2.17.2010

Greece Adventure - Day 7 - a cold, stinky, and rainy day in Santorini


I like this a mythical sea creature on a boat


As much as I enjoy re-living my time on the islands, I can't help but to remember how disappointed I was on my last day in Santorini. It has been almost 5 months since my vacation in Greece, and I can still feel the coldness of the “not hot” hot springs by the volcano and I can still smell rain soaked donkey poop on the winding staircase down to the old port. I expected my last day in Santorini to be forever memorable, and it was, but for all the wrong reasons.

Expectations:

Start with a leisure walk down the stairs from downtown Fira to the old port, followed by a breezy boat ride to the volcano for a hike, and then we would be dropped into the hot springs for a relaxing swim before we come back happily and satisfied.

Reality:

We woke up to a raining and cold day. After breakfast, we spent almost one hour walking down the stairs from downtown Fira to the old port. I walked as slowly as possible because it was raining and we had to walk carefully to aviod the piles and piles of donkey poop. Occasionally, we had to scurry to the side of the road to avoid being trampled by the occasional tourist riding a donkey down those same steps. Occasionally, I would hear a scream and/or curse as someone slipped and fell onto the poop. To make it even worse, I was wearing flip flops.




Picture taken before the heavy rain, before we walked down the stairs to the old port, and before we saw all the poop these donkeys produced...


The breezy boat ride to the volcano was too breezy that it was freezing. The walk on the volcano indeed took place but was done in the pouring rain. And then the hot springs that I was most looking forward to turned out to be cold and smelly. The water was beautiful because it was in green, yellow, and red due to the minerals from the volcano, but it was not hot at all.

Right before I was about to jump into the ocean, I was stopped in front of everyone by the staff asking if I knew how to swim. Nobody else was stopped but me! So I looked at him and said, “yes”. He looked hesitantly and asked me one more time, “Can you really swim?” I got a bit annoyed and said “yes, in various styles.” So he let go of my arm.

I wasn’t in the mood to argue with anyone while I was in my bikini in front of this beautiful colorful water. However, being discriminated on was no fun! Even though I knew he was just concerned about our safety, it was done in quite an embarrassing way. So, in order to change how the Santorini boat tour workers think about skinny Asian ladies they meet in the future, I stayed very brave and swam for the longest time in the group (only 15 minutes) in this very cold, salty, and smelly volcano water.




Arriving to the volcano from this boat, looking back at Fira

Major lessons learned:
  1. Greece changes a lot in different weather conditions. Plan accordingly by the weather reports and prepare for the worst.
  2. This boat tour should be fine, so if you get their on a sunny day, sign up for it immediately for that day.
  3. The volcano hot spring is not hot at all.
  4. Do not walk up from or down to the old port. Just take the gondola. I don’t think riding the donkey is a good choice either as they are stinky, moody, and probably being abused by their owners.

PS: Due to the high risk of my camera touching donkey poop, I took very few pictures this day. Visit this website for more info about the tour.

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