Randy and Katy Smelser

Americans living in Germany but citizens of heaven

Santorini: 25th Anniversary Trip - Excursions 4-6
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Excursion 4 - Panagia Episkopi and Pirgos

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The "Bishop's Church of All Saints" is the oldest church on the island

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A Byzantine Emperor had the church built in 1115. It is a garden not in town.

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A few of the original frescos remain.

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Most walls are now covered with icons.

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The church is very small and filled with traditional Eastern Orthodox deco.

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Pirgos is the highest town on the island with a old Venezian fortress at the top.

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We enjoyed just wandering around the alleys and steps.

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The traditional blue domed churches unlike the Byzantine Pan.Epik.church.

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Excursion - 5 A hike from Firastephani to Oia

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We started our hike by taking a bus to just outside the capital of Fira.

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The path took us toward Imerovigli along the Caldera Cliffs.

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This part of the hike was among the houses and hotels with lots of steps...

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And super views from every corner.

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Heading out of Imerovigli the path rougher as we left town behind.

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We could see our goal around the Caldera at the tip of the island.

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Along the way at one of the high points was this church with shade trees.

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We then hit the worse part from the church down the side with lots of loose gravel.

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This view shows how high the cliffs are.

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Looking back we could now see Imerovigli on the top of the far hill.

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Katy on the way to another church on top of the last hill.

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After that it was all down hill to Oia.

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Looking back on the entire hike.

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Excursion - 6 A boat ride around the Caldera, to the volcano and other islands.

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The excursion on our anniversary was with an old wooden boat.

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The was very little wind on that day so we went by motor.

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Our anniversary picture with our hotel and Oia in the background.

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We sailed through the Caldera to Fira port to pick up more people.

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Next stop: the Volcano where we had to walk across other boats to get to shore.

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At the top the crater of the last eruption in 1950.

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Sulfur gasses still come out and leave a white crust

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A view back to Fira. Nothing grows on this hot dusty lava rock.

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Katy waiting for me to come down off the volcano rim.

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Next stop was the hot springs at the neighboring isle (volcano from 100 AD).

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After a swim we headed to the island of Thirasia for lunch.

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The restaurant where we ate.

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And because the water was beautiful we had another swim after eating.

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Coming back into port where we started.

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Down to the Port at Oia

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Another day we went down to Ammoundi Port again - but not by the stairs.

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There were mules to ride but we drove down where there was a little parking.

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We walked over to the Sunset Restaurant for lunch...

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and from our table we could watch people and boats.

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A nice place just to do nothing.

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25 years and we still like each other!