Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Great Break in Santorini

Wosog and I had a great holiday in Santorini. As I said in a previous post, Santorini is actually a group of islands. By far the biggest is Thera (or Thira), where we stayed, but the group also includes a smaller island called Thirasia, as well as two volcanic islands called Nea Kameni (which has several craters and last erupted in 1950) and Palea Kameni (which has hot springs). Finally there is tiny island with a prominent upper layer of pumice called Aspronisi. There are a few people on Thirasia but the vast majority of the Santorini population stay on Thera.

We stayed in Perissa, which is basically a beach resort. The apartments had quite a nice swimming pool, but Wosog, who loves to swim in the sea, didn't use it at all. They guy who looked after the pool was extremely obsessional about it. It was fascinating to watch him go through his routine every day, but it seemed to work because I don't think I've ever seen a cleaner pool! The Pool Man was middle-aged, and never smiled, partly because he was constantly nagged by his rather vain wife. We later found out that he was a retired Albanian policeman, which somehow seemed to explain a lot.

Behind Perissa, between it and the bigger resort of Kamari, is the small mountain Mesa Vouno that has the ruins of the city of Ancient Thera on top of it. In an effort to try and avoid excessive holiday weight gain, I actually climbed (or rather walked) up Mesa Vouno 3 times: once to photograph a little church perched on the side of the mountain, and twice to visit Ancient Thera (once without, and once with Wosog). Aren't you proud of me?

Unfortunately, it didn't work and I came back an even bigger blob than before.
Don't worry, the diet has already started!