The not so picturesque view of Santorini

Trip Start Jun 02, 2010
Trip End Oct 03, 2010

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Flag of Greece  , Cyclades,
Saturday, September 4, 2010

Okay, so I have been on this cruise for a few days now.  Other than the complete lack of sleep it has been rather enjoyable.  The visit to Dubrovnik was fun, even if it is overly priced and extremely crowded.  I would have liked to walk along the wall surrounding the city, however, none of us had the energy or the desire to deal with the intense, hot sun.  Corfu and Argostoli were both interesting, even if I did sleep through half of them (stupid allergies have been acting up to the point that I can't lie down without coughing).  However, this entry is meant to describe an experience that, if you ever go to Santorini, you simply must...well...experience.

When you get off the boat you are led to a dock that is full of hawkers and tourists.  I know, you're completely shocked to find either of these things on Santorini, Greece.  Anyway, since Santorini is built on top of a Caldera (why in God's name someone thought THAT was a good idea, I can't tell you) you have to get up a RUL steep cliff in order to get into the actual town.  There are only 3 ways in which to get to the top.  1)Take the tram up, which had a 2 hour wait (there were 4 other cruise ships docked with us). 2) Ride a mule and hope it doesn't stop half way up. 3) Walk your ass to the top.  Guess which one my family chose.  That's right, we chose numero tres. 

Allow me to paint a picture, if you will: The cliff is over 900 feet in elevation.  The "road" is non-stop switch backs and is comprised of VERY uneven and slick stones.  What makes the stones so slick? you may ask.  Oh, only the tons and tons of mule piss and crap that these wonderful animals have left for us to try and avoid.  You can imagine the smell.  The "road" itself is only about 6-10 feet in width so while you are struggling to breath but not SMELL you are also trying to avoid all the mules coming up and down the road.  The ones going up really don't give a damn where you are and will just run into you without hesitation.  The ones coming down are coming down in a stampede.  Yes, we could have waited in the line to take the little gondolas to the top.  However, it only took us 45 minutes to walk to the top, even with all the mules and refuse in our way.

The one thing I can say is that the view at the top is a million times more breathtaking when you can take your first breath of fresh air.  The road leading into the center of the town also has numerous over priced cafes, which are rushed by all those crazy enough to walk up the cliff on a 95 degree day.  Yeah, we definitely took advantage of one of these conveniently placed cafes.  Afterwords we meandered the streets, popping into various tourist shops.  I wanted to buy a white dress, but I was NOT willing to pay 50 Euros + for it.  I know, I'm cheap.

After a couple more hours of wandering around and trying to avoid crowds (which is IMPOSSIBLE on this small island) we headed back down.  And yes, we walked back down.  Granted, walking down a hill is easier than walking up.  Unless the stones are slippery and you fear that if you slip you will end up with mule poo on your ass.  Luckily I did not fall.  Everyone clap!  However, I did witness a few tumbles.  And this one German chick even took off her shoes.  GUH-ROSS!  When we got back into the ferry boat we realized just how few of our fellow cruisers had decided to walk.  They all looked at us as if we were crazy for doing it.  All I wanted to tell them was that while they were waiting in line I was getting excellent exercise and had a gorgeous view of a mules rear end.
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