Wednesday morning brought us the famous caldera with the spectacular view of Fira on the island of Santorini.
Our day’s itinerary included a mid afternoon excursion to a winery so we began with a gondola ride up the cliffs to take in the sites, sounds, and smells of the streets of Fira. After a brief walk we set out along the path bordering the edge of the cliffs toward the town of Oia. We have found this direction the to be the easiest way to quickly escape the crowds while offering spectacular views and numerous interesting restaurant choices. We settled in at Vulcan on the Rocks, a delightful cafe offering brunch and a variety of offerings ideal for lunch.
Following lunch we boarded the gondola to descend back to the tinder boat and returned to the ship.
Donkey-Gate Update #1
As we boarded, security scanned our ship passes and we were asked to step aside so the head of security could speak to us. We were then whisked to the security offices and asked to give our account of the prior evening’s event. After discussions and filling out of the appropriate forms we continued with our day.
Before long we headed out for our mid afternoon excursion to the Sigalas Winery. We had been looking forward to this tasting for months and unfortunately it did not meet our expectations. The representative started the tasting emphasizing the island was known for their white wines and particularly those of the Assyrtiko grape varietal. We knew this and are big fans of these wines, hence the expectations.
The tasting then proceeded with a blend that did include assyrtiko but hardly the 100% beauties we have enjoyed before. Of the next 4 wines none included the varietal and only one was a white wine. We slipped off away from our group and asked to taste any of their 100% assyrtiko bottlings. They did fulfill this request but unfortunately were unable to ship directly to our home. We were given the contact information for their stateside distributor but that defeats the purpose and savings of buying direct. We have been lucky in recent years to visit wineries that were able to ship directly but not this time.
Having exhausted all our options we returned to Fira to find the wait for the gondola absurdly long so we walked down the donkey path and rode the tender back to the ship before readying ourselves for dinner.
Donkey-Gate Update #2
Upon our arrival back onboard we were again asked to step aside and wait for security. This time we were informed the investigation’s outcome that only asked all involved parties to steer clear of one another for the remainder of the cruise. Which is easy since we could not point the woman out of line-up if asked, lol! There were some interesting details that emerged that included the instigator claimed to have not recorded video and was dragging the pianist onboard into it!? Nonetheless we went about our business and enjoyed the beautiful evening onboard as we departed Santorini looking ahead to Patmos.