Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Santorini, Greece

Here we are in Santorini. The last several days have been most amazingly wonderful. We are cruising on a ship that is so huge, luxurious, entertaining, pampering, delicious, state-of-the-art. It has pools, spas, hot tubs, movie theaters, live shows every evening, music and dancing on many levels, restaurants (free food) everywhere of every kind (including one where all the food is totally healthy and spa-like). Our cabin has a private verandah on the starboard side, and we can sit out there and watch the moonlight sparkling on the waves, or watch the ship pull into one beautiful harbor after another, in utter silence. I have never imagined such luxury. We have, of course, hundreds of photos.

We have been to such exotic locations as Nice (not our favorite, but Nice is still nice), Tuscany (where we visited two small hill towns, and had a wine-tasting luncheon at a small winery). Seven varieties of wine for lunch about did us in, but we soldiered on for the rest of that fabulous day! Tough life! We went to Toscania north of Rome to look at Etruscan ruins, etc., and a couple of days ago we were in Naples, Pompei, and Salerno. Our guide, Luisa, was the juiciest, most passionate, and well informed woman - kind of like having Anna Magnani for a guide, she was extraordinary and kept us laughing and delighting all day. A highlight was a visit to a farm up in the hills above Salerno where they raise lemons, olives, grapes, all in the same steep fields, in layers. They run around on poles above the ground to harvest the stuff that is up high. We saw them making Mozzarella cheese, and had samples of everything they make on the farm, including cheeses, salami, fried eggplant, homemade wine, bruschetta with hot pepper tomato topping, artichoke spread, and limoncello (a lemon flavored liquor) - of course all of that was before lunch. Did somebody hear an oink????

Yesterday we were at sea all day, lazing on the ship in deck chairs, sipping cold drinks, reading novels, taking walks, dozing. Last night we had the thrill of passing Crete (lighthouse, clusters of lights on a long shoreline), and this morning woke up moored outside Santorini. It is basically a volcano with a village perched on top, all white and glistening 1000 feet above the clear blue seas. We are going back out to walk some more.

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