Friday, November 1, 2013

Day #3 Santorini, Greece

Today we weren't supposed to arrive to the island of Santorini until approximately 1330 hours. Veronica and I decided to sleep in a bit this morning. We had purchased an excursion that would take us to the beautiful picturesque town of Oia. The Jade would be anchored off shore and we would have to be tendered in to the island of Santorini, where we would get on a bus and be driven to Oia. The road to Oia was very narrow and had many switchbacks and a sheer drop off on one side of it at times. Once we arrived in Oia we had some free time to explore and to go shopping...i interpreted this to mean that I could explore and go take photos. The views and sites of and from Oia were fantastic. Veronica and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit there. Our tour guide told us that there is no natural freshwater on the island and that the people living on the island have to catch rain water or have to buy fresh water and have it shipped to them. We noticed that many homes had a big silver canister on the roofs and that this canister was hooked into the solar panels that were also on the roof. My guess is that the water in the silver canisters were used as hot water and were heated by electric generated by the solar panels. Before we boarded to bus, Both Veronica and I made use of the public bathrooms. Usually I don't blog about such things but this was kind of different. When we approached the bathroom building, an older lady was there collecting money that it cost to use the facility. She was also holding a roll of toilet paper. For the guys...if you had to do a #2....I guess that you had to declare it on the spot in order to get a sheet of toilet paper. Fortunately I did not have to do a #2...only a #1. So I went in an did my thing. I noticed a sign inside the bathroom that stated that you could not put ANY type of paper product in the toilet. They had a waste basket to throw your used paper products away in. You heard me right. #2 used paper products go into the waste basket. This is because they don't have any type of septic system nor water supply. Whatever gets collected in the toilet gets dumped somewhere and I would guess that the paper products get burned up somewhere but I won't swear to that fact. We just found the whole situation kind of different.
We then got on our bus to head to Fira. We would be allowed to stay in Fira to walk around, shop, get something to eat...whatever we wanted to do but that we would have to take a cable car back down to where the tender boats were docked at and we would have to be on board the ship by 2130 hours.
Veronica and I walked around and did some window shopping on Gold Street. We also looked around at various menus and seeking a restaurant that had a good vantage point of the upcoming sunset. We did find a restaurant that met all of our needs and we ended up getting a pizza and a couple of diet sodas. Before we knew it the sun was setting and I was happily clicking away with my camera. Once the sun set we headed in the direction of the cable cars. The lines at the cable cars were rather long but they move fairly quickly. Before we knew it, we were in a car heading down to an awaiting tender boat to take us back to the NCL Jade. Veronica and I really enjoyed our visit to Santorini and especially to Oia.
Here are some photos taken during the course of our day on Santorini Island. Please note that some of the photos show reflections from being taken through the tour bus window. I really wish that the would put non reflective glass windows in tour buses. I have had so many photos ruined by the reflection off of the glass.










































Here is one of the local tenders that brought us ashore

























 This is the area where the local tenders brought us ashore to. From here we could have taken a donkey ride up to the top but we opted out for the much more cushier ride of a modern coach bus with a/c





 speaking of donkeys...also knowns as the alternate mode of transportation














 See what I mean about the reflection off of the tour buses' windows.








This does not appear to be a cruise ship sponsored photo shoot from one of their Photo Depts. Looks like a post wedding private shoot that included the Groomsmen and Bridesmaids














 Both Veronica and I agreed....Oia is a beautiful place












I saw some cool looking ships sailing around






















































 The pizza at this restaurant wasn't bad at all. It wasn't quite up to par with Antico Forno in Venice but is wasn't bad and the view was pretty darn good too. We were looking down onto other neighboring islands, boats and the NCL Jade as seen in the photo below



 































 Our large ocean view window in our cabin. Speakers attached to our Ipad for the white noise and one of those battery operated fake flame candles

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