In every American there must be a need to at least travel once in your life to the ancestral birthground. It may teach us a lot about ourselves.
I was visiting with a friend the other day who had just taken a trip to Greece and Turkey.¬† We were sharing and exchanging our experiences of these two countries, as I have been to both.¬† I must admit the last time I was in Greece was 1966, not much has changed though from what¬†he and¬†I discussed.¬†¬†Of course I am first generation American Greek, my grandfather and father both came to this country and settled here on Amelia Island to build boats.¬† Both had successful boat building businesses and became legends in the story of the modern shrimping industry.
My father was born on the Island of Santorini, one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth, I’ve been told (more than once).¬† Although I have been to Greece four times, I have yet to visit this beautiful Island.¬† I still have relatives who live there and we stay in touch via email.¬†¬†My father used to tell¬†how he worked at¬†one of the local boat yards as a young child and as a young man learning the¬†trade of boat building.¬† He actually worked for free the first few years, and even after gaining skills in the craft he was paid little.¬† Once he learned his craft he traveled to other ports¬† and worked for full wages and in 1945 he came to this country.
It is said that the lost city of¬†Atlantis was part of the Island of Thera, (Santorini) and there are many who to this day continue to look for evidence of this legendary city.¬† Many cruise ships berth at the Island every year and thousands of tourists visit.¬† The laid back atmosphere, the food and wine along with the most beautiful sunsets on earth, make this one of the hot vacation spots in the Aegean Sea and one that is on my agenda to visit.¬† You can reach Santorini via ferry service from the port of Athens, Pireaus and from Thessaloniki.¬† In the summer there are charter flights to the Island from Thessaloniki and special charters from Athens.
Booking a room is not difficult and if you are planning an extended trip you may want to consider renting a small house on the Island. This is what my friend did and he highly recommends it.¬† Of course the food is to die for, but after all this is Greece, what else can be said when it comes to the category of good eating?
There are so many beautiful places on this earth that we would all like to visit,¬† but for ancestral and other reasons Santorini is high on my list and I hope to make that visit within the next few years.¬† If you have the time why not join me. Bet we could have a great time, although admittedly my Greek is rusty at best.