Published: December 16th 2009December 16th 2009
Well, Oia was spectacular. It was definitely the most picturesque part of the island that I have seen so far (I think on Friday I am going to get that rental car to explore the southern part of the island). Unfortunately, because of the clouds, the sunset was a little disappointing. However, the views were great. It is kind of nice since there are so few tourists here, its like we all have this common bond. We all rode the crazy bus together. (To get to Oia you have to take this jarring cliff-side road. I cannot imagine driving a car, much less a bus, along that road!) We all were trying to find the best place to watch the sun set. I loved how there is a sign painted on the side of one of the buildings that basically said “sunset this way.” We finally found our way to this little outpost that was clearly the place to be. So there we were, all ten of us and Oia’s very intense (but friendly) pack of local dogs. Dogs here seem to pretty much roam free. It’s odd. If I could give Oia a Christmas present, it would be a popper
scooper, but I digress. Anyway, these dogs have a pretty good life. From what I can see they just hang out and watch this spectacular sunset every single night and make life hard for the town’s cats.
Unfortunately, there was pretty much no place to eat dinner in the town, so I headed back to Fira (wasn’t going to risk missing the bus and being stranded… it’s on a peculiar schedule… you pretty much need to arrive 15 minutes early and be prepared to stay for it to show up 20 minutes late. It seems to be early about 50% of the time and late about 50% of the time). There wasn't really anywhere there to eat either. Don’t know what it is with these people and actual food. I ended up getting a gyro from a stand in town which was hopping, since it was pretty much the only establishment serving food. It makes me realize why I ended up eating in the same place two nights in a row… it is pretty much the only place there is!
Yesterday I went to a winery on the island for a tour and tasting, which had
been arranged by my father. I didn’t really know what to expect. When I called the winery the day before the person who answered the phone didn’t speak any English and hung up on me. It was like I was my dad’s on the ground operative. Well, the owner said he would pick me up between 3:30 and 4pm. I finally called him at 4:15 since he had yet to show, to make sure I had the right day and time. He assured me he was “one minute” from my hotel and showed up around 4:30. Okay. He seemed preoccupied and told me had a cold and cough (still smoking though—what is it with these people?). I took some pictures of the winery, which definitely has a different look than anything I’ve ever seen. The vines are coiled in an O shape close to the ground. They have to have them that way because of the weather and wind. Anyway, then we toured the winery facility. I have realized that all wine making machinery looks pretty much the same. I am just getting so jaded.
I was trying to take pictures for dad (I told the wine maker he
was lucky that he got me instead of dad who would be take 10x the number of pictures I was) and also to understand what the winemaker was saying through his thick accent. Then we tasted the white wines, which I have to say were excellent. We also tasted the vin santo (desert wine) which was really just very sweet. I am not much of a fan of desert wine. I have to say, I think the greatest level of human connection I experienced with the winemaker was when I commented on his birds. (People have canaries and parakeets in little cages all over the place here--both inside and out--something I find quite charming.) It was like his demeanor totally changed. Clearly this gruff and kind of grumpy Greek man loves his little birds. He said he has had then for 12 years and that he brings them inside in winter because it is just too cold for them outside. That’s some bird love right there! Well then he took me back to my hotel and I decided to go for take-out for dinner. I have been reading The Time Traveler’s Wife. It’s kind of odd, but so good. I
am totally sucked in!
There are more photos below