After leaving Turkey, it was a short sail to the Greek island of Patmos.
We took a long, steep hike up to the monastery of St. John to take in the incredible scenery.
I went back to the ship for dinner after a walk around town. These Greek cruise entries (this one especially) are very light on food because I ate three meals per day on the ship, so there wasn’t much of note to photograph and write about. Here, though, is a fun dessert we had that night at dinner—a trio of mini Greek pastries.
We docked at Crete the next morning, but since there wasn’t as much to see there, I took the opportunity to sleep in. I needed to rest up for the afternoon in Santorini.
Santorini was definitely my favorite stop. Once a single island, it was destroyed by the eruption of an underseas volcano 500 years ago. What remains is an archipelago of tiny islands ringing the mouth. The two main towns, Oía and Thira, are built on the steep rim of the caldera. Before visiting there, though, I chose to take an excursion up the volcano itself.
It was a 40-minute hike up the rocky remains. Once at the top, though, we had a 360-degree view of the magnificent caldera and and its towns, as well as the surrounding lagoon and the Aegean Sea stretching into the distance. This was my very favorite thing I did in Greece.
On the way down, we passed several smoking, sulphuric hotspots of the still-active volcano.
After the hike, we bussed up the cliffs to Thira. I walked around the quaint downtown until twilight fell, then took a cable car back down into the lagoon and reboarded the ship.
That was the end of our lovely 3-day Greek cruise. We disembarked back at Piraeus, and on our way out of Greece, took a daytime excursion through the countryside…
…to visit the site of the old Oracle of Delphi. Yep, more ruins. We saw the old temples, the stadium, and the amphitheatre.
The mountain air was thin and chilly, but the views were spectacular.
We said goodbye to Greece after that, crossing the largest suspension bridge in the world to reach the port of Patras and board another overnight ferry back to Italy.
I’ll be making up for today’s lack of food in the next entry, one of the most unique and romantic cities in the world: Venice. (Just wait till you see the weather we encountered…)