Thursday, April 7, 2016

Our day on the sea

I have fallen in love with the simplicity of this place. Mind we are staying an extra day as it turns out, so, yesterday took all four of us on a high seas adventure (one for tourists at least)!
We sailed on the Aegean Sea aboard a sailing boat equipped with motor. We walked across a volcano and were awed at the toxic smoke that continues to spew forth from its belly, even to this day.
Am so pleased that was all that spewed forth from it!
We listened to the story by our presiding captain, of how volcanoes, this one in particular, were formed, and why the villages are all painted a gleaming white, with blue domes on the churches.
We were held captive on an island for lunch and made to pay middle range prices for very ordinary food...(everything else is closed on this day apparently on this island), but the views from the beach and the quaint sea side scenes were more than made up for our hijacked lunch.

Murray and Kieran ventured into the coolish waters with enough others (hence why Mez and I stayed on board) to swim over to the heated spring waters, made orange by rust apparently. We were then dropped off at the tiny port of Oia where we had to venture up up up into the gods to the town bustling with tourists preparing to bunker down and watch the sun set.
Our choice to go to the top was either donkey ride or walk. Donkey rides cost 5€ and even for that price I would have felt guilty allowing a poor donkey to haul me up the hillside. All the other donkeys would have been busy hee-hawing at me so I decided to tempt fate by walking up the very steep hill of what seemed 1000 steps with my darling daughter in tow ensuring I didn't collapse on the way up. Kieran sprinted up (virtually), Murray The Great chose a donkey ride 

whilst Merryn and I laboured up step by step, carefully avoiding donkey poo and lizards on the way up, having breaks every so often and distracting ourselves with photos to mark the journey. It was hot, hard yakka getting up there I might say at this juncture, but not once did I think I wasn't going to make it as I had my girl with me encouraging every step of the way.
So, we made it to the top of the hill and felt like we'd accomplished a marathon.....eventually.
Up the top, we found numerous arcades selling all sorts of wares...touristy stuff and classic beautiful clothes...all for the slender woman in us all!
There were bags and scarves and perfumes and jewellery en masse, foodstuffs, shoes, sports wear paintings, ceramic artefacts, all very up-market.
We eventually stopped walking for a bit to admire the view and decided to sit overlooking the sea whilst we dined on pasta, seafood and the always accompanying tzatziki garnished with one olive and lots of bread.

I feel I could live this life long term...not sure what the rest of my family would have to say about that.
Am sure there's a job for a midwife here somewhere!
Following our impromptu dinner, we headed down towards more spectacular views of the water to witness yet another glorious sunset.
There were a number of vantage spots where people congregated in large numbers and it was all a bit noisy in the crowded throng. There were young kids doing foolish things like balancing on the edge of buildings for dares and to attract attention, so I wandered down towards the quieter part of town where there were windmills attached to a couple of the houses.
Here the views were even more superior and with the added bonus of no noise what so ever, it was simply bliss.
The rammed earth homes built on the cliff side around here are available for short term accomodation and are described as authentic homes in which to live. So tempting to investigate a bit further.......
I think though, in order to appreciate the environment here one would have to stay out of the summer season when there is less fuss and bother to deal with.
There's something to be said for quiet and feeling like you're the only people on earth in a little bit of paradise...
We watched the sun descend gently to the earth, taking the light with it on its way and it was then time to hike it back to the bus stop in time for our ride home to El Greco.
There is always time though for one more photo and I managed to take a few as we went...

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