Ancient Thira


Mesa Vouno Mountain is a backdrop for Kamari, the village where I’m staying on the island of Thira. Ancient Thira is Santorini’s historical city on top of Mesa Vouno. From the top, sweeping views of the Aegean Sea are fantastic!

Dorian colonists from Sparta founded the ancient city in the 9th century B.C. and inhabited it until the early Byzantine period. Archaeological excavations are ongoing at the site and it’s closed to visitors on Mondays.

The route to Ancient Thira snakes up Mesa Vouno Mountain through steep, winding cobbled streets. The city is at the very top on the crest of the mountain.So far, the ruins uncovered are from Hellenistic-Roman times. They show Thira was a flourishing city with temples, public buildings, a theater and agora, shops, quarters with residences, a network of roads, and a sewage system.

It was hot so I caught a bus to the base of the site and then walked uphill to the entrance and followed the rough stone pathway through the complex.  It took about two hours to complete the tour. Despite the heat there were many colorful wildflowers along the trail. The views of the Aegean Sea were breath-taking!

Tomorrow I leave Santorini and the Greek Islands for Athens. It will be a big change. It finally dawned on me that the missing piece between Turkey and Greece is no Muslim call to worship. So far I haven’t seen any mosques. Started my travels in Istanbul and after several months in Turkey, where 99 percent of the population is Muslim, I grew accustomed to hearing the call to worship throughout the day.

My hotel in Santorini has great cable and Al Jazeera comes in clearly so I can get caught up on world news – maybe a mistake. The three stooges are popular here and you can almost always find one of their movies on cable TV – still laughing about that.

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