This has been a much needed "rest stop" between the Dalmatian Coast/Greece and Uzbekistan/Turkey trips. Tired of restaurants and crowds we enjoyed dinner a couple nights ago by the pool – local bread, tzatziki, cheese pie, cherry tomatoes, olives, cheese and salami. Ahhhh.... Did I mention the sunset?
We've spent 6 days in Oia (at the western trip of Santorini Island) with the Beautiful People - the rich and famous. They are all young, thin and wealthy. We rode the local bus into Fira one day and as we got off we overheard one of these lovely young ladies exclaim, “I’ll never take public transportation again in my entire life!” Does the word Princess came to mind? Across the street they are paying up to $5000 a night for room with a sunset view. (Where do these 20-somethings get the money?) In contrast we have a timeshare for a week on the other side of the street where we have to walk 25 feet to the pool to see the sunset and it costs us about $125/night.
We rented a car yesterday to tour the island. First stop – Fira to drop off our laundry. We’ve done bulk laundry all over the world for a few dollars a load. Yesterday was a different story - we paid 13 euros/load, and we had more than one! Our suitcases smell better. Other stops – more ancient ruins, a monastery, lighthouse, winery and other tourist areas. We were happy to learn that regular people also vacation on Santorini - they just stay other places. Like all the Greek Islands, this is a dessert island. It cannot sustain livestock. Grape vines produce 1/10 the amount of grapes per acre as other places, but they make some excellent wines! For a few months each summer people flock here from all over the world for the spectacular sea views and sunsets.
We're heading to Uzbekistan tomorrow. There were 4 of us scheduled on this pre-trip but unfortunately one of our friends had emergency surgery in Athens last week and is still in the hospital there. Good thing it happened here rather than Uzbekistan! Now Rand and I are the only ones going. It occurs to me that we may be in over our heads this time. Fortunately we're with OAT, a reputable company. We’ll report our adventures as they unfold!
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