The Daily Diary of a Wandering Restaurateur
May 14 - Thira/Fira/Whatever

There is a rather lengthy preamble for what led to the direction of our day today. Just before coming here, Don Krump was clearing brush at his father-in-law's house in southern Missouri. In the process he got a nasty case of poison ivy on both arms. He looked around for calamine lotion or anything that would help it, but the Greek pharmacies he visited did not have a clue as to what he was talking about.

Spiro recommended that Don go to the Medical Center in Thira, the main town on the island so today we all jumped on the local bus and headed down there. At the medical center Don was told just to take a seat and wait, that whenever someone was ready to see him they would get him. But sitting there with a dozen others with obviously more serious issues than his did not give him much faith in the system so we all bailed out and went up the road to a pharmacy we had passed on the way in.

They took a look at Don's arms and sent us on to another pharmacy that had a dermatologist on staff. There was a line, so while Don waited to see the doc, Rick and I decided to escape the heat and nip into the little bar next door for a cold beer. By pure serendipity we had just discovered Lucky's Souvlakis and along with it, Lucky himself.

We were just settling into our first beer when the rest of the group came in. It seems that Margene had discovered a bottle of calamine lotion on the pharmacy shelves while they were standing around waiting. Don decided that was all he really needed anyway ... so mission accomplished ... but this was where the story really got good! To understand why, click to Getting Lucky in Thira.

Thira is also called Fira on some signs and perhaps several other words we don't even recognize ... but it is the capital of the island and its largest city. If we were in our early 20's and looking for action, this would be the place to be, but coming from the quiet calm of Ia, it seemed almost frantic ... and certainly hot! The town is largely pedestrianized with winding cobbled alleys lined with shops catering to tourists off the many cruise ships that make port calls here. All roads running north and south on the island pass through the central square ... and the traffic is bizarre!

After lunch, we did a quick walk around town looking for a coffee maker. (At the house we had a coffee maker and a carafe ... but one did not fit the other!) This seems like a simple enough project but nobody knew what we were talking about, all the stores seemed more interested in selling souvenirs for tourists, it was getting oppressively hot and we finally gave up and headed back to the bus terminal. The rest of the afternoon was spent on the shady terrace of the house, recovering with frosty beverages.

Finally, at the appointed hour we went off in search of the famed Santorini sunset.

Life in the Big City

Getting Lucky in Thira

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