Today’s Santorini adventure started early as we sailed via schooner around the islets of Santorini.
Jessica: When will the boat get to the island?
David: Schooner or later.
The islands of Santorini are a result of a final volcanic eruption from 3,600 years ago – an eruption that is theorized to have caused an evacuation by all civilization on the island, caused a 90 foot tsunami that hit Crete several days later, and even leave ice core particles as far as Greenland. And I thought when I got a flat tire I was having a bad day.
The inner islets of Nea and Palea Kameni are relatively new – 430 years old – and recently active as of 1950. We saw (and smelled) some sulfur gasses near seismic monitoring equipment. We also swam in a “hot springs” that was more like a lukewarm mud pond. It required us to jump off the schooner and swim a bit in the chilly clarity of the briny Aegean.
These islets were forming via submarine effusions as early as 1600BC; the Greek geographer Strabo noted their surface emergence in 197 BC. It is exciting to stand on ground that was so relatively new and yet still connected to ancient times.
After we stopped by for another coffee – freddo espressos are my lifeblood – we joined a friend and colleague for a final day sunset dinner. If only the dinner was as enchanting as the view. Every dish was…unique…but the kicker was a “stuffed kalamari”. I’m not sure what we were expecting but a latex ballon filled with dry, chalky cheese was not it. I never imagined dill to pair well with calamari; I still don’t.
Alas, we drowned our meal-time sorrows in local white wine – Assyrtiko – and ouzo – a slightly sweet anise-flavored (think liquorice) apertif.