Trip Start Sep 13, 2005
Trip End Oct 15, 2006

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Flag of Greece  ,
Monday, October 24, 2005

When you're in paradise you can easily forget about the rest of the world. The island of Santorini is one such paradise. It is a place that is on everyone's must see list. You see it on travel lists like 'top 100 places to visit before you die', etc which makes it a tourist hotspot. During the high season the crowds are like swarming locusts or termite infestations, but luckily I made it there at the end of the season. The island had just had 4 or 5 days of bad weather so many thought the season was over. Shop keepers and Inn takers shut down and boarded up fo the season. A few die hards stayed around for the last minute visitors before the semi official end of the season, Oct 31st. I arrived Oct 22nd. The weather was beautiful. Sunny blue skies and my first truly warm shorts weather. I stayed near Perissa beach, famous for its black sand. While some were apologizing for the half open state of the island, I thought this was great. No crowds to deal with, just the beautiful landscape and wonderful Greek People.

My first afternoon there I just enjoyed the beach. The water though cold for the natives, was warmer than any New England beach at the height of summer. After a it of time in the Aegean Sea, I sat on the black sand drying off and writing. I was joined by one of the many stray dogs that are all over Greece. I was happy to have the company as we both just sat in the sun in a state of bliss.

Santorini, known as Thira to the Greeks, looks like the Grand Canyon if it were half full. There are sheer cliffs where the different strata of the ages can be seen. Driving up and down these cliff faces and watchng the natives navigating the narrow streets not meant for cars can be a bit harrowing but the views are breathtaking. My second day on the island included the business of tourism. I took a boat to an active smoldering volcano, stopped by some hot springs, walked up a cliff face and watched the Sunset in Oia (very nice indeed, but the sunrise in Perissa is even more impressive). I think Santornini is a place to be enjoyed, not experienced. My guess is a visit during the high season would be quite an experience, like Martha's Vineyard on a weekend in July, nice but a bit chaotic. At the end of the season without the crwods, I could enjoy the natural wonders of this splendid Island. I could hear the waves without mom's yelling at their kids and I could watch a sunset without tourists snappng pictures all around me. It really is a magical mystical place.
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