As we approach Santorini, it somehow had escaped me that to see this stunning little island you had to get up the mountain to the villages built on top. The cable car system looked scary and the line to go up was 45 minutes. So with that information, we choose to take a ferry boat to the end of the island and then walked a steep path to the small city, named Oia.
When we arrive, we are immediately speechless and overwhelmed by the beauty of the view. Large rugged rocks jet from the ocean. The water color is bright sapphire. Each house is shockingly white with blue trim and some have yellow shutters. It looks like a fairy land.
We find a restaurant hanging off the cliff. The table has a soft blue and white striped cloth that matches the homes and the Greek flag.
We order chilled, local white wine and fresh bread still warm from the oven. It is served with olive oil and white vinegar. The kitchen is hanging pasta that was made this morning. We eat with thin noodles covered with boloneese sauce.
Why are these people not fat eating this every day? How can they make this kind of food and still not be overweight?
The next course is a platter of cold vegetables–artichokes, tomatoes and peppers. We wander around the village, drinking coffee and eating greek yogurt with fresh raspberries. Sitting at each stop, falling in love all over again with the views of the sea far below.
The day is slipping away and we must catch a tender boat from the island. But now the big question-how to get down the mountain? Again I see the cable cars zooming down toward the dock. The other option is to take a donkeys down the mountain, so we go to just take a peak at the donkey trail. It is a steep set of steps.
So we turn the corner following the smell of …donkeys. Before we can say a word, the man is pointing and yelling, “here, foot here, get up. 5 euro please.” We are hoisted upon the smelly beast and they tie us in a small train of tourists and donkeys. Down the mountain steps we go.
At first I am proud that I am braving the donkey trail, but soon the animals build up some speed and brush me to the side wall. I am holding tight.
Around and around we ride, down one set of steps and down the curving pathway. The young woman behind me is swearing, she is a large 20 something woman from England. Her short skirt is now at her waist. Cursing her boyfriend, she squeals as we trot along.
Not a moment too soon for me we stop. The mule handler/herder a man of maybe 50 with deep wrinkles like his job begins to yell at me. Pointing at the ground I look to see what he is shouting about, and he begins to pull me slightly from the donkey.
Oh Gosh, he wants us to get off. The dock is a long walk off. I jump to the ground and he pets the animal with affection. Whipsering to the mule and rubbing his nose. Like the poor animal had such a load with me. What about the large woman from England?
I begin to walk toward the dock, slightly stiff after only 20 minutes on board the mule.
We make our way to the dock quietly. Passing wandering mules along the way.
I have a overwhelming urge to wash my hands.
I see the cable cars zooming down the mountain. Everyone looks clean and happy. As I look, I feel a slippers substance under my shoes. Donkey poop.
I guess you cant be afraid of cable car, want to visit a mountain top and still come out unscathed. A little dokey poo never killed anyone I guess. Wonder about a cable car????