Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Day on Santorini

Who would have ever thought that one of my most vivid memories of Santorini would be the smell of donkey dung? We had a day to wander all over this lovely island, taking in the sights, sounds, and indeed the smells.

After our last fiasco taking tenders to shore, my friend and I offered to get in line at the crack of dawn to get a tender number. She drank coffee while I yawned and we waited to find out what boat we would be taking. Tender 3 proved a lot better than tender 12!

Upon reaching Santorini we found 3 options for getting up to the town of Thira: a cable car with a 45-minute wait, 580 steps up, or a donkey that stunk to high heaven. While our friends scampered up like mountain goats, we opted for the cable car. No one wanted to get near the donkeys.
At the top it was another experience of wall-to-wall tourists from the 3 cruise ships docked offshore. We quickly found a bus for 2.80 Euros and headed off to Oia (pronounced ee-ah). Not that there were not tourists in Oia, but there were not as many and the views were exceptional.

We had tentatively agreed to meet our friends at a town midway between Thira and Oia, so I flagged down a bus and we hopped back on at no charge. Go figure!

The Cafe Galini offered a wonderful view of the harbor while we ate traditional Greek food and drank iced coffee that was to die for! There is nothing better on a hot day like this one.

We decided to brave it and take the 580 steps to get back down to where we picked up the tender. The trip down was shared with more donkeys than I could count. Although they never stepped on me, I gasped a couple of times as I almost got pinned between a donkey and the wall.

Santorini would be a paradise if it weren’t for all the cruiseships that dock there. I’m sure those who live there sometimes wish for a break from all the tourists who are constantly invading their beautiful island.


Blogger Velvet said...

This brings back really bad memories for me. I'm glad you are having the good time I thought I would have.

I don't think I'll ever go back to Greece. By the end, I had tomato and cucumber salads coming out my ears.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Tourism is definitely both a blessing and a curse. Santorini has to be one of the most beautiful spots on the planet, though. I'll never forget it.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

All that blue, that fabulous blue.
Did you happen no notice if I was still sitting at the dock there?

4:29 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

Oia- My son spent a month there a few years back. He LOVED it!

Have never been to Greece- my husgand can't stand olives, feta, lamb or Rosemary., I don't know why I ever married him.

Maybe I'll get there on my second honeymoon (with a man who can EAT!)

6:31 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

such lovely photos! all that white and blue...

how is Greek chocolate?

9:19 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

What a view! Wow, the light there is beautiful. Very cool.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Velvet -- I thought of you all day yesterday and wondered how your episode on Santorini had played out. It is a very desolate place for any type of emergency.

Steve -- I agree. I do want to come back when I can be leisurely and stay for more than a day.

Gewels -- How could anyone not like Greek food, the ultimate in comfort food?

Pauline -- Chocolate on the ship, but the Greeks seem to prefer honey desserts.

Ulysses -- I thought I saw you sitting on the dock with a cup of coffee in your hand.

Reya -- The light is blindingly fabulous. When I see shadows of any sort I think of you!

11:27 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

beautiful photos, Barbara!

7:08 PM  

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