Day 2 on the island, we took a long drive in the morning to visit some neighbouring beaches, one black, the other red. We also saw a lighthouse and the village of Perissa where we would be staying on our last night in Santorini. The beach there, Perivolos, is made up of black sand. I personally don’t like black sand as I feel I am standing in dirt but I hear it gave a terrific pumice treatment to all who walked on it.
In the evening, we walked through the Venetian Palace, or what’s left of it. A nice couple has moved into a small apartment they renovated to modern standards and run a shop and concert hall for the husband who makes and plays Greek bagpipes. Say what? I never heard of such a thing either. Apparently they are very ancient compared to Scottish pipes. This palace, like the many others in Greece, was built during the Venetian occupation in the 16th century. Many of the palaces had towers to guard against attacks from the Turks. Eventually, they lost that war and Turkey ruled Greece for about 300 yrs until their liberation in 1823.
On our third day, we visited the ruins of Akrotiri. It’s a Unesco Heritage site that has a huge roof on it to preserve the historical value. I heard it cost $40M to erect the roof but the ruins are believed to be some of the earliest preserved in the country. We walked around at length and read all the helpful signs. Clearly this civilization was very advanced. What they don’t know is what happened to the Therans. The theory is that they evacuated Santorini after a few warning earthquakes before the volcano erupted. They may have relocated to Crete. The ruins they are currently excavating are actually the fourth city to be built on that site. You can imagine how old the lowest layer is.
The rest of the day was spent cooling off at the pool. The sun is hot in Greece and it is just not comfortable to tour after 2pm. Besides, that is often when everyone stops for lunch. Shops close and reopen after 5pm.