White, Blue and Everything Greek

Posted by:     Tags:      Posted date:  September 25, 2011  |  Comment
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We were in Santorini again today. Santorini is one of my favorite stops because it’s beautiful, unique and everything interesting is close the port. It’s a bit like being in Alaska but with donkeys. It’s built atop the remains of a volcanic caldera, in order to avoid cheeky pirates. (Sounds like the pretense to the next Pirates squeal, starring Johnny Depp.)

This time, I went on a tour which involved some volcano hiking, which was slightly more exciting than my last volcano hike. I was still disappointed that there was no flowing lava but at least there were a few fissure vents with steam this time, so that was exciting. But truthfully, dormant volcanoes are overrated. You’re better off visiting Rotorua in New Zealand.

I also visited the nearby village of Pyrgos. It’s a classic Greek village with 40 small churches for its 700 inhabitants. I guess they were taking the “Starbucks approach” to religion – a church on every corner.

I finally found out why all the houses are white and blue. It’s not because they are unimaginative, after all. Turns out, limewater was originally used to disinfect houses before a proper sewage system was built. The white color coincidentally kept the houses cool and so painting houses white became tradition. Blue represents the sea, sky and heaven, making it another popular color. Thus the Greek flag, which is white and blue represents the predominant colors you see in Greece – white buildings and blue skies and sea.

The roads in Pyrgos all meander like something out of a Dali painting. Apparently, the Greeks did not like climbing stairs and they believed that meandering roads would confuse pirates. My theory is everyone was drunk on Ouzo when they built the roads.

After the tour, we headed to a restaurant to enjoy some Greek food and more importantly Greek wine. I’m not usually a fan of white wine but after 3 glasses, I changed my mind. Lunch was a tasting platter consisting of tzatziki (yoghurt, cucumber and garlic dip), taramasalata (fish roe spread), some bean spread which tasted like hummus but with something missing, sausage and a cheese samosa-looking thing. It was yummy, except for the fish roe spread which tasted like a fish crapped in my mouth.

I wanted to finish my visit with a donkey ride down the hill but the overpowering smell of ass in the sweltering heat was just too much to handle right after lunch. But definitely next time. I mean, how often do you have the opportunity to use a donkey as public transport?

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I'm a wanderer, couchsurfer, writer, illustrator, uncoordinated dancer, unwitting minimalist, party enthusiast, free hugger and now a crewman. Follow me @roymarvelous .................................................................................................................... Also, find out how to work on cruise ships. Or check out the new T-shirt & Card store.

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No Vacation Required

We spent some time in Santorini following the 2004 Olympics and have wanted to go back ever since. Kent and I loved to sit and stare out at the Aegean and imagine how easy it must have been to create mythological tales.
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