Every day here seems to last an eternity…in the best way. Last weekend was the long awaited trip to Santorini. Even though we only spent one full day there, we did as much as I might expect if we had AT LEAST a week. The ferry ride only took 3 hours. As we approached the island the cliffs of brick red, and gold shimmered above the turquoise waters. After driving the never ending switchback up the cliff we arrived at our little pastel colored Villa Popi in the town of Fira. Of course Brittany and me ended up with the only room with one bed, it seems we always end up in strangely romantic situations. I guess its just unavoidable no matter who you are with in Greece. After a little exploring, the whole crew went out to dinner. The fava melted in my mouth, the best I have ever had.
Saturday was the epic day. We started out walking down the cliff on a rock and donkey poop switchback. The donkeys don’t seem to notice if anything or anyone is in their war, or they just want revenge for having to carry oversized people up and down the mountain all day, and plow right by you. When we got to the bottom we boarded a boat that looked like a pirate ship with Mama Santorini as our guide.
Out first stop was the Nea Kameni volcano, undoubtedly still active from the smell of sulfur and the smoke rising out of various crevices. As we struggled to follow Mama Santorini up the rocky mountain she assured us that she was no super woman, she had just been up the volcano 3000, knew every rock, and happened to be a mountain goddess. After stomping around the volcano for a few hours we boarded our pirate ship and headed for the hot springs. Since there was no port, we jumped off the boat and swam to the springs and their glorious, smelly, brown mud. All of the sights are breathtakingly powerful, feeling pity for anyone who doesn’t have good enough eyes to see everything I left my glasses behind at the bottom of the Aegean Sea for a nearsighted mermaid. I can only handle so much beauty.
Our stop for lunch was Thirassia, another small island left abandoned after the volcanic eruptions. We decided this was the place for our donkey ride; we hoped on and rode to the top. My donkey seemed to be racing and would not let any other pass him. We got back onto the pirate boat one last time to head for Ia, the city of the sunset.
Barbed wire, and do not enter signs are really just suggestions. So, under the barbed wire and over the fallen rocks to go cliff jumping we went. We had to swim out to the cliff and climb up with the choppy water crashing you into the rock. From the water and even from the top of the cliff it really didn’t seem that high. Like jumping off the high dive right? Wrong, the fall seemed to go on forever, it was fantastic!
Walking up the switchback from the water to Ia was exhausting, no donkeys this time. Too salty and exhausted to do much we went back to our hotel to shower. Second wind! After waiting for more people to get back and shower me and some girls went out to eat around 10 to a little place on a rooftop. After dinner we decided to go out. Every bar we went to, it seemed to be the Greek thing to not be Greek. There was an English bar, a Scottish bar, and all kinds of places that just play music you would have heard in American clubs…about 5 years ago. It was still fun. We ended up at the Tropical Bar where I danced with a Greek named Nicolo for the rest of the night. It must have been the sweet Santorini air, or his adoring eyes, but I felt like I could dance all night. Eventually, about 3:30am, we went back to the hotel where we jumped in the pool for an early morning swim before collapsing into our beds.
I have not even been in Greece for a month, but as I walked off the ferry in Parikia towards Jimmy’s apartments, I felt like I was going home.