cliff to the city of Fira one of the major cities on the island. Santorini is very beautiful and according to Dr. Day a majority of the pictures take of Greece are taken on Santorini. The landscape of the island is incredible and consists of a crescent shaped island around the volcanic island in the middle with a deep bay where the caldera is. The side of the island facing the bay is sheer cliffs and the layers of previous eruptions, including the Minoan eruption, can be seen in the cliff face. One of the most beautiful aspects of the island is the stark contrast of colors and textures as the craggy and earthy rocks play off of the deep blue Mediterranean.
We went to two museums, which contained some prime examples of the very distinct Theran variety of Minoan art. Unfortunately the site of Akrotiri was closed because of structural problems with the roof so we were not able to go there. Akrotiri is a Minoan settlement with a wealth of antiquities that was buried in an eruption of the volcano in the Bronze Age. The site itself has a number of impressive frescoes that were a major part of the class and luckily we were able to go to the Nomikos Center, which contains lifesize pictures of the frescoes placed on a textured surface. Seeing the frescoes was one of the highlights of the trip for me. The frescoes are intricate and beautiful and depict natural scenes, decorations, and incredible images of men and women in the Minoan style.
An excellent part of the trip thus far was the food and I must say that eating here has been an eye opening culinary experience. We have eaten anything from Gyros to small baitfish battered and fried whole and eaten whole as well, bones and all. One of the most popular dishes for the group has been calimarachia, which is squid, sometimes whole and sometimes cut, battered and fried in olive oil. All of the fried food is done in olive oil and not only tastes better but is better for you. The soda is also much better here, as it not only has real sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup but a lot of it has actual fruit juice in it. Another of my favorite dishes is the Gyros. The Greek yogurt and tsatsiki are far better as well. There are also numerous cheeses from Goat, Sheep, and Cow that have all been wonderful. All of the food is less processed and every restaurant takes great pride in taking care of the customers.