Santorini's Cruise Shippers


June 25, 2011, Thira, Santorini, Greece: Try as I may, I don't understand the allure of the cruise. What is there to discover about a place by descending on the main shopping strip for a few short hours? I'd miss the luxury of sitting still in a cafe all day, watching the rhythm of the day.

But here on Santorini, the rhythm of the day inevitably revolves around those cruise ships.

4pm - From a cafe at the port, we watch the ships come in. For hours, local boats to ferry the tourists off the ship and onto the island. The tourists wait in a long line to take a tram up into town. Some opt for to ride up on a donkey (not recommend upon lengthier observation) Virtually none opt to ascend the hill on foot.

7pm - The line has finally subsided so we take the tram up the hill. It's a mob scene up top. Paddles with numbers on them poke through the crowds. We steal away to another quiet cafe.

9pm - From a perch atop the cliff, we watch the cruise shippers descend back onto their boat, ferried off to dinner onboard. We watch the sun set as they set off toward the horizon.

10pm - The town is quieter. The town is again ours.