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The Beatles - Sexy Sadie

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Yesterday was another walking day along the donkey path on the island of Thira, going up and down the hills and looking into the caldera hundreds of feet below the path. We spoke with more people are the Minoan eruption 3600 years ago, that is linked to everything from Moses parting the Red Sea, to crop failures in China, chaos in Egypt and even the lost city of Atlantis. At a minimum it was one of the strongest ever volcanic eruptions and it sent a massive tsunami to Crete which is 70 miles away. It also created an amazing caldera which is over 1200 feet deep, where cruise ships stay on idle since they don't have enough anchor chain to reach the bottom. The volcano remains active today and warms up a natural spring that feeds into the salt water. The bigger concern today though is the earthquake fault line that is active just off of the village of Oia. The other discovery has been traditional Greek food. I spent some time speaking with the chef at a great family style restaurant (Naoussa) about the local food, which is excellent and affordable. For those who like cooking and eating stew, beef stifado is amazing. (This seems to be a decent recipe for stifado for those interested though there are lots of variations.) It's a bit different from a French daube but not completely different either. The slow cooked whole onions are divine. I also had a sea bass which was cooked perfectly over coals. There's nothing more amazing than a simple, perfectly cooked fish for my taste. And Greek yogurt? Wow. I've never had anything even remotely close to the yogurt here which is very thick and not runny at all. What is amazing is that despite the heavy flow of tourists (it's pre-season now, admittedly and it's a zoo in the summer) the people here are amazingly friendly. I've been through plenty of heavily visited countries around the world and the Greeks here are as nice as they come. There are many in the island with ties to America or Australia so there's a definite bond between then and the overseas visitors. With the Greek economy being what it is today, it's likely that there may be another period of emigration ahead.

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