Sunday, March 19, 2006

Oia, Santorini.

Heaven on Earth.

I think that there are many places to be considered paradise.
I think that we have stumbled across one.
I think this is an ideal day.

This morning, I awoke to the sound of church bells, bright sun and blue skies. It is Sunday here and the town is vacant. Most people have gone to church, so the town is quiet. Since it is March, there are very few tourists. Thank God. From what I can tell, Santorini is swamped with people during the summer. I am so thankful that we seemed to have missed that, and instead, we have the town to ourselves. The only downfall, if you can call it that, is that the town seems a little disheveled, as if it is recovering from the onslaught of the last tourist season, the winter and the rains. Many places are boarded up…many shops, restaurants and hotels have yet to open for the season and repairs are being made with shop, road renovations and the repainting of the buildings….. the stark white and the bright blue. (the winds and rains reek havoc on the paint, we are told)

I find a bakery that is open and buy breakfast and some instant coffee. Nescafe is quite popular here, in Greece. It seems that most people opt for it over a nice pull of espresso. Funny how that is. I come home with a sweet ‘challah’ like bread, a molasses cake with raisins and nuts, yogurt, greek honey and a sweet called Galaktoboureko, which is basically a flan-like custard in between flaky phyllo pastry, drizzled with honey.

The church bells ring again and I head out to explore. I walk down the mainstreet past cafes, jewelry stores, a bookshop, a souvenir shop..again, most closed, but I do get a sense of the community here nonetheless. Everyone knows each other and as they make repairs, they chat, sip their Nescafe, soak in some sun and gaze out to the caldera.

I wonder if they know just how good they have it here. All of it is breathtaking, the view, the colors, the way the houses are built into the side of the hill, as if they were literally carved out of the rock..

I picture myself here. I even picked out my bakery location. It is a place that is perched on the cliff, along with everything else. There is a patio on the side with the stunning views of the water and the islets beyond, and inside as well, windows cover the whole wall, facing the caldera. Attached to the bakery, would be my bed and breakfast…and next door on the other side, would be a bookshop (hmm, this could be a family business…)

We spend the day walking around, making friends with the many dogs and cats that roam free here. We take a walk down to the water accompanied by our friend “Ruff”, and when we come back to our patio to relax and have an afternoon drink, our friend “Lucky”, or “Anchovy” as T calls him, is waiting to greet us. He is a vocal guy who stakes out our patio and cries or follows us if we leave. He looks just like Marley, the cat… (not to be confused with the Thompson dog) Min, I believe he has begun another good life here in Oia, lazing in the sun and gazing at the sea…

Pictures to follow...

1 comment:

mindy said...

i'm glad marley has found a good resting place in the sun....