Saturday, June 26, 2010

Santorini: oh, my poor a••!

After two days at sea, we tendered to Firá, on the Greek island of Santorini in the southern Aegean Sea.

I thought we would walk the 600 steps to Firá proper, but we quickly reassessed that once we realized that we'd have to share those steps with many, many laden donkeys (to say nothing of their s••t). The smell was so bad at one point that both Tea and Stephen were near retching.

I was surprisingly terse on this point in my journal, so let me elaborate: seeing Stephen in such a state had Tea bent double with laughter, which is never a good thing when you're nauseous. In Stephen's defence, as he stood about, contemplating the finer points of the awful smell I guess, a donkey started backing up toward him, relieving itself as it went. I don't know how he didn't end up covered in it, but that was definitely his lowest moment, shall we say.

They don't smell much better once you're riding them, incidentally, and you're trading the possibility of getting bumped off the steep steps or crushed against the rock wall for being thrown off said steps by mounting them, but, hey, every adventure needs the fear of bodily harm, right?

One final point in this aside: that donkey is a lot bigger than it looks. Honestly! I'm at least a foot off the ground in that picture!

Firá, from the other side of town
Firá, from the ship

The whitewash of Firá reminded me of our trip to southern Spain. We took a cab to a nearby black beach, played in the sun, and laid out on a proper bed -- four poster, with shade and room for us all, for only €10 -- fantastic! And the Greek salad they brought out to us on said bed was so good: covered in peppery olive oil that I was sopping up with the fresh bread, tomatoes like I've never tasted... A few hours later, we took the local bus back to Firá, and a cable car down to the tender. (We'd had enough fear for one day by then.)

I'm glad we bought pictures of the donkey ride, 'cause I don't think Tea or I would believe we did it in even a few months' time otherwise.

Nancy and Stephen enjoying the shade

Up next: Kuşadası, Turkey

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