Santorini, GreeceJune 26 - 29. 2018
Well, this wasn’t the trip that we had envisioned. The plan was four days on
Santorini, a seven-day cruise of the Greek Isles, and three days in Athens. But
in spite of an unexpected calamity, we actually did enjoy our four days on the
beautiful island of Santorini. We
arrived on the island on a rainy Tuesday, but woke on Wednesday to beautiful
blue skies and perfect temperatures. Our hotel, the Antilez Suites, looks out
over the ocean-filled caldera of this ancient volcanic island, and we ate
breakfast on the patio with views of the white and blue towns of Fira to our
left and Firastefani to the right...and little Oia town way out on the tip of
|Anteliz Suites - our room is right at the top of the first flight of stairs.|
|Our room was all decorated in Grecian whites and blues.|
Wednesday morning, we just browsed the tourist shop-filled
little lanes of Fira and Firastefani, which were crowded with visitors from the five cruise
ships anchored in the caldera below.
|Rob in Firastefani|
|Hotels and homes of Firastefani|
|Naturally, Rob finds a cat to pet!|
|Tourist shops fill the little lanes of Fira|
|Shopping shopping shopping|
|Church domes and towers|
|Chuch dome in along the path into Fira|
|The cable car that takes ship visitors up and down the steep cliffs below Fira|
|The other ways to get up the cliffs are by walking or by donkey.|
In the town square, we discovered the Archaeological Museum where we saw some of the artifacts preserved from the ruins of Akrotiri, an ancient town that, like Pompeii, was buried by the ash from the Santorini volcano. We had lunch at Salt and Pepper, a wonderful local restaurant with a delightful hostess. She walked around the restaurant, chatting animatedly with all the patrons...and when the customers were served their food, she took their photo for a big book she keeps. She bragged that she remembers every customer and that we are her family. We followed lunch with a pedicure for me and a massage for Rob at a local establishment.
|Wall paintings from the ancient city of Akrotiri are preserved more safely in the museum.|
|Birds and dolphins were popular themes on the pottery|
|It was interesting to see that coffee cups look just the same for 4,000 years!|
That afternoon, we decided (haha!) that it would be an interesting experiment to check out the Greek health
care system. Rob went for a dip in the
hotel pool...and upon emerging from the pool, slipped on wet marble stairs
and came down hard on the back of his shoulder. (And thank goodness he didn't
come down on his head! This all could have been much worse.) I was in our room
when one of the staff came knocking on the door and said with her limited English, "He has fallen!". My heart pounding, I hurried down the stairs to find my poor
husband stretched out on the hard rock moaning in pain. The hotel manager and some staff members, and
an English guest who was a nurse, were clustered around Rob. They had already placed towels under his side
to prop him up and were shading him from the bright afternoon sun with an
umbrella. The ambulance had already been summoned. Everyone could not have been more wonderful.
Now is a good time to add that, if you plan to have an accident,
Santorini is NOT a good place to choose to have it! The hotels are clustered
along a high cliff, and there are few actual roads. The only way to reach our
hotel is along the uneven pedestrian trail along the cliff, so once the EMT had
Rob all taped up like a mummy to secure his arm, it was the choice of bouncing
along on a stretcher or walking. His legs were fine, so he chose to walk...but
it was a difficult walk! And then the ambulance had to navigate through the
narrow streets past hundreds of tourists to get him to the hospital down on the
flat part of the island.
We really hoped it was just a dislocation of his shoulder, but
the x-rays revealed a displaced fracture of his humerus very near his shoulder,
and the doctor told us that it could require surgery and advised us to have it
evaluated by Rob's own doctor. That was the moment when our vacation plans flew
out the window. 😥 Rob was trussed up in an
"immobilizer"...a harness and sling. He will wear it until he sees
the orthopedic surgeon on Monday, and it does help to alleviate the pain
Antony, our hotel manager, stayed with us every step of the way,
following the ambulance, translating when needed, and driving us back to the
hotel, stopping by the pharmacy for me to pick up the pain medication on the
way. He has continued to take care of us, helping me contact the airlines to
arrange our flights home, making sure we got meals, and more.
The first night after the accident was pretty awful. Rob was in
bad pain - and pretty helpless with only one arm, so I was up with him, helping
him with whatever he needed. But by Thursday, the meds were beginning to kick
in and Rob’s pain was much diminished. The
weather was very strange all day on Thursday. It was sunny and fairly warm, but
there was a wild wind – the strongest I’d ever experienced since Hurricane
Carla in 1961! Rob and I took a short walk to get lunch, then he rested nearly all day
while I went out to explore the a bit more, but just walking along the cliff-top trail was an adventure in the
|Rob gives the thumbs up - feeling a bit better today!|
|A windy walk on Santorini.|
We had made dinner reservations back at Salt and Pepper, so I
walked by to cancel them and told the hostess what had happened. Based on her
behavior at our good lunch, I was not surprised at her reaction. She truly did
treat me like family, looking genuinely shocked and sorry, and hugging me like
a mother. I felt like crying just because everyone has been so kind!
Thursday night was SO much better than the night before. Rob
and I both slept well, and Friday morning, he actually felt well enough to go
with me to the ruins at Akrotiri, which is known as the Minoan Pompeii. Like Pompeii, it was covered – and preserved –
by volcanic ash in a huge eruption in about 1627 B.C. The buildings are not as well-preserved as
those we saw at Pompeii, but the site contained many treasures and clues to the
lives of the bronze age Minoan people – beautiful wall frescoes, decorated
pots, and even a sophisticated sewage system with in-home bathrooms!
We returned to the hotel for lunch on our balcony with its
stunning views, then Rob napped again while I once again walked along the
cliffs enjoying the spectacular views.
We spent Friday evening packing our bags for the unexpected trip home…but
we will be returning with many memories – mostly happy and one not so happy – and with a
determination to return to Greece to finish our explorations!
OHHHH MY GOSH! What lovely beautiful photos and what a story! Sending you positive thoughts for safe travels and no surgery for Rob!
Thanks for sharing--the pictures are fabulous. Hope Rob has a speedy recovery! Safe travels home.
Beautiful photos, Joan. After Akrotiri, we visited the museum in Fira so we have some of those same photos. I'm so glad Rob's feeling better. Wishing you safe travels home and seamless care for Rob when you get there. Big hugs, xoA
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