Lava... Brilliant.

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
1
32
70
Trip End Ongoing


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of Greece  ,
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Woe to be a donkey. Donkeys have a hard life I swear. They get dominated. In fact, if a potential consequence of being a sinner was being reincarnated as a donkey, rather than mere eternal damnation in hell, I would be more inclined to be religious. The splendid sheer cliffs of the volcanic island of Santorini provide some of the most stunning views that I have seen - immaculate and beautifully designed hotels and houses stacked tier by tier, perched overlooking the Aegean sea - brilliant if you're human. But for donkeys, the cliffs just mean pain as they tirelessly transport fat englishman after fat englishman up the 700 steps from the port to the town, barely having the energy or the inclination to avoid their own excrement. You definitely feel sorry for these donkeys, working for the man, terrible working conditions, 40 degree temperatures. And it's not like they're on the verge of forming a union in order to demand better working conditions. They are but donkeys. It's not like they're mules. Woe to be a donkey.

The optimistic Santorini donkey would say that, at least, he gets dominated overlooking some of the most spectacular views in the world. The optimistic Santorini donkey would be right. The cliff-edge towns of Fira and Oia feature the epitome of greek island beauty. The photos, no doubt, display the layers of swimming pools, the rising and falling greek-styled steps, the fluid contours of pristine roofs and the eclectic but surprisingly aesthetically pleasing mix of colours far better than I can describe in words. All I can say is that the views are, for want of a better word, brilliant. The sunsets overlooking these towns and the sea were also impressive, although perhaps not worthy of the rapturous applause given by a large part of the 500 strong crown watching along with me. "People - do you realise that you're clapping the sun?"

Do you know what every good volcanic island needs? A volcano. A volcano of the devil of the death. Excellent. Santorini, indeed, has a volcano, sitting on an island 100m or so off the largest island of Thira. Apparently, around 1675BC this volcano, after having had a few beers, a few shots of ouzo and a really bad week at work, erupted like no volcano had ever erupted before. Much of the island, formerly one single island, disappeared, leaving only a few staggered islands to remain. On a trip out to the volcano, closer inspection revealed that it was average. Essentially a pile of rocks. Not particularly impressive - a group of ecuadorians who seemed to travel the world just visiting volcanoes rating it very low indeed. Volcano? 62%. Barely credit pass. The nearby hot springs were equally unimpressive. Sure - I didn't actually venture into them. The last thing I needed on a 40 degree day was a dip in 40 degree murky, smelly hot springs. Far more refreshing was a dip in the sea. By all accounts, "hot springs" is something of misnomer. More like "lukewarm springs", or as someone said "shit springs". Funny. Hot springs? Average.

Shots of ouzo leads to swimming. At 5 am. That's at least what I've noticed. A crazy and silly night with one of the coolest groups of people I've had the pleasure to meet on my trip did, indeed, end up in the frosty waters of the Aegean. Brilliant. Shots of ouzo? Killing me. Perhaps even more random and crazy was almost getting run over following this swim by a jeep that, in fact, ended up being driven by a couple of my friends from Perth. Bizarre.

Santorini has been all about beautiful views, great people, relaxing on bizarre black volcanic rock beaches and, occasionally, just one too many drinks. Santorini? Brilliant. After a shaky start, Greece has finally delivered and ended on a high.

So, to the top 5. In all honesty, Santorini hasn't been all roses. There have been a few moments where death seemed more likely than not; where things just didn't seem like they would work out; where there was just plain concern. Here are the top 5 instances / moments of concern on Santorini:

5. Concern that I may never ever recover from a killer hangover of the devil of the death which seemed to last for eternity.
4. Concern that I may never be able to get out of a pool whilst floating on a lifesaver buoy, completely relaxed, almost unable to move through relaxation, potentially in that pool forever.
3. Concern that someone may physically injure me due to my vocal and slightly cynical opinion of an Oia sunset.
"It's not bad. It's not the greatest sunset I've ever seen. I'd give it a 73 - distinction - but no way is it an HD".
2. Concerned about getting trampled by a park of donkeys descending the mountain. 20 angry donkeys of death. 1 man. Very little room on the path. No escape. How I survived is unclear.
1. Concern that, having made a very serious bet concerning the existence of a 24 hour bakery, it may not actually exist.

Boats - so many boats - to get to Turkey. Do it...
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: