This was a morning of shopping. We got an early start and there was some sunshine. Fira was very quiet until the cruise ship passengers came ashore. From the hilltop we could see the shuttle boats ferrying them from the mooring the shore. Shortly after they came flooding down from the cable car station.
After shopping we checked out of the hotel. We had some time to kill and watched a parade of island school children, some in national dress, marching along the main square, carrying flags. After marching the kids formed circles in the street and performed some dances. Turns out today is a national holiday: Ohi (“No”) Day, and so the locals were out enjoying themselves. After the very quiet early morning Fira seemed much busier than it did yesterday.
In the afternoon we rode the bus to Kamari for a short visit to the beach. It was much warmer and less windy down there, but still a bit too cold for bathing. “How can the sea be so blue?” Lore wondered. Our beach visit was more like a short snooze in the black sand. I had some baklava in a beachfront cafe, though.
The bus ride to and from Kamari, and our departure from the island showed the more mundane parts of Santorini and Greece. The villages in the lowlands are not obsessively painted. The departure area in the airport was somehow not as nice as the arrival area. Stray dogs wandered around in the terminal, a reminder that Greece is still a Second World country. The classy tourists must come by sea.
Back in the ancient capital, we’re becoming regular experts at getting from the airport to central Athens. Or maybe we just realize how easy it is. The buses and the subway are nice and clean.
We are that fulcrum point of vacation today: when the anticipation and excitement reaches an equilibrium with the realities of beginning the return trip. The memories are starting to outnumber the plans for the rest of the week.
This was a wasted night in Athens. There is not enough time—and we’re too tired—to do anything this evening or tomorrow morning before we fly back to Paris. This will be a day of transition and travel, time to take it easy and give the camera a rest.