This is going to be a short post since I am already tired but I committed to writing even the highlights of the day each day instead of waiting till the next day. I almost didn’t want to write today, but I also just read my friend, @ritupandey’s post about writing daily and keeping consistent. After all, like people say with exercise, it must also apply to writing, consistency is key. Once you let the ball drop, it’s easy to let it go altogether.
We knew the weather was not going to be great today since there was forecast of rain, however, we were determined to make the best out of our last day on the island. A little sad to be leaving, but also excited to explore Athens! The rain wasn’t too bad and our raincoats saved the day. The morning started with walking to the bus and catching the bus to Akrotiri. It was about a 20 minute ride again, by now you know that this island isn’t too large, all bus rides have been about 20 minutes or so. On the bus we met a Bangladeshi man form Rajshahi and got to know a lot about working in Santorini. He came here 20 years ago and has been working as a boat driver. He earns about 1,500 Euro per month and tax is 300 Euro. 20 years ago he went to Turkey and then took a car from Turkey to Greece. He then made his way to Santorini and has stayed ever since. He now has his permanent resident card so he goes to Bangladesh every year in the winter. He has three daughters and one is even getting married soon. He showed us pictures of the house he built in Rajshahi and his daughters. He also mentioned he would never bring his daughters here since he didn’t want them to go to school here and get derailed. He would rather have them study in Bangladesh and get married to a good boy. I have lots of thoughts but won’t go into details on this blog, but wanted to share the story of a local. Rent is 100 euro for him per month since he shares with 7 other men. He seemed happy with his job and his life here.
We got dropped off at Akrotiri pre historic museum. This museum is indoors and the tickets were 6 Euro per person. It was a 3 acre excavation of a town from 3000 BC. That’s about 5000 years ago. This was a fishing town since it was really close to the sea. The history was super interesting to read. The town was destroyed in two earthquakes but people built it back. After which it finally was covered by a volcanic eruption. Because it was covered in volcanic ashes, many things were preserved well. The architecture of the buildings from so long ago were so amazing. They had three storey houses with bathrooms. The rooms were painted with murals about fishermen and other local daily life scenes. Most of the murals have been saved in museum of Ancient Thira. I am glad we went to the museum before heading to the actual site since I could imagine what the pottery and the wall art looked like in real life.
We then walked to the red beach. It’s not easy to find this beach and you might think you are here once you reach the pretty church by the red rocks, but that definitely did not look like a beach. There is a small sign that says 7 minutes to red beach. You have to follow that sign and hike up a small path to find the beach. The beach was absolutely gorgeous. In the summer people go swimming and lay on the beach but since it’s winter time there wasn’t anyone on the beach. We didn’t hike all the way down but the view was amazing from the top. We came back to Fira and had lunch at The Greco Tavern. Rajib had red bean soup and I had seafood risotto, bill 34 euro. We walked around Fira some more to take in the last views of the Caldera and the town from the top. We then discovered the path to the old port. There are more than 600 ish stairs you have to take down to go to the old port. Alternatively, you can take the cable car or ride the donkey. We did not go all the way down but enjoyed the view from the top. One thing I did learn from the Bangladeshi man today was that water around the Caldera is still so hot that an egg would boil there. In the summer you can take a boat and go see that water. Well, now I know I have to come back here!