Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Windy Aegean


“The sun is rising and the colors are beautiful!” said Ray with enthusiasm at 7am. We bounced out of the room, cameras in hand and ran off in different directions to capture the soft colored shadows of the early morning light. I walked the path and went down steps in various directions, seeking the perfect photo. Along the way, I encountered the garbage collector with his donkey, traversing the narrow steps and paths. Workers were coming in to town, and everywhere there were signs of preparation for the tourist season-lots of painting and construction in progress. Gift shops were preparing to open but the town was peaceful in its awakening. I could smell the aroma of fresh bread from the bakery across the way, and my dog buddies greeted me happily and followed me in my quest. 2 hours later, I returned, and we sat on the balcony happily munching on freshly made pastries. The wind had died down a bit and the sky was bluer than it had been the previous day. We were sad to be leaving this beautiful place. Our flight was not until 6pm, and we had plans to drive south through Fira and to visit the smaller towns and possibly the archeological site of Thera. However, the Aegean was bringing in strong winds and it certainly was not the day to be climbing a caldera. Once in Fira, we discovered it was way too touristy for us—alley upon alley of gift shops, hotels and restaurants, and tourists by the busloads; we couldn’t wait to leave. Lunch there was also disappointing as the moussaka was certainly not up to par and we were not happy to learn that bread placed on your table comes with a charge if you eat it. We were thankful that we had chosen to stay in Oia, for what a completely different experience Santorini would have been otherwise! We drove through a few of the picturesque medieval towns and returned our car to the airport for our flight to Athens.

The clear skies gave us a view of the multitude of islands, large and small, popping up in the blue waters. The flight was uneventful and we were on our way to the Holiday Inn, not quite an airport hotel but the closest hotel to the airport. We took full advantage of the amenities-worked out in the fitness room, used the business center to check email, did some laundry, and got cleaned up.

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