We're on the fabulous island of Santorini. The population is about 2000 ppl according to Lonely Planet and I think that half of the population here must work in jewellry stores and tacky tourist shops. I'm a bit mystified by the number of jewellry stores here... do women get their men to buy them baubles on vacation??
I must admit that I had this misconception that Santorini was filled with these blue-domed buildings. These, I've actually only seen on churches. The rest of the buildings are white-domed but no worries... there seems to be a church every kilometre or so for your phototaking needs.
Two things I have to rant about in greece: bikinis and showers.
1st. bikinis. the new fad around here seems to be this new bikini bottom. Its smaller than a bikini bottom in terms of width but wider than a thong. The end result: if you're any bigger than a size 2 your ass will hang out tremendously for all the world to see. Not so flattering...
2nd. showers. I do have a bit of a gripe with greek showers. First, they're completely hand held. What's with that? Also, they seem to be in
these mini cubicles that have no tub. Often, they have no shower curtain or if they do have one, the curtains don't hang inside of the tub. End result? Water sprayage everywhere. Its not so bad if you're the first to take a shower, but if you're going on after that... better bring water shoes.
Today we rented a little car and drove around the island. It was extremely exciting for me as I've always stuck to public transit with travelling. I hadn't fully realized that the island was as small as it was. I was pretty good at navigating the roads but a turnoff I would anticipate 10 minutes later would come about a 1 1/2 min later. We had to do a lot of U-turns.
We hit up the famous red beach complete with... yes - red sand. Its a unique byproduct of the volcanic rock formations here on the island. Nearby was the archaeological site of Akrotiri, preserved with lava ash, but alas it was closed.
From there, we drove around and checked out Kamari and the archaeological site of Thira. I had invisioned a pleasant easy day so I wore only a bikini, short
skirt and flipflops. Thira was located at the top of a hill (mini-mountain) which stressed poor Janice out as there were some tight hairpin turns. Luckily, we didn't run into any buses along the way. There was about a 15 min hike up to the site alone. Suddenly, along the hike I had visions of my flipflops breaking down leaving me barefoot to get down to the car. Luckily that didn't happen then... it happened on the hot-on-the-feet black beach down below (is that ninja mind tricks at work?).
Santorini is home to some fabulous wines and we made efforts to appreciate them. We hit up Volcan wines which had an underground wine museum. The museum was pretty sophisticated as sensors would trigger the lights and animate the characters. It was pretty cool except for the turning head of this one doll reminding me of Chuckie movies (thats the ones with the animated psycho dolls right?)
We learned that wine stomping was the only time of year (back in the 19th century) that women could leave their village/home with their father's permission. This often led to marriage. I wonder what the stats were on marriage after the pressing of
grapes became mechanized... SMy favorite wine of Santorini has to be the vinsanto this sweet red dessert wine reminding me of a similar wine from Tokaj, Hungary. This wine takes about 5 kg of grapes to make 700 mL.
Tomorrow we're heading on a tour to check out the volcano, hot springs and the sunset at Oia. Then we're trying to make it to Turkey.
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