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Simply Stunning Santorini

sunny 30 °C

There is no other way to describe the island of Santorini - it is simply stunning...

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Some of the best views are from the deck of a small ship inside the island's natural harbour...

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This giant caldera of a still active volcano rises out of the blue Aegean Sea like a fire-breathing monster rising from the depths yet, today, the fires barely smoulder...

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The wisps of smoke coming from the sulfur stained fumaroles are barely visible but, as we walk across the barren lava field in the centre of the caldera we feel the heat on our feet. And when we swam, streams of deliciously warm water swept over us.

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The small whitewashed island towns are sprinkled along the lip of the caldera like frosting on a bundt cake..

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Tourism is everything to this land but, unfortunately, it is too beautiful for its own good. Giant cruise liners fill the caldera almost daily and thousands of camera heavy grockles load themselves onto donkeys for the tortuous climb up to the main town of Thera where almost every shop is filled with bling. These donkeys are on their way back down for the next load...

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Despite the heat, these poor creatures are forced by cruel owners to carry overweight tourists up and down the steep cliffs hour after hour. There is a cable car, (which we took), but some people just cannot resist making an animal suffer for their enjoyment. Please don't ride the donkeys on Santorini.

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Once the cruisers have gone for the day Thera settles back into a quiet and pleasant evening, but they will be back. In fact, we have just learned that there will be five cruise ships in port tomorrow. Ten thousand tourists will cram into this tine town so we are leaving. Next stop- the much quieter island of Paros. Here's a final look at Santorini from the deck of the ferry...

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P.S. In 2013 the Greek government banned anyone weighing more than 100 kgs (220lbs) from riding the donkeys, but it seems that neither the owners nor the tourists care - we bet the donkeys do!

Posted by Hawkson 09:52 Archived in Greece

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