Saturday, August 16, 2008

Well done, nature

Day 4 in Santorini we decided to go down to sea level and check out the med. We'd been out for dinner the night before and bumped into a couple from Sheffield ("a little town in the north of England; you probably wouldn't have heard of it"), both of whom heartily recommended the Bay of Ammoudi at the northern tip of the island. We figured we'd give it a go.

A reminder for those following along at home but not quite as well as you should: Oia is 700-1,000ft above sea level, atop cliffs looking over the sea. That means that to get down to the sea you need to find a way down those cliffs... and waddyaknow they have a whole bunch of rocky steps leading down to Ammoudi beach. Perfect for keeping most of the hoi-polloi away; also perfect, as it turned out, for those wanting an intense quadricep workout.

We swam in the med down at the bottom, which was... howdoyousay... invigorating. After splashing around for a while we got some lunch (and a bottle of lovely retsina) to fuel our climb back up to town-level again, which gave us just enough time to head back to the hotel, change, and come back out to see the sunset

Santorini is famous for sunsets, of which you can find about 90,000 pictures on Google. We were expecting quite the spectacle, then, and it was indeed rather lovely. Oddest of odd things, though: when the last glimmer of orange sun had disappeared beyond the horizon, the crowd which had gathered to watch erupted in spontaneous applause. Applauding sunsets? Congratulating nature on a job well done? Do these people clap at flowers, cheer trees and give standing ovations to majestic mountain ranges?

All very unexpected. I took this photo on the way to the great event.

The Caldera

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