City on a Hill

The Greek island of Santorini, in the Aegean Sea, bathed in the June sun, can be described only as “hotter than the hubs of hell itself” in June.
If ever a reason to have a cold beer before noon was needed on vacation, this is the place where it was conceived. I had suggested that others on the tour should soak their underwear and other clothing in hot water before disembarking the ship, as they will soon become that warm and moist in a matter of moments on the isle. I would recommend visiting in earlier spring or fall.
The great attraction of the isle is on the top of the hill, the town of Oia, with its whitewashed buildings and blue painted roofs. It makes for picturesque scenes that grace most of the postcards.
The volcanic island was bigger in days of old, but like most of the volcanoes in the Mediterranean, all good things must come to (a violent) end. This one blew up big time. The entire center was blasted away, and only the rim was left.
The only way to ascend the crater’s rim is by tram or by a guided burrow ride. My wife, Carrie, and I chose the tram; and our daughter, Katie, the burrow, and we met on the top. There is one other alternative: walking. We did not consider this an option as the cobblestone path is covered in burrow dung. If you fell, you might very well slide all the way down the steep incline.
At the top we caught a bus with a driver who was engaged in a game of “how many passengers can I get on this vehicle before it bursts at the seams?”
Survey says: all of them. To say it was a tight squeeze is an understatement. I did help an old man with his groceries get off the bus to prove not all Americans are ugly, just me.
Oia , a city on a hill, was beautiful but expensive. Katie bought a smoothie for 10 euros. I bought a beer for three. Definitely stay away from the smoothies.
On the way back, I actually had a seat on the bus. I introduced myself to a young lady standing next to my seat, and explained that we would soon become well acquainted because of the driver’s erratic and jerky turns. Sure enough, she was soon in my lap after a sharp turn.
While waiting at the bottom of the hill, I found a small store, about the size of a walk-in closet, that sold beer. It is located between the tram and the burrow concession. It was also air conditioned, and sold groceries and souvenirs.
This beer was different from that at the top of the hill: It was ice cold. That may not seem like a big deal here in the States, but really cold beer is very rare in Europe. I vowed to return.