Monday, July 12, 2010

Whats black and red and white all over? SANTORINI

Me on the wall in Thira, Santorini

The coast of Thira, Santorini. This is where we watched the sunset. My camera doesn't do the sunset justice so I will wait until I can get someone elses's sunset pictures before I post any.

This is what Santorini looks like when you first see it from the ferry.

See those little, tiny buildings at the bottom of the picture? That is the port where the ferry unloads. The buildings on top of the cliff is the town where we took a long, winding bus ride to Thira.

As I mentioned in my previous entry, Greece is full of new experiences for me. Few people I know can say that they have done most or any of them. But through all these weeks, the singular, outstanding place I would recommend everyone going to is Santorini. When we arrived there, you could tell it was different from any other island. When you arrive to other islands, you come upon a port that is part of the city. But in Santorini, the first and really only thing you see is a cliff and huge rock formations. Then you take a bus up the winding roads up to Thira, where we stayed.

I fell in love with Santorini the first night. Paros is wonderful, and another must-see spot in Greece, but nothing can compare with the Santorini sunset. I had chills when I looked out over the bay and saw the sun start to turn. The sight is literally incredible. In the actual and full sense of the word incredible, as in I couldn’t believe the beauty! Both nights we were there, my classmates and I enjoyed watching the sunset. And both nights we watched it, everyone clapped as the sun disappeared. It seemed like the town stopped for those few minutes in order to relish the last few minutes of the day and to watch the pink sun set and fall into the ocean among the harsh rocks and crowded cliffs of the island. In America, it is rare that people stop to take the time to enjoy the nature around them. In Santorini, it is inevitable. You can’t ignore beauty like that. The second night we watched the sunset we saw a couple taking wedding pictures in front of the sunset. This is a testament to the romanticism of the island.

I would have liked another day to enjoy the beaches and to check out the archaeological museum, but I am more than thrilled with my time there. Nevertheless, Paros still takes my vote on the best beaches though. I haven’t been to Naxos, but I heard that it has nice beaches too. The Santorini beaches get points for being unique. Where else can you find black, red and white beaches all on the same island? The black and white beaches were only reachable by boat. We took a boat over to the furthest beach and made our way back. The black beach was neat because it was full of black lava. We had fun throwing it at and aiming at the umbrella stands to make them cling. But I am still a fan of the gorgeous golden beaches that Paros has to offer like Farangas, Golden and Pounda beaches. Another interesting point was that there was no real boat schedule to the beaches. It came every one or one and a half or two hours. The boat didn’t come back for us at the black beach for two hours. This is very different than in America where everyone has a strict schedule and couldn’t just go with the flow like that. Let alone go without the cell phone! There was no signal on the beaches either. The complete relaxation and release of reality is ubiquitous in Greece. I am going into my eighth week of not having a cell phone, and it will be interesting to have the use of it again. Either I will use it a lot or have grown out of my reliance on the immediate accessibility of everyone. The loose sense of time in Greece has also grown on me. I can’t think of when I last looked at the time. I don’t have a watch and am usually dependent on my cell phone instead. Therefore, since I don’t have a mobile here, I am completely oblivious of what time it is most of the day. The easy going lifestyle is something I have gotten used to and will be an interesting transition speeding life up once I get back to school.

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