Saturday, March 3, 2012

Santorini...

We were admittedly rather grumpy when we arrived in Santorini; the result of a taxi scam at the port, the tribulations of a broken suitcase,  and the fact that we were trying to go somewhere that had no actual address.  But, when we finally arrived in Oia (pronounced ee-uh), all our mauvais temp√©raments were forgotten.  Oia was absolutely beautiful, exactly the iconic Greek village that I had been expecting.  
This is what we saw as we dragged suitcases over the cobbled streets and staircases:  white houses with blue doors and roofs, windmills, churches, volcanic rocks,  and too many friendly cats and dogs to name.  It reminded me quite a bit of this little movie.






The island of Santorini is crescent shaped, the result of a volcanic explosion thousands of years ago that is thought to have wiped out Minoan civilizations.  The houses are built high on the island, precaution against pirates, and every house is partially a cave, built back into the cliffs.  In several guidebooks, it said that Santorini was known for being the highest concentrated vampire population in the world.  This myth, we learned, stems from the soil; bodies decompose more slowly here.  
We didn't see any pirates or vampires when we arrived.  In fact, we didn't really see anyone.  Santorini is a tourist destination, the number one honeymoon island, and wedding destination, but only during "the season".  Right now, in winter, the island is desolate; beautiful, but haunting.