Santorini - the land of guuhhmazing cliffside views, candy colored buildings and derpy dogs. Not gonna lie, the idyllic image everyone has of this tiny island in the Cyclades isn't immediately apparent. Instead, what you're instantly met with is vast fields scattered with derelict buildings, random spare parts and overall slight ghettoness. Probably a mixture of preseason meh and economy fail. For me, Santorini hovers in this awkward no man's land where it lacks quaintness typical of small communities (thanks to its tourist-centric nature) and the luxury found in resort towns. I may be bursting some bubbles here, but I'm sure it's a whole new world during high season.
When the dust settles (literally, we're talking hardcore typhoon 8 style shit-in-my-eyes winds) and expectations are calibrated we found there's a lot to love about Santorini, which I hope I captured in my photos. Views that you can sit for hours just taking in, an unexpected appreciation for the outdoor life (one that I am extremely unfamiliar with) and once in a lifetime donkey
rides races (the best part). Afterall, when you're sitting at a cafe drinking Fanta Lemonade, you're sitting in a cafe in Greece drinking Fanta lemonade. That's pretty amazing and it's the little things that count. Here are some of my general observations:
1) There is an overwhelming amount of stray dogs and cats that the island just cooperatively take care of by leaving food out. It can be one of the best things about the island (for myself included), or a nightmare if you are not an animal person.
2) No stranger danger here - Santorini is super safe which explains the many solo travelers we came across
3) Majority of the tourists are Asian, and majority of the people on the island are tourists.
4) All the architecture looks like it's freshly painted every season, also suggested by the many painters we saw
I'm not really snubby when it comes to food, put a plate of McWings in front of me and I'm good to go, so the food was definitely belly-satisfying. Despite about 60% of the restaurants being closed because it was too early into the season, we had our good share of fresh seafood, melty moussaka and zomg souvlaki pitas.
All in all a good holiday and I feel super lucky to have gone. I engaged in more hiking than I've done in my entire life, and it's just as well cause I'm kind of...really into Bear Grylls right now.