Yesterday I got the bright (or not so bright) idea to wake up early and take a jog along the footpath for a bit to get some exercise. What I didn't realize is that when you are on this path, you are either going up or going down… and it seems like it is mostly up. Our hotel is at the bottom of a very long uphill climb to a little church overlooking the sea. I nearly died getting to the top but managed eventually to make my way about half way to the first town. The nice thing about climbing up high is that you can watch the sun rise which is very beautiful. I guess that was my reward. On my way back, I passed a few people who had seen me doing the initial climb and they were encouraging me on. My knee was very sore on the way back and for the rest of the day. Any future forays onto that path will involve walking only. It now occurs to me that many of the churches we have seen are built in places with a beautiful view… perhaps the better to tap into our spiritual self.
After breakfast we went for another walk in the town, this time all the way to the castle at the end which would be a perfect spot to watch sunsets, and where Mom befriended another dog who was sleeping on a bench. Mom is drawn to all of the animals here and there are many. The dogs are often slumbering on sidewalks or hidden corners. Cats are everywhere. It’s nice. I think one of the reasons why we don’t let animals be free in Canada may have something to do with our winters there. Stray animals probably couldn’t survive outside all year round as they do here.
There were throngs of tourists with group numbered stickers on their shirts who I assume came from one of the cruise boats we can see anchored off the port. They were rushing about and I overheard one of them say, "We have 15 minutes to get back to the bus. “ We were glad to have the freedom to wander about in our own time. On the way back we stopped by a market and a bakery to pick up supplies for lunch over the next couple of days. I was so tired by now that when we went to the pool for a swim, I immediately fell asleep on the lounge chair instead. When Mom tapped me on the shoulder we returned to the room where I promptly fell asleep again.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing on our terrace, reading, eating, talking and reminiscing about our trip. We recalled all of our locals during this vacation, however, Mom cannot remember our hotel in Olympia.
The sunset was completely obscured by clouds and I was glad that we chose to watch it from our terrace and didn’t have a 20 minute hike back to the hotel to look forward to. I felt sorry for all of those tourists who made the trip from other areas of the island.
This morning I decided to go for a walk along that same footpath that I tried to jog yesterday. I went on my own while Mom rested. It took me 1.5 hours to get to the first town of Imerovigli. On the way I talked to many tourists from many different countries, Malaysia, Germany, Great Britain to name a few. There was one lady from England who looked about in her 60s. She was on her own hiking toward Oia with about an hour to go. She looked very energetic and was wearing flip flops! Along the way I passed by many Inukshuks which I am sure go by a different name here. It was an invigorating walk which I thoroughly enjoyed although I much prefer the town of Oia to Imerovigli. I bought some cookies in the only bakery in town and went looking for the closest bus stop. There I met a group of ladies from the U.S. one of whom had an accident on Mykonos (another island) and was on crutches. She said that Mykonos had a 1 room hospital! Another lady from their group developed heart problems (probably climbing steep hills) and was still in the hospital in Athens
The rest of the day was spent in the pool, reading, relaxing, sleeping and eating. We are both looking forward to our return home tomorrow and are very grateful that this trip has been such a success and that we are both sound and healthy. Thank you for all who commented and offered suggestions. I thoroughly enjoyed the feedback although I didn’t really have the chance to respond.
There is a footpath that leads from Oia along the cliffs to Imerovigli, Firostefani, and finally the capital and largest city on the island, Fira. The views are beautiful overlooking the caldera and the entire walk is supposed to take about 2 hours one way.