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Our next port was the town of Fira on the island of Santorini. About 3,600 years ago the volcano at the center of Santorini erupted, leaving only the caldera rim above water. The eruption sent tidal waves throughout the Mediterranean, and could have been the source of the legend of Atlantis.

Fira is perched on the edge of the caldera, 1,100 feet above the water. Mules carried us up the winding path from the harbor.

Below is a view of the caldera. Our ship is just barely visible beneath the cliff in the distance. On the left is Nea Kameni, a recently formed volcanic island.

We rented a car in Fira and drove off to the Ancient Akrotiri. This Minoan city was buried by the volcanic eruption that created the caldera. Excavations of the city began in 1967 and continue today.

We walked along the main street, which is lined by ancient shops and warehouses. Many earthen jars have been uncovered; some contain traces of olive oil or fish.

The whole area is enclosed by a metal roof to keep out the elements. Scaffolding stretches across numerous spots where archaeological work is still in progress.

We drove on to the beach town of Kamari, on the east side of the island.

At the end of the day we returned to Fira and rode the cable car back down to the port. Here is another view of the whitewashed rows of houses and shops and the winding mule path.

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