With plans to spend a full day on Santorini, we sailed into the massive caldera this morning. First up, we had a short ride on a local tender to land ashore. Next, we took a coach ride up a series of switchbacks climbing the caldera walls. And finally, we had our feet on the ground to investigate the excavation at Akrotiri.

About 3,600 years ago Santorini blew up, burying the village of Akrotiri under many feet of pumice, ash, and a few basaltic bombs. Today we walked under the shade of a structure covering this massive archeological site, and admired the fruits of this extensive excavation effort. Daily life from the era (1600 BCE) has been preserved in beautiful detail, as was shown by the brightly painted frescos on display at our next stop, the pre-history museum. Everyday scenes, various plants, and fantastical animals adorned the walls of the well-to-do in 1620 BCE.

Next we pursued the fortification of our souls, spirits, and appetites with a scrumptious lunch of many Santorini local favorites, including a hummus-like fava bean dip. Afterwards we took a stroll in the village of Oia to capture the ubiquitous blue domes of Santorini, like so many postcards have displayed.

Today we experienced not only the ancient history of the Minoan culture — buried by volcanism and unearthed by human hand — but the modern-day flavors as well, enhanced by the same rich volcanic soils of Santorini.