Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sunburn and Great Vistas


Strong winds rattled the shutters and whistled between the buildings during the night. It is no wonder that people built cave houses; their homes would have gotten blown away otherwise. Early morning was breathtaking as I headed out with my camera and Ray went for a long jog. The paths were empty, the air cool and moist. I really enjoyed the morning calm and the sun rising over the hill. I was greeted by 3 dogs who quickly became my loyal buddies for the morning, running ahead of me on the path, resting on the ground when I stopped, and coming up for scratches and belly rubs. I shot pictures of the sun’s glow on the white buildings, the sun shining through the church steeple, the bright blue domes contrasting with the white walls, and the islands in the distance.

After our morning outing, we stopped for Turkish coffee and then headed out for our long hike toward Fira. The walk took us along the upper edge of the caldera through meadows of wild daisies, up hilly passes overlooking the sea below, and views of the village of Imerovigli in the distance. It was a warm day, quite windy in spots, and somewhat overcast, though we later realized the sun was quite strong on our bare skin. We stopped in the village of Imerovigli, which was busy in preparations for the summer season; everybody was painting and building but not much was open. We managed to find a small store, bought fresh bread, salami and cheese and had lunch in the square. It was a delicious lunch; the bread crusty and soft. The walk was a total of 10 miles and we were both sunburned when we returned and ready to sit and lounge. We had dinner at a local restaurant; according to Rena, all of them are good! I had a superb moussaka. We joined the crowds trying to view the so called “famous” sunset; the skies turned a glowing pink but the angle of the sun shone on the backside of the buildings and did not cast their glow on the picturesque side of the village. It had been a perfect day, relaxing and peaceful. What a wonderful place Santorini is.

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