My second visit to Santorini

One of the highlights of my cruise last year was visiting the island of Santorini, or Thera, as it’s formally known. I was excited to have the opportunity to stop there again this year and visit Oia, which I didn’t get to last year.

Late in the afternoon, I was up on the top deck to watch the approach to the island, and felt that same sense of awe that I did the first time. Hopping on the tender, sailing in the port, zigzagging up the side of the island, driving through Thera and arriving in Oia was still as exciting as it was the first time.

Until we got to Oia. As lovely as it was, I found it mostly unpleasant (just like Ephesus) because of the tidal wave of tourists that were disgorged from cruise ships into this tiny village.

I managed to find a couple spots where there were only a few people (stairs, steep inclines and climbing aren’t generally crowd pleasers), and took a few photos to supplement last year’s collection.

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Then I escaped to a restaurant overlooking the caldera, and breathed in the warm, humid air. And looked out over the Aegean, happy to be alone. And I thought, (not for the first time this trip!): I need to be a traveller, not a tourist. I want to get to know a place, feel it, understand it. I can’t do that with just a few hours or days spent in a place, surrounded by gangs of marauding tourists.

If I have learned nothing else from my trip, I’m glad I have learned this.

2 Comments

  • georginabarnett October 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    So true Di. My ambition is to travel and stay in a place and live like a local for a while. I don’t have many such travelling years left, so the sooner the better, I say!

    Reply
    • dileeshus October 12, 2013 at 3:43 am

      As a much more seasoned traveller (and much more confident when it comes to travelling!), I’ve come to realise it’s the only way to have an authentic and rich experience, Georgina. Get cracking, I say!

      Reply

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