Written by Linton Hutchinson
We leave Athens, the cradle of democracy with high expectations as we head out to the open seas. I’m thinking to myself, what could possibly top the Parthenon! Where ever we’re going it has to be great. The ship sails through the night traveling at full speed to reach our new gem, a small island tucked away in the middle of nowhere.
The ships horn bleats out at the crack of dawn signaling we have arrived at our destination, Santorini. We wake ourselves out of a well deserved sleep in our ship, pull back the curtains and our senses are immediately flooded as we peer through the morning fog.
Rather than the holy city of St. Irene as promised in the ships itinerary, we can perceive little more than a big rock surrounded by high cliffs with rubble cascading down into the sea. And not even a complete island to boot. Apparently the middle of the island was blown thousand of kilometers high in the ancient past, leaving what remained to collapse and sank under the ocean.
The only curious thing about this sad island is the fact that archeologist have not been able to find a single skeleton in the excavations they have performed over the last 100 years. It’s as if the inhabitants had ESP and set sail before the big event destroyed the island and turn the entire region dark for months.
The Santorinians (all 12,000 of them) would have you believe that their island is the remains of a super intelligent race that once colonized this and surrounding islands. Was this the Atlantis that Plato referenced so many years ago? Perhaps we’ll never know, but I sure was going to try to get to the bottom of this mystery.
There are three ways to get up the sheer cliff to the town above: Cable car, Cable car and the Cable car. Sure you can take a donkey up the winding stairs but then again, after the trip up and down, you won’t be doing any walking for the rest of your cruise. I guess you could hike the path where the donkeys have been urinating for the last 40 years non-stop. In which case, everything will have a curious odor for the rest of your cruise. Enough said.
When you get to the top of the cliff you’ll truly feel like you’ve been transported to the home of the gods. Every structure is painted pure white and the view overlooking the surrounding islands is beyond description. Once you’re there, you won’t want to come down from this mountain paradise or continue your cruise to the next destination. You’ll want to sell your belongings and move to this little corner of heaven. Chances are you’ll find yourself volunteering to wait tables at Santorini for the rest of your life as long as you have access to this incredible island view.
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