I must have been Greek at one time whether it is the greek blood flowing in my veins through my ancestors or just a cosmic connection to this place. Of all the places I have been, there is no place that feels like home as Greece does. I have had this indelible smile on my face and at times get a surge of giddiness as I walk around Santorini. Maybe it is the ever present smell of pine and wild thyme, or the heat which is not a humid heat considering this is an island. Maybe it is the warmth of the people. I have never figured it out, but each time here feels like a return to home.
My hotel gave me a choice of a quite room with a view of the dried out fields or a noisier room that sits above the road but overlooks the caldera and has a fantastic evening view. Of course, I took the room with a view and somehow manage to mostly block out the quads, scooters, bikes and cars that are ripping up and down the road all day as people frantically - I suppose - seek a beach?
Speaking of which, I really dislike sand beaches and prefer the pebbles. Flora, at reception, told me about a little beach that only locals go to not too far of a walk from the hotel. So girding my loins and taking along beach essentials - towel, book (Miracle at St. Anna's), fruit, and water I gallantly picked my way down the steep winding path. I waded alond the rocky shore line and found exactly what I was looking for. Hidden among the moonscape was a little cove of small rocks. This became my refuge for the next few hours. Judging from the colour of my skin though, I think the time was a bit long, but I wanted to finish the book. It was not a great book, but a summer read as Leslie would say. However, the idea of humanity in the time of war and of redemption was beautifully revealed.
I took the bus in to Fira (or Thira) for the later afternoon and wandered the streets. I have never seen so many beautiful jewelery stores as I did. They glistened and sparkled in the sun - emeralds, diamonds. rubies, sapphires - set into exquisite settings. The one shop that had many Byzantine styles was the best though. Of course, I had to look at watches and found an amazing Stuhrling numbered piece for only $1700 euro. To buy or not to buy. That is half a furnace, but it was number 91 out of only 125 watches made. So an investment? Well, nature takes care of its own, and when I went to take a look at it again, it was sold. So, it never was mine. Whew!
The day ended by heading to a point close by and watching the sun set over the Aegean sea. So simple, so quiet, so beautiful. Even the busy quads and bikes and cars (well most) stopped to watch. A short walk home, a lovely meal of kefylatiri, peaches, apricots, olives and wine on my balcony was a perfect ending to a fantastic day.
I met with a bit of a disappointment today as I found out the cooking class that was supposed to be arranged was full. However, disappointment doesn't last long in sunshine and beauty, so I went to Fira and had a pedicure instead. It felt wonderful and was needed after trekking around in dust and sandals. Then I had an idea. I have to real travel rush, so I emailed the school again last night to see if they had room for me on Tuesday. If they do, I will leave for Rodos on Wednesday instead of Monday. It is all good.