Our last day in Santorini required a trip to the caldera which had made the island what it was. We finally decided to pay for a boat excursion because in the end, the water taxi wasn’t operating due to the windy weather. The boat took us to Nea Kameni, and it felt like I was walking on an alien planet. The rocks that had spewed from the volcano were dark—the youngest ones the most dark—and there were many piles of rocks left by travelers.
Boris detected a hint of Slavic accent in our guide’s Greek, and started a conversation while we trekked up the volcano. He was from Serbia, finishing university, regularly came to the islands to work, wanted to study math in Russia or America. He had an easy smile and a fine sense of humor that showed through, even in his English. We got the history of the caldera, which I promptly forgot, and also he informed us about the numerous eruptions. The volcano is still active, and we placed our hands on certain vents in the rocks to feel the extreme heat it still emitted.
The second stop on our tour was the natural hot springs. A short jump off the boat and the water went from refreshingly cool to warm in a few yards. Other hot springs I had visited all were enclosed in some manner, so it was different and interesting to be swimming from the more open water to the more enclosed lagoon-ish area where the hot springs were. Once in a while the cool and warm water would mix, a strange sensation.
For our last evening in Santorini, we explored Fira Town, which until then we thought consisted only of the hospital and bus station, perhaps a few pharmacies. Naturally we were wrong, and I’m so glad we made it to the town itself. There were tons of shops lining the streets, which were thronging with tourists and locals doing their due passi (an Italian term, I know, but I don’t know it in Greek!) around in the pre-sunset hour. We got some gelato and figured we could find a good place to watch the sunset. Down a few unknown streets we found a spot near the highway, a bit out of the town. We could see the colors of the sky, but in the end found a much better place to watch the final moments of the day: along the top of Fira town, overlooking the whitewashed houses jutting off the side of the island, water below us, caldera in front. As the darkness approached, all the restaurants and homes lit up, and the view was almost as good—if not better—than in Oia. A perfect end to a wonderful last day in Santorini.
I didn’t have my camera with me, so this only vaguely resembles the beautiful spot and view we had of the sunset. It’s not really of Kamari, TripAdvisor lies. This is more what it looked like when the lights began to twinkle after dusk.
This photo of Kamari is courtesy of TripAdvisor