Friday, May 27, 2011

The latest news (for the third and final time)

Well, Santorini turned out to be all that we had expected, and more. We are presently on a ferry (really quite comfortable -- I hadn't known what to expect) bound for the island of Milos, which ought prove to be of a very different character than Santorini.

As for the former, we decided to see a bit more of it than our feet would allow and had the hotel arrange for us a couple of scooter rentals. Alas, despite the fact that I drove a motorcycle for some 5 years and Tom is, well, Tom, without a moto license we could only rent this piece of shit:

I'm sure if we had rented in person we could have haggled around the license issue because subsequently I saw plenty of folks on scooters who had obviously never even sat astride such a thing before, never mind having a license, but whatever. We got the beast.

This thing was a huge piece of shit, beginning with the fact that well, it's a quad, compounded by the fact that it was thrashed to within an inch of its life. Certainly there were better quality quads available, because we SAW the fancy ones with all the bells and whistles like, you know, functioning mirrors and blinkers and stuff. Bits of ours were literally held together with bailing wire and staples:

Nevertheless, we clambered on in good faith and headed out to explore the island. I left the driving to the much-more capable Tom. A wise choice, as driving the thing turned out to be less about driving and more about just keeping it from crashing. The engine sounded just like a refrigerator with two hours to live, GAAARRRRrrrrrrrrGAAARRRRrrrrrrGAAAAARRRRrrrrr! What a pig!

Being volcanic in origin, the beaches of Santorini are not the typical white sandy things of the rest of the Cyclades, instead offering some more unique varieties. We spent some time at a black beach:

a red beach,

and, my favorite, a kinda gray beach:

and had ourselves a really nice lunch at a traditional Greek taverna. The island is covered in vineyards. Interestingly, due to the hot, arid climate here the grapes are not grown in the fashion you might see in Napa or, presumably, France. Rather, they wind the vines into "baskets" on the ground, which hold in as much moisture as possible, and thus the vineyards look like this:

We stopped at vineyard and got ourselves a great bottle of the local wine for about 12 bucks. Super tasty!

Yesterday we once again headed out on foot for the town of Oia. Knowing the terrain better, this time we covered this distance in record time, though this time Tom pretty much beat me. Walking. Then asked me to pose for this picture:


We had a delicious seafood lunch at this picturesque spot:
Well, mine was delicious. Tom ordered calamari, so he got what he deserved. Granted, it was probably the best calamari I have ever tasted, but in my mind there's a built-in limitation there.

We returned to our room, I cooked up a pretty tasty dinner, we downed yet another bottle of the local wine, and under this sunset:

Tom proposed to me and I, of course, said yes.


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