Then we walked downhill from our perch, trekking along the cliff-clinging stone-paved pathway high above the sea. Each step
brought more photo-perfect scenes:
tiny walled loggias with potted plants;
steps going up and down in every direction to houses, shops and restaurants
bright sun over stone paved pathways and whitewash.
Down into the town of Fira [over time, Thera in Greek became Fira in modern Greek, which has a lot of Turkish in it].
There was no WC in the Archaeological Museum, so we went across the sloping street to a tavern for a coke and the facilities. While Ron was thus engaged, two mule strings went by, bedecked and beribboned, each string of 5-6 with a guide, on their way to carry tourists up the switchback path up the cliff face. Ron had both cameras with him.
The marvelous museum was small but crammed with treasures from ancient Thera: geometric amphorae up close; funeral objects from 8-7th centuries BC; and my favorite collection of items featuring a bird with a swastika [sometimes eating a snake]! No one there knew what the symbolism was. And there were 6 staff members present, outnumbering the tourists. Not even Google has a post.
From there to the museum of truly old stuff, from Akrotiri: from “marvelous” to “spectacular”! The Prehistoric Museum houses the original wall paintings from the 18th century BC town, pieced together painstakingly from the floors of the houses, where they had fallen face-down; this is the reason they were preserved at all. Wonderful motifs of octopi and dolphins, lotus flowers and sailboats. And the one golden object found: a perfect little goat about 1 inch long.
Brains full and feet tired, we walked downhill to the taxi stand where we scored one of the 27 cabs on the island. This saved us the long uphill slog to the hotel. And we were quite satisfied with our purchases for the day: chunks of black pumice and a reproduction of the Cyclades flute player at half the museum cost.
After nap [refer to the first paragraph above, omitting breakfast], we made our way to Mama Thera’s tavern for a sunset meal on a small patio with a dozen friendly people. Ron had pork with a surprising lemon sauce and I had lamb-kebobs. As the sun set, the waitress made her way around with blankets for everyone.
Oh, I want to go back!!